It could turn the playoff series around or backfire in spectacular fashion.
The Canucks are rolling the dice by putting Cory Schneider in for veteran Roberto Luongo tonight in Game 3, and this will be the first time Schneider has faced the Kings in his career. The other Canucks’ change for tonight is minor: Dale Weise supplants Andrew Ebbett on the fourth line.
Of course, the goalie switch was front and center.
Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault was asked if not having played the Kings in the past was an advantage or disadvantage for the 26-year-old Schneider.
“You know, it’s one game,” he said in a brief Sunday afternoon session with the media in Santa Monica. “It’s a great young goaltender that’s played real well for us in key moments the past couple of years that’s going to get an opportunity to play tonight.”
The coach said it was time to try to change the overall momentum, rather than a reflection on an individual performance in goal. Luongo was the starter for the first two games.
Schneider went 20-8-1 this season with a goals-against average of 1.96 and a .937 save percentage. But his playoff experience is scant.
“He’s got great assets and he’s going to go in goal tonight and do what both our goaltenders have done for us all year long,” Vigneault said. “He’s going to give us a chance to win the game.”