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WeatherWise

The Parallels to Anaheim's Hiller-Giguere Situation.

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Anaheim really didn't develop Hiller very well. I mean, he's a great goalie, but only in inconsistent flashes. Sure some of it is due to his concussion, but he's never been a consistent goalie in this league because he wasn't transitioned nicely from a 20-game backup into a 60-game starter.

I don't think AV will make this same mistake with Schneider, mostly because Luongo will continue to play 50-60 games while Schneider is still developing.

This is a big mistake a lot of fans don't understand on these boards. Rookies, especially goalies, need a long time to culture. Sure they'll go on streaks of games where they look amazing, but 20 games scattered across an 82-game schedule is very different to playing 60 games in large chunks. Yes Schneider's numbers looked great last season, and they're looking nice again this season, but if he plays more than 6 games in a row just watch his play start to deteriorate.

Fatigue, both mental and physical, is something that is very underestimated, and something that must be monitored especially closely if we want to win the Cup. Boston really got it right last season.

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Anaheim really didn't develop Hiller very well. I mean, he's a great goalie, but only in inconsistent flashes. Sure some of it is due to his concussion, but he's never been a consistent goalie in this league because he wasn't transitioned nicely from a 20-game backup into a 60-game starter.

I don't think AV will make this same mistake with Schneider, mostly because Luongo will continue to play 50-60 games while Schneider is still developing.

This is a big mistake a lot of fans don't understand on these boards. Rookies, especially goalies, need a long time to culture. Sure they'll go on streaks of games where they look amazing, but 20 games scattered across an 82-game schedule is very different to playing 60 games in large chunks. Yes Schneider's numbers looked great last season, and they're looking nice again this season, but if he plays more than 6 games in a row just watch his play start to deteriorate.

Fatigue, both mental and physical, is something that is very underestimated, and something that must be monitored especially closely if we want to win the Cup. Boston really got it right last season.

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Biggest difference is that Luongo didn't win the cup, but won the gold medal, while Giguere won the cup.

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Biggest difference is that Luongo didn't win the cup, but won the gold medal, while Giguere won the cup.

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Schneider played 60 games just 2 years ago in the AHL, a pro league against professionals. He was the leagues best goalie, even with a workhorse workload. And he also took them on a long play-off run the year before. He displayed the ability to handle the workload, it was just an issue "was his talent sufficient" against NHL shots & pressure.

Last year he played 25 games, lost only FOUR and had a top 5 in the NHL save %. Same sort of dominance he displayed in the AHL.

So he has established the talent and durability; he's also not a buck, wet behind the ears 18 year old being thrown in randomly because there is nothing better. He's earning his shot.

Look at this objectively and you'll realize we have a second stud on our hands... Dont undervalue him like you undervalued CoHo earlier in the year?

Anaheim really didn't develop Hiller very well. I mean, he's a great goalie, but only in inconsistent flashes. Sure some of it is due to his concussion, but he's never been a consistent goalie in this league because he wasn't transitioned nicely from a 20-game backup into a 60-game starter.

I don't think AV will make this same mistake with Schneider, mostly because Luongo will continue to play 50-60 games while Schneider is still developing.

This is a big mistake a lot of fans don't understand on these boards. Rookies, especially goalies, need a long time to culture. Sure they'll go on streaks of games where they look amazing, but 20 games scattered across an 82-game schedule is very different to playing 60 games in large chunks. Yes Schneider's numbers looked great last season, and they're looking nice again this season, but if he plays more than 6 games in a row just watch his play start to deteriorate.

Fatigue, both mental and physical, is something that is very underestimated, and something that must be monitored especially closely if we want to win the Cup. Boston really got it right last season.

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Right now Schneider is on a great hot streak. Let's just ride that till it's over. We're only a little over a quarter of the way through the season with plenty more games to play and lots more opportunities for both these goalies to either prove their dominance, or fail and falter.

I'm a big fan of Schneider, and hope that he stays with the Canucks for a long time, but that's not to say that I want to lose Luongo either. At the end of the day, one of these guys will probably have to leave for another team at the end of the year as if Schneider keeps playing this way, then he's earned a starting spot. After we've played our 82 games and our (hopefully) deep and successful playoff run, we can start debating who to get rid of and who to keep. For now let's just enjoy the fact that we have 2 great goalies!

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All I am worried about right now, is this season. If Vancouver has access to two netminders who can win on any given night, so much the better.

This goalie controversy can be solved in the off-season and just serves as a distraction to both the club and the players themselves at the moment (although with how Schneider is playing that seems inevitable).

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There are a lot of things to consider...

#1) Will Schneider maintain this play year-in, year-out? Or could he be the type that is exposed once the book is out on him? Steve Mason, Andrew Raycroft, and Jim Carey all looked fantastic in their first 50 games too.

#2) Will Luongo maintain his past play, not only this year, but well into his thirties? Or have recurring injuries and mental fragility started to take their toll? People have pointed to guys like Brodeur and Hasek, who have played well into their late thirties and forties. However, it is much more likely that a goalie starts declining earlier. It would be a shame to hang on to a declining, once-dominant goalie while letting a younger goalie on the verge of his dominance go.

The one saving grace in this situation is that we should be able to get a far better trade return for either than our goalies than Anaheim got for Giguere.

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Many fans have been comparing our team's current goaltending situation to Boston's Rask-Thomas combination. While it is fair to remain optimistic, there have been many situations in the past in which established high-priced former "superstar" goaltenders have been ousted from their starting position by rising, younger goalies. The clearest, most recent and most similar example would be what happened just two seasons ago in Anaheim.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere had just won the Stanley Cup in 2007. In 2003 he was the Conn Smythe winner on the losing side of the Stanley Cup Finals. He was, by far, the best goaltender in franchise history and looked as though he would remain in Anaheim for the remainder of his career. He was on the third year of a four-year contract making $6 million per year. Jonas Hiller, on the other hand, had only played one year in the NHL as of 2008. Clearly, it seemed as though Hiller would be traded as nobody thought he would outperform Giguere in goal.

In Hiller's first year, he played 23 games while Giguere played 58. In his second season, 2008-09, Hiller played well. Giguere, on the other hand, struggled to stay at Hiller's pace. By season's end, they had both played 46 games each and it was clear who the better goaltender was, regardless of who was being paid $6 million. As a result, Hiller started the playoffs but the team was eliminated in the second round.

This scenario sounds very similar to the Thomas-Rask situation. The starting goaltender who had played spectacular the previous year, Thomas in Boston's case and Giguere in Anaheim's case, suddenly found himself as the backup for a few months and into the postseason. The difference occurred the very next season (2009-10 for Anaheim, 2010-11 for Boston).

While Tim Thomas regained his form and Tuuka Rask struggled in Boston the year after Thomas had initially lost his job, it was a very different situation in Anaheim. The 2009-10 season began with Hiller continuing his pace from his breakout season. Giguere had the opportunity to reclaim the starting job as Randy Carlyle was giving them both equal time to compete for it. Unfortunately, Giguere suffered a groin injury early in the season that kept him out of the lineup indefinitely. As a result, Hiller played a number of consecutive games and proved himself to be one of the most reliable players almost every single night, keeping nearly every score close. When Giguere returned, he could not outplay Hiller for the starting position.

Soon after, on January 31, 2010, the Ducks traded away their former Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion goaltender to Toronto for Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake.

Giguere was once coveted as one of the league's top goaltenders, known for being mentored by Francois Allaire in his junior days and at the professional level. Even though he was making $6 million, when both he and Hiller were allowed to compete, it was evident who the better goaltender was. Some people will try to compare our current goaltending situation as akin to Boston's goaltending situation. Unfortunately, these hopes and comparisons are reliant on Roberto outperforming Cory when he returns. If that does not happen, this easily becomes the aforementioned Hiller-Giguere situation.

What makes this year unique is that Schneider becomes a RFA at the end of this year and might not remain with this team beyond this season. In order to make the correct decision, General Manager Mike Gillis and team management will be pressured to make a decision as soon as possible. Unlike either the Boston or Anaheim situations, one of the goaltenders might be gone if we continue the status quo into the next season and show no urgency to make a decision soon. One of the goaltenders must be moved -- that is a fact that can not be denied. Both goaltenders are National Hockey League starters and one must be chosen over the other; it would be unfair to one of the goaltenders to have to relegate him to backup status, and would result in at least $8 million of our cap space being used on goaltending. For the team's sake and the goaltender's sake, one must be chosen and the other must be moved.

Some will say there is no controversy, and quote the very-much politically correct words of Alain Vigneault, Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo. Like nearly every single player interview in sports, however, the proper things are always said no matter what the situation may be. Cliches are used, supportive comments are always made about teammates, and no real answers are ever given. Additionally, everybody wants to give the impression they are humble and virtuous. An analogy that can be made is when your partner asks you how she looks in her new clothing -- you are almost always going to say the right things and keep the situation controlled, even if you may have another opinion of it. To keep people in check, no matter what the situation may be, the proper things are going to be said. There may be a goaltending controversy, but nobody will ever find out what the players are actually thinking to themselves because they want their outward appearance to be calm and supportive of each other. Those quotes provide no evidence regarding a player's position on the situation; they are merely to quell those who have no business knowing what is happening.

There are high hopes for Cory Schneider. We all want to cheer for him to succeed and perform well. He is a goaltender with such a bright future, and he has proven he can be our best player on any given night. If he plays well, his trade value will increase monumentally. If he performs too well, though, we must ask ourselves whether he actually makes this team better in the goaltending department, especially at a lower price than what our other goaltender is being paid. If this is the case, we will have ourselves a real controversy and a difficult decision to make. It is a decision that has been made before with other goaltending pairs, though.

Cory's RFA status has essentially shortened both the Boston and Anaheim situations from a two-year span to a matter of months. If Luongo can not outplay Schneider when he returns, and it is clear that Cory is our better goaltender at the end of this year, we must realize that it may be more beneficial to keep Schneider and move Roberto. It is entirely on Roberto's shoulders whether he stays or leaves -- all he needs to do is outperform Schneider. That will determine if he stays in Vancouver. If not, he will face the same fate as Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

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Unlike the reply above, I'm not going to quote the entire post since I think most people can scroll/read on their own.

IMO Giguerre was a goalie who positioned himself well and compensated for everything else with oversized pads. Once he was forced to ditch the pads he became an average goalie at best. So I don't compare him with Luongo at all, cup or not...

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Luo has a longer contract than Gig when Anaheim had this situation. Luo is 7 years older than Schneid, if things boiled down to just having 1 goalie..... IMO, i would rather have Schneid.

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I think the Price/Halak comparison might be the most fitting given Schneiders RFA status

Montreal had to choose between their established highly ranked but struggling starter (Price) vs. the former backup who proved he's ready to be a starter and can carry a team to success (Halak). At the time most fans wanted to keep Halak and trade Price, but the Habs GM went the other way around and I think it's safe to say now he made the right choice.

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I think the Price/Halak comparison might be the most fitting given Schneiders RFA status

Montreal had to choose between their established highly ranked but struggling starter (Price) vs. the former backup who proved he's ready to be a starter and can carry a team to success (Halak). At the time most fans wanted to keep Halak and trade Price, but the Habs GM went the other way around and I think it's safe to say now he made the right choice.

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You make a good point. Luongo will get the chance to win his starting job back, and if he doesn't, things will get interesting.

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All I take from this is that Giguere lost in the Finals and only won the Stanley Cup a few years later.

If Luongo is playing decently, keep him. towel.gifemot-parrot.gif

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If Lu is even only slightly better why keep him? We can have Schneider playing as well or only slightly worse but with a much less cap hit. And we can add a good dman with the extra money. This is IF Lu cant pull himself together, but Im optimistic he can.

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