Game 24: Like Butta
Schneider outplayed fellow backup Curtis Sanford who was unable to keep up with Vancouver’s relatively light shot total. Meanwhile, Schneider appeared to sharpen with every shot against stopping 47 of 48 in the victory.
The Blue Jackets were putting pucks on net from all angles based on the hype Schneider had received heading into Tuesday’s game, but fell short siding with quantity over quality against one of the league’s hottest goaltenders.
Schneider and the Canucks held Columbus’ big three of Rick Nash, Jeff Carter and defenceman James Wisniewski to 9 shots altogether after the trio averaged a point-per-game in their previous five contests.
While the Blue Jackets have come to rely on rock-solid goaltending from backup Curtis Sanford, the sandman himself can’t do it all in both ends of the rink.
The recent scoring troubles against Vancouver continued for Nash after Tuesday marked the fifth straight game the superstar has been held scoreless against the Canucks.
The victory over the Blue Jackets leaves Head Coach Alain Vigneault with another tandem of tough decisions heading into Thursday’s game against the Predators. Cory Schneider’s most recent performance in the crease keeps the competition on high as Roberto Luongo waits for his return to the blue paint.
Along with Luongo, forward Mason Raymond is waiting in the wings in anticipation of his own return to the lineup as soon as a teammate slips up enough to earn a trip to coach Vigneault’s doghouse.
Cody Hodgson could be the leading candidate to make room for Raymond after the young center struggled in the win over Columbus.
After a tough first period, Hodgson’s nifty feed from the half-wall to hit Jannik Hansen in stride may have saved his spot for another game.
Cory Schneider stood tall despite a heavy workload and Rick Nash posed no real threat to the Canucks as Vancouver skated to another convincing win Tuesday over Columbus.
While the amount of shots allowed Schneider’s way remains a cause of concern heading forward, the Canucks continue to capitalize on strong play at even-strength and constantly appeared in command against Columbus.
Vancouver’s defence needs to sharpen up their game in front of Schneider to keep the backup from stealing the spotlight any further while Roberto Luongo patiently awaits his return.