|With hockey world focused on Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider shines in first start at TD Garden||01.07.12 at 6:44 pm ET|
When Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault announced Friday that oft-maligned goaltender Roberto Luongo would not be in net for the Canucks’ rematch against the Bruins Saturday afternoon, the focus remained squarely on Luongo. Why would he back out of a game in which he would have a chance to prove himself? What was he scared of?
Meanwhile, backup Cory Schneider, a Marblehead native and a Boston College product, somehow flew under the radar while criticism of Luongo owned the airwaves, blogs and newspapers.
Although much of the pregame discussion surrounded Luongo, Schneider was the star Saturday afternoon. He marked his first Garden start as an NHL goaltender with a win, stopping 36 shots to help the Canucks top the Bruins, 4-3.
But while Schneider remained largely ignored before the game (although not by his 15 friends and family members who would be coming to see him play), the start in Boston was no minor deal for Schneider.
“It’s a fun building to play in and, again, it was fun for me to play in front of people who have grown up cheering for me and supporting me my whole life,” Schneider said.
“To come back and get this type of opportunity in front of a lot of friends and family and people at home watching, it was really cool. I think it’s even more special since we don’t come here very often. I’m glad we got the win.”
The 25-year-old had played at the TD Garden before. He was the beneficiary of the home crowd cheers from 2005 to 2007, when Schneider and the Eagles finished as the runners-up in the Beanpot twice and won the Hockey East Tournament Championship on Garden ice in both his freshman and junior seasons. Schneider also played at the Garden twice in the Stanley Cup Finals (in relief appearances Game 4 and Game 6) last season, although he did not start either of those games.
Schneider’s first start in Boston lacked the flow of a typical game. The Bruins did not get a shot on goal until nine minutes (and 50 minutes of penalties) into the first period. As fighting ruled the ice and hockey played out as somewhat of a sideshow through the first 30 or so minutes of the game, Schneider somehow found a way to ignore the extracurricular activity and keep his mind on stopping the puck. Read the rest of this entry »
|The day after the Cup, 1 p.m.: Other NHL players congratulating Bruins||06.16.11 at 12:54 pm ET|
After the Bruins Stanley Cup clinching victory many current NHL players congratulated the Bruins on their accomplishment on Twitter:
- Brent Sopel, a defenseman for the Canadians tweeted, “Hooray Black and Gold!”
- Predators center Blake Geoffrion praised Tim Thomas “Congrats to Boston. What a series and what a year for them. Tim Thomas is the man.”
- Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto tweeted, “Congrats to the Canucks and Bruins. Hard fought series and year. Hats off to every player!”
- 2010 No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall tweeted, “The game gives me chills. When does camp start!?”
- There was also a bit of humor offered up by Phoenix Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette. When the game was out of reach he tweeted, “”I wonder what Cory Schneider‘s doing right now?”
- Suns guard, and Canucks fan Steve Nash also got involved, “”Congrats Boston. Head up @VanCanucks incredible year. We’ll be back!! Thanks for the thrills.”
|Cory Schneider says Roberto Luongo is ‘more ready than anybody’||06.15.11 at 2:38 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — As the minutes tick down and get closer and closer to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, there is no bigger question mark between either of the teams than Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo.
This series, he’s had an easy time at Rogers Arena, picking up a couple of shutouts in games in which the Bruins’ offense didn’t show up. He’s also shot his mouth off, and when he’s tried to make it better, it’s gotten worse. Then there are the 15 goals he’s allowed in three starts (less than two games’ worth of play given that he was yanked twice) in Boston.
As a result of Luongo’s up-and-down (but overall messy) series, local boy and Canucks backup Cory Schneider has also been popular. He’s gotten to play twice in Boston, and he’s done so well. Yet the former Boston College goaltender and first-round pick seems sure that he’ll stay on the bench the entire game Wednesday.
“Lou is more ready than anybody. He’s had to take the most flak, he’s had to sit there and listen to people mock him and insult him and point fingers at him,” Schneider said. “It’s not easy to do. I don’t care how much you get paid or if you’re a pro athlete or what. No one likes that stuff. It fuels him, it drives him. it makes him want to be better. We’ve seen it before in gold medal games and Game 7′s, he’s answered the bell in big moments. We expect nothing less from him because he’s our guy.”
Schneider received cheers in Games 4 and 6 when he skated to the net in relief. Of course, the love thrown at Schneider in Boston is both a combination of the fact that he’s a native and the fact that when he’s in, Luongo’s out.
“They’re a rowdy crowd and they feed off that stuff,” Schneider said of the folks at the Garden. “They kind of pander to the crowd and get them more riled up every time they show him on the bench. They kind of get whipped into a frenzy about it, but we’re not in Boston right now, so who cares? We’re in Vancouver right now. Lu’s been phenomenal here, and our crowd is great as well. We’re going to hope that they’re going to get on [Boston's] guys and their players and make it easier for us.”
Tonight will see the culmination of a series between two stylistically different goaltenders who have found ways to dominate in their own ways. Both Tim Thomas and Luongo are Vezina finalists, with Thomas set to receive the award at the end of the month. The B’s goaltender also figures to win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
Schneider has been able to observe both goaltenders, as he played at BC while Thomas was tending goal for the B’s. Though he doesn’t know Thomas, Schneider admires the uphill climb he has overcome as a ninth-round pick who has spent time playing in Europe.
“Clearly the path [Thomas] has taken has been one of obstacles and difficulty that he’s overcome and has managed to find a way,” Schneider said. “That kind of seems to be the theme of his game, is that he finds a way. He’s a competitor and a battler, and we’re going to need everything we have tonight to get a few past him and get a win.”
Having said that, Schneider doesn’t feel Luongo, the fourth overall pick in 1997, should be blamed for traveling an easier road.
“I don’t think you can hold it against him that he was a high draft pick or has a great pedigree. He worked hard for that, he earned that right,” Schneider said. “He’s been a competitor and a warrior from the day I’ve met him. He’s one of the most competitive guys I’ve seen. He hates to lose. He hates giving up goals, he hates all that stuff. People might see it as arrogance, but I see it as confidence in himself, as a belief that he shouldn’t be beaten ever. I think you have to have that mindset as a goalie that if you’re not 100 percent confident in yourself, you’re not really in the right position.”
|Game 6 countdown, 3 p.m.: A Canucks player’s view on the series||06.13.11 at 3:01 pm ET|
Marblehead, Mass native, Boston College grad and Canucks backup goaltender Cory Schneider has been running a series long blog, Cory’s Story, on NHL.com. He posts almost on a daily basis and writes about his experiences during the series and gives insights on what it’s like playing in a Stanley Cup final.
A few highlights from the blog include:
- Schneider plans on spending $4,000 on tickets for Game 6. He wants his family to be there and tickets are going for about $500 each in the loge section of the TD Garden. He says that he gets free tickets for home games, but is on his own for road games.
- Writing about the Vancouver locker room after the win in Game 5 he wrote, “Guys were obviously excited in the room, but I also think it was kind of unfinished business. We haven’t won anything, but we’ve put ourselves in a position to win and I think we’re a little more excited and optimistic to head back to Boston and try to get it done.”
- He discusses his role as a backup goaltender during the playoffs, a time where he sees very limited action. “Practice is a time when I can help the guys get better when they want to stay out for extra work. In that sense, that’s my role right now, finding a way to help the guys get better. It’s tough because you have to be ready at any moment. At the same time, you’re into it and as caught up as the players are. Sometimes even more.”
|Alain Vigneault says Roberto Luongo will start Game 5||06.09.11 at 9:32 pm ET|
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday at Rogers Arena that he will not be making a goaltending change prior to Friday’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. Vezina finalist Roberto Luongo has allowed 12 goals over his last two games (both lopsided Bruins wins), but Vigneault said he will not be turning to Cory Schneider, as he did in the first round after Luongo struggled in Games 4 and 5.
“My gut at that time told me that putting Schneids in was the right thing to do, but it was just a one-[time] thing,” Vigneault said. “Roberto is the guy. He’s my guy, and he’s playing. It’s that simple.”
Schneider replaced Luongo after the Bruins’ scored their fourth goal in Wednesday’s Game 4 at TD Garden. The Marblehead native and former BC netminder stopped all nine shots he saw.
|Canucks’ Cory Schneider on M&M: Bruins ‘a tough matchup’ in Stanley Cup finals||05.30.11 at 1:00 pm ET|
Former Boston College standout and current Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday morning to talk about the upcoming Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Schneider said that although the Canucks didn’t learn all that much about the Bruins from their 3-1 loss in February, what he’s noticed most from watching the playoffs is Boston’s depth.
“They have three deep lines, and offensively even their fourth line is effective in what they do,” Schneider said. “On any given night for them a different guy can step up and be the difference.”
Schneider also said the Canucks would need to keep track of Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron in particular. He called Lucic a “big guy who can disrupt a lot of plays and go to the net and create problems.” He compared Bergeron with Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler: a multi-talented player who contributes on offense, defense, faceoffs and special teams.
“He [Bergeron] can really burn you if you’re not paying attention,” Schneider said.
Schneider also complimented Zdeno Chara’s defense, calling him a “No. 1 guy”.
“He’s got such a long reach that it doesn’t matter who you put out against him, he’s going to try and find a way to shut them down,” Schneider said. He added that the Canucks’ Swedish twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, might be able to beat Chara.
“You probably haven’t seen anything like them when they’re playing down low,” Schneider said. “They’re cycling the puck and they make these soft passes to each other, you have no idea how they made it. It’s pretty incredible to watch. That will be a great matchup.”