Cory Schneider injury just latest turn in Canucks crease drama

Canucks goalie Cory Schneider is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. (CARMINE MARINELLI//QMI...

Canucks goalie Cory Schneider is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. (CARMINE MARINELLI//QMI Agency)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:58 PM ET

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks' crease has churned out its fair share of stories this season. Too many to count, in fact.

So with just three days before the end of the regular season, why not add one more to the tally?

As first posted by the team's Twitter account Wednesday, goalie Cory Schneider is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Further questioning of coach Alain Vigneault revealed the starter is out with a "body injury" -- not upper or lower, just body.

The mysterious saga means it's backup Roberto Luongo's time to shine again. Not much will be on the line for the Canucks, after they already clinched the Northwest Division and can't go up or down in the Western Conference standings.

With the second-place Anaheim Ducks in town Thursday, Luongo will get his 17th start of the season, backed up by call-up Joe Cannata.

"You never want to see a guy get injured," Luongo said of Schneider. "That being said, I don't think it's anything too serious and hopefully he'll be back soon. In the meantime, it's my job to play the way he's been playing."

This season, Luongo has a 9-4-3 record with a 2.34 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and two shutouts. He's only played twice in April, both wins, and has not started at Rogers Arena since March 18.

While Thursday's game could potentially be his last home start for Vancouver, he doesn't want to see it that way.

"For me, it's just a chance to play and build off the last two games that I've played and provide the boys a chance to win," he said. "Everything happens for a reason. After the deadline, I just wanted to let everybody know that I was here and 100% committed to this team. I want to make a run with these guys and hopefully go all the way. I'm dedicated and hopefully it starts (Thursday) night."

With Schneider's injury so vague -- and one he apparently suffered in the team's 3-1 win over Chicago on Monday -- it's just speculation as to how long he'll be out. The playoffs start next week, and what an interesting turn of events it would be if Luongo ended up leading the charge in the first round. All this, of course, coming three weeks after a trade deadline day that saw Vancouver unsuccessful in dealing their contract-burdened goaltender.

"It's this time when it's good to have a guy like Lu backing up," captain Henrik Sedin said. "We're confident in him and he knows what this team is about.

"I'm sure there's going to be a few more stories about (the two goalies) before the season is over."

For his part, Luongo agrees with how interesting all the plot turns this season has been for him.

"It's pretty amazing isn't it?" he said. "We've still got a little ways to go before it's over. We're going to enjoy it for the time being and see where it leads us."

NOTES: Defenceman Kevin Bieksa (lower body) skated with the main group Wednesday and left about 30 minutes into practice. Vigneault said he's still day-to-day and is getting close to a return but won't play against the Ducks. Fellow blueliner Keith Ballard (back) also practised and his status is much like Bieksa's ... For the most part, the Canucks forward lines remained the same as the game against Chicago two days earlier. "I liked the way our lines looked last game," Vigneault said. "Having the way (Derek Roy's) line played the way that they did, it forced the opposition to pay attention to more than just (the Sedin) line. I liked the physicality that our third and fourth line brought to the game" ... The defence could potentially see a change, with Derek Joslin slotting in for Cam Barker.


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