VANCOUVER - Cory Schneider waited six years for a vote of confidence from the Canucks.
And with this season being the one where he finally owns a place on the main squad, the goaltender is not planning to jeopardize that opportunity.
"From all indications, they said they want me to play some games this year," Schneider said. "I don't want to come in, falter and leave room for doubters."
The Marblehead, Mass., native is expected to back up Roberto Luongo for the first time since being drafted 26th overall by the Canucks in 2004. Patience over the year, and stability by the team to not rush him into the NHL has benefited the 24-year-old who has been mired in the AHL for the past three seasons with the Moose.
"I definitely wasn't ready when I first came out," he said. "Getting comfortable at a professional level is a big part of my development. [You've] got to put your time in and learn and make mistakes and grow."
The lesson plan this year will differ for Schneider as backup to Luongo, who will get the bulk of the starts. That's a challenge not lost on the rookie. He said his mindset now needs to be more exact and precise every time he gets the call.
"You can't come in and lay eggs, otherwise there's no point in giving Lu any rest if I can't get the job done," he said. "I've got to make every night count."