The implications of the injury at the Igloo

First off, my apologies to anyone who actually reads this blog on a regular basis for the recent inactivity at Vancouver Viewpoint.  A busy week at work combined with an even busier week after work resulted in me not being around the computer much.

With that said, let’s get down to brass tacks.  The injury to Roberto Luongo in yesterday’s otherwise impressive 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Less than five minutes into the game, Luongo went down to make a routine save and seemed to injure his groin when he kicked out his left leg.  Whatever the case, it was clear he was in a lot of pain.

And Canucks fans let out a collective gasp of worry.

cory-moose-revisedWhile neither the extent nor the duration of the injury is clear at this point, the Canucks did recall Cory Schneider from Manitoba.  That means Luongo will be out of commission for at least the next game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Let’s assume, for the sake of a thought experiment, that Luongo is out for a few games.  There are two ways for Canucks fans to look at the situation and two ways for the Canucks coaching staff to deal with it.

From the fan’s perspective, the Luongo injury could be viewed as either an unmitigated disaster and crippling blow to the team’s fortunes or an opportunity to assess the progress of the team’s blue chip-prospect.  (As an aside, Schneider has played tremendously in Manitoba, going back to about the mid-point of last season.)

As for the coaching staff, either backup Curtis Sanford is given the opportunity to get a run of games in or Schneider is provided with an opportunity to prove his mettle in the NHL.

The way I see it, if Luongo is going to miss any more than three games, Schneider needs to play as many games as possible.  Though it is obviously not what Sanford would want (nor what he thinks he deserves, under the circumstances), the Canucks need to see what Schneider can do at this level.  He has excelled at every level he has played (college, international hockey, and the American Hockey League) so there is not much more he can prove.  More importantly, the Canucks face a situation where Luongo is due to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.  If he does not re-sign before the start of next season, it could be an indication that he has intentions to leave.  And, if that is indeed the case, the Canucks will be turning to Schneider to be the number one.  If he does re-sign long-term, then Schneider would have to be moved.  Evidence of capability at the NHL level (coupled with his sterling play at all other levels) would make Schneider a highly valuable asset in any trade.

So, the injury situation may not be as bad as it might seem, after all.  Opportunity knocks, as they say.


1 Response to “The implications of the injury at the Igloo”

  1. 1 Big red « Vancouver Viewpoint Trackback on November 27, 2008 at 7:09 pm

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