Game 22: Another game another shutout!
The Canucks sprung for three goals only two minutes and twelve seconds apart five minutes into the second period and kept the pedal to the metal, adding another pair in the final frame to put away the pesky Coyotes. Ryan Kesler was one of Vancouver’s best players in the victory tallying two points in the shutout win.
Along with Kesler, backup Cory Schneider cruised to another solid shootout victory Friday with 37 saves against the Coyotes. Schneider failed to receive any scoring support in his first several starts this season but the Canucks’ backup has thrived behind the recent success of Vancouver’s scorers.
Of the even strength tallies, Ryan Kesler’s second period breakaway wrist-shot past Mike Smith appeared to get the monkey off the center’s back after he was shutdown in all alone earlier in the hockey game.
Kesler’s slow start to the season has hurt all members of Vancouver’s second line; however after he set up linemate David Booth Friday the entire unit appears to be on the right track heading into the second half of their back-to-back games against the Sharks.
“Backup” Cory Schneider continues to create controversy out of the Canucks’ crease following another shutout performance in Phoenix. With the victory Schneider extended his shutout streak to 136:46 and has created his own mini-controversy heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Sharks.
While Roberto Luongo was expected to start the second half of back-to-back games for Vancouver, Schneider’s second consecutive clean sheet makes Alain Vigneault’s decision much more interesting.
Lead by Ryan Kesler, the Canucks controlled a defensive game in the first period and stayed patient in Phoenix, taking advantage of giveaways and opportunities as they came Vancouver’s way.
The Canucks have now allowed only one goal against in their last three games and look poised to pounce on the San Jose Sharks in the second of back-to-backs.
As Kesler gets stronger and stronger with each game and Cory Schneider’s confidence continues the Canucks are only getting better as a team, however I do believe Saturday’s starting goaltender should be starter Roberto Luongo.
With all due respect to Schneider and his shutout streak, Luongo is still number one in Vancouver.