By Derek Jory
It’s déjà vu all over again – this time, hopefully, with a different result.
With the Vancouver Canucks trailing the San Jose Sharks 2-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal, they’ll turn to Cory Schneider Sunday night in net for Game 3.
This is the same situation Schneider was faced with last post-season when the Canucks trailed the LA Kings 2-0; looking to change things up headed into Game 3 in Los Angeles they turned to Schneider and although Vancouver lost 1-0, the netminder was brilliant finishing with 19 saves.
He’s ready to repeat that performance and give the Canucks the win they need to keep this series alive.
“I look at it as an opportunity to play in the playoffs and contribute to the team,” said Schneider, declaring himself 100 per cent ready to play. “This time of year you always want to do something to help your team out, so I’m just hoping I can come in and make a positive difference.”
Walking through the airport Saturday morning Schneider told me he was really hoping to get the start in San Jose because of how amazing the HP Pavilion is to play in.
He got his wish – coach Alain Vigneault said he Schneider would have started the series for that matter had he been ready to play – and silencing the Shark Tank is up next for the Canucks.
“We’re pretty familiar with everyone at this point and it’s a fun building to play in,” said Schneider. “It gets loud, it gets rocking, it’s a fun, tough environment to play in, especially when they get going. No pun intended, but it seems they can really swarm when they get some momentum and get the crowd behind them.
“It’s up to us to not allow them to spend too much time in our end and we need to stay out of the box, they feed a lot off their power play.”
GOALS ARE THE GOAL
The Canucks have scored only three goals in two games and while that was nearly enough to split the series, the Canucks face an uphill battle down 2-0 and scoring early and often will make all the difference.
“The stats are all against us, not a lot of teams come back after losing the first two at home and these guys lost only two or three times here in the regular season," said Chris Higgins, who backed Roberto Luongo’s play, yet added the change to Schneider could be a good thing. "But it’s a fun building to play in, one of my favourites, so it should be pretty entertaining.
“Either way I hope playing on the road will settle us down a little bit, you know they’re going to come out hard in their first 10 minutes, it’s always a fast paced game on their first couple shifts, so we’ll be ready for that.”
KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON
Daniel Sedin was asked how patient the Canucks will need to be Sunday night if things don’t go their way early on.
His response sums up the team’s mentality heading into Game 3.
“That’s what good teams do, believe in what you do and do those things. We can’t start changing things, if you do that, you’re going to lose.
“We realize what a win could do tonight and we’re going to do whatever we can to get that win. That’s why it’s so fun being in the playoffs because things can change so quickly.”
Is it fun right now, Daniel?
“Of course it is, if you don’t think this is fun, you should probably quit. We’re up for the challenge and we’re going to do our best to build off Game 2.”
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