Vigneault keeps starting goalie a secret
RANDY SPORTAK, QMI AGENCY
|Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo attends practice ahead of Game 4 of his team's NHL Western Conference quarterfinal hockey playoff against the Los Angeles Kings at the Kings' practice facility in El Segundo, California April 17, 2012. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. - Alain Vigneault said after Tuesday's practice he had decided who would be in goal for his team's crucial Game 4 clash.
The Canucks coach wasn't willing to spill the beans to the world, though.
"I'm going to play the goaltender I feel is going to give us the best chance to win," Vigneault said.
Seeing as No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo lost the first two games of the series against the Los Angeles Kings and it was the same result when backup Cory Schneider played last game, it's hard to imagine who that would be.
Although neither Canucks goalie can be blamed for the team being down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, neither has come up with a winning performance, either.
The decision made for Wednesday's tilt will mean some fantastic hot-stove lounge fodder in the future.
Luongo is in the second season of a 12-year-contract, while Schneider is a pending restricted free agent, but the common belief is whomever starts in net is the netminder the club hopes to have going forward.
READYING FOR DANIEL
The Kings are going with the assumption Daniel Sedin will return to the lineup and therefore must make some adjustments.
"Isn't Art Ross for scoring? Wouldn't that make a significant change if we could put a player like that back in our lineup?" said Kings coach Darryl Sutter, noting Sedin was the league's scoring champ last season. "So it is going to be make a significant change to their's, too."
"I don't think our overall game plan as a team changes very much," said defenceman Drew Doughty. "But when you are on the ice when they are both on, obviously it's a little different. They know where each other is at all times on the ice, they make those little five-foot passes that other players can't make. We have to be very aware of that and not give them a lot of space to make those plays."
Kings forward Brad Richardson practised fully for the first time since undergoing an appendectomy just before the playoffs started and skated on the fourth line ... Vancouver forward Byron Bitz is eligible to return from his suspension, but wasn't skating on the team's top four lines.
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak