Schneider US PRESSWIRE

 

It appears Roberto Luongo’s days may be numbered in Vancouver after the team turned to Cory Schneider during this year’s playoffs.  Schneider has a lot going for him at the moment.  He is younger than Luongo, the Canucks seem to have more confidence in him, and he may even be the third Sedin brother.  DNA results remain inconclusive.

 

To supplant a goalie like Luongo you don’t just have to be good, you have to be great.  Luongo has been everything you could ask for as a starting goalie during his time in the National Hockey League.  With a career .919 save percentage, 60 shutouts, and an Olympic Gold Medal, Luongo has established himself as one of the best in the game.

 

While Luongo did not play poorly in 2011-12, Schneider simply played better.  There comes a time where a player is playing so well the team simply can’t ignore it and has to make a tough decision.  Schneider has forced the Canucks to do just that.

 

 

Rank Player Team GP GAA
1 ELLIOTT, BRIAN STL 38 1.56
2 QUICK, JONATHAN L.A 69 1.95
3 SCHNEIDER, CORY VAN 33 1.96
4 LUNDQVIST, HENRIK NYR 62 1.97

 

Schneider finished third overall in goals against average in the regular season with a mark of 1.96.  His save percentage numbers put him in that same elite class, as he finished second overall in that area.

 

 

Rank Player Team GP Save%
1 ELLIOTT, BRIAN STL 38 0.94
2 SCHNEIDER, CORY VAN 33 0.94
3 LUNDQVIST, HENRIK NYR 62 0.93
3 SMITH, MIKE PHX 67 0.93

 

Schneider’s numbers may be top notch, but he has never had to carry a starter’s workload in the NHL.  Luongo has always played the majority of the Canucks’ games.  In fact in 2011-12 only 25% of Schneider’s wins came against playoff teams, while nearly 50% of Luongo’s wins did.  This is primarily due to the fact that as a backup Schneider doesn’t face nearly as many elite teams as Luongo does.

 

Another thing that appears to be evident is how much confidence Vancouver has playing in front of Schneider.  While it is impossible to measure how a team feels when a certain goalie is between the pipes, there may be some telling statistics that could shine some light on the situation.  Have a look at the average shots per game that both Schneider and Luongo face.

 

 

Rank Player Team GP AvgShots
15 LUONGO, ROBERTO VAN 55 28.67





17 SCHNEIDER, CORY VAN 33 28.64

 

They both face almost the exact same amount of pucks each game, but watch when you look at the degree of difficulty of those shots.

 

 

Rank Player Team GP Shots AvgDist
29 LUONGO, ROBERTO VAN 55 1588 35.08
41 SCHNEIDER, CORY VAN 33 937 33.86

 

 

This stat shows that the degree of difficulty of Schneider’s shots are tougher than Luongo’s.  Now a two foot difference on average may not seem like a lot, but it can make a big difference at the NHL level.  The more confident you are in your goalie, the more chances you will be willing to take offensively since you believe your netminder will bail you out.

 

For the Canucks it seems like Schneider is the best choice.  It’s not necessarily anything that Luongo has done because he has been solid, but Schneider has just been that much better.  The only thing that Luongo does have working against him is his massive contract which runs until 2022 where he will start collecting Old Age Pension.  Well not quite, but at that point he will still be in his early forties.  Not to mention that in each year of that deal the Canucks will take over a $5 million cap hit.  If General Manager Mike Gillis was smart he would ask Glen Sather how he pulled off that Scott Gomez trade and make it happen.

 

When you sit near the top of the league in goals against average and save percentage, it would be hard for the team to justify using Schneider as a backup.  That has been the frustrating part for fantasy owner’s because as far as statistics go Schneider is a great asset, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of him only playing about 30 games.  Hopefully for next season, poolies will not have to make that decision if Luongo has moved on and Schneider has taken over the reigns in Van City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Kyle said:

lesouder
Contract Something that I haven't heard mentioned about Luongo's contract is the fact that since he signed this deal before he was 35, I believe according to the CBA, when/if he retires his cap hit is wiped from the books entirely regardless of how many years are left and the team just has to pay his salary. Which should be very manageable for any team considering how little his salary is in the last few years.
April 29, 2012
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
... Luongo's contract is large-but hardly out of whack when you consider that both Bryzgalov and Fleury both make $5mil per vs 5.3 for Luongo, and statistically neither is close to Lu. Niemi and Hiller are both $4mil approx....and again who would you rather have? an aging Brodeur at $4mil? With the cap going up $2-4mil next season, Luongos deal will look cheaper and cheaper, we may even see the cap floor hit $50mil! and when that happens, and the free agent class is thin- some players are going to hit the jackpot big time.
April 27, 2012
Votes: +0
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