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The Goods: Schneider shines

Thursday, 24.11.2011 / 1:25 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Schneider shines
VANCOUVER CANUCKS
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COLORADO AVALANCHE
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Vancouver’s high in the Mile-High City continues.

The Canucks snuffed out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver for their 10th win the last 12 meetings between the Northwest Division rivals.

Vancouver has won seven of its last 11 games in Denver and hasn’t lost in regulation there since October 3, 2009.

With Cory Schneider stopping everything in sight, the Avalanche didn’t stand a chance on this night.

In his career-high third consecutive start Schneider was brilliant stopping 24 shots, including 10 over the final 20 minutes, for his first shutout of the season and the second of his career.

Manny Malhotra, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler each scored for the Canucks, who are now on a two-game winning streak for the fourth time this season.

Late in the 1st period Vancouver opened the scoring for the ninth time in 10 games thanks to a Malhotra shot that
zipped past Semyon Varlamov so quickly even the replay could barely track down the puck. Cody Hodgson set up
Malhotra’s first goal of the year, the eventual game-winner, with a delicate touch pass as pretty as the score itself.

Burrows doubled the Canucks lead in the 2nd period with an individual effort filled with dekes and dangles as he walked into the Avalanche zone and around a few players, ex-Canucks defenceman Shane O’Brien being one of them, before rifling home his sixth goal of the year.

In the third period it was all about Schenider as he stepped up with saves when needed.

During consecutive penalties to Henrik Sedina and Sami Salo midway through the third, Schneider made three mind-blowing stops less than 10 seconds apart, with a diving
save on Ryan O'Reilly that Schneider will surely add to his demo reel the highlight of them all.

Schneider deserves a bulk of the credit for Vancouver’s 11th win of the year, but he was patting teammates on the back post-game.

“Our penalty kill did a great job tonight,” said Schneider. “We really had a lot of energy and killed those penalties down the stretch, which was big, but I thought overall at 5-on-5 this was one of our best game, we didn’t really give them a whole lot and blocked tones of shots and kept them to the outside.

“It was a great effort by our guys and it made life easy for me.”

The Canucks now head to Phoenix to play the Coyotes Friday night looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Can they sustain this momentum?

“I hope so,” said Malhotra. “But we’re not thinking too far ahead of getting on a roll, our focus is just the next one. We did a good job tonight, we’re happy with the victory, we’re going to take the good, bad and ugly that we learned from it and take it into the next game.”

VIGNEAULT REACHES WIN #247

The decision to hire Alain Vigneault as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks was met with support and debate.

Five years later, there’s no arguing Vigneault was and still is the right man for the job.

Vancouver’s 3-0 win over Colorado Wednesday night was Vigneault’s 247th win behind the Canucks bench moving the 16th coach in team history into first on the all-time wins list.

Ironically, Vigneault, hired by Dave Nonis to replace Marc Crawford on June 20, 2006, passed Crawford for first all-time in wins and those victories have translated into a lot of accolades for the Canucks.

Vigneault has led Vancouver to a Presidents' Trophy, Stanley Cup Final appearance, Northwest Division titles in four out of five seasons and he won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year following his first season with the Canucks.

The key to Vigneault’s success is his even-keel belief that you should never to get too high with the highs, or too low with the lows.

“I feel honoured and privileged to have that record under my name,” said Vigneault. “Obviously as a coach you’re only as good as your players and I’ve had great players, I’ve had two GMs that have given me good players to work with and I’ve always had great assistant coaches to support me. It’s more a reflection on the people around me than myself. We’ll take it in stride and move on to the next game.”

THIS AND THAT, THAT AND THIS

-The Canucks are now 68-20-3 over their last 91 games with Alex Burrows scores.

-Aaron Rome left the game in the first period and did not return after taking a shot left hand. Vigneault does not believe anything is fractured.

-Another game, another two broken sticks for Alex Edler. He needs to start using Sami Salo’s sticks.

-Quote of the night 1: “You’re talking about my Spodey-senses?” - Coach Vigneault when asked if the Canucks are building momentum.

-Quote of the night 2: “I’m the winningest coach for the Vancouver Canucks, I’m going to celebrate tonight and I’m going to tell you tomorrow” - Coach Vigneault on who will start in goal for Vancouver Friday versus Phoenix.

-Childhood friends from Haliburton, Ontario, and former Brampton Battalion teammates Cody Hodgson and Matt Duchene faced off for the first time in the NHL. Hodgson won Round 1 with an assist on the game-winning goal.

-Although the Canucks have dominated this rivalry of late, the Avalanche have had Vancouver’s number, historically speaking. All-time the Avalanche/Nordiques are 66-50-15-6 against the Canucks, their second-most wins versus any opponent; since moving to Denver the Avalanche are 50-28-7-6 against the Canucks, which is their second-most wins against a single opponent since the franchise relocated.

-Wednesday night’s game was a 6:30 start, Vancouver’s third and final such game this season. The Canucks finish 2-1-0 when split between six and seven o’clock.

WORDS 2 AVOID COVERING HOCKEY
Fabbytastic; Glamorous; Sassy; Oh no he did-nt!; Hawt; Scandalous; OMG; Shmoopy; Diva.
Tweet of the night - “if you ever get a game-used, signed Edler stick and it's not broken, it's a fake." -@gutsmctavish24,
with a jab at the lumber which continues to crumble when Alex Edler lines up a slap shot.
Tweet of the night II - “Yet another reason I'm still an O'Brien fan, always helping out the #Canucks, even in an avs uniform."
-@JennaBossons20, with a jab at Shane O'Brien after Alex Burrows used him as a pylon before scoring.
Feeling blue - The Avalanche wore their blue third jerseys against the Canucks. This was the third time this season
Colorado had made the fashionable change, yet they remain winless at 0-3-0 in the uniforms.
Tebowmania - Even John Shorthouse & John Garrett are swept up in Tebowmania. During Sportsnet’s telecast of the
Canucks game, John x 2 name dropped Tim Tebow twice. They may have even been Tebowing.