Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault pushed the right buttons in Game 4. He made the call to put Daniel Sedin back in the lineup, after Sedin had been medically cleared, and he also made the decision to stay with young goalie Cory Schneider instead of battle-tested veteran Roberto Luongo, in a must-win game. Schneider was brilliant in Game 4 with a 43-save effort, and without question he will get the call for Game 5. Does Schneider change things, in terms of how the Kings approach the Canucks? They say no, and the goalies aren’t terribly different, although Schneider might actually be a little more solid than Luongo, positionally. Darryl Sutter had some high praise for both goalies, but particularly Schneider.
SUTTER: “Big guys, cover a lot of the net. Very talented athletes, elite goaltenders. One guy gets a lot of credit and criticism. One guy gets called `inexperienced,’ but he had the second-best record of any goalie that played over 30 games this year. So, if you look at save percentage and goals-against average, I’m not sure who is the best goalie. They’re both really good. How do you approach them? The very same.’’
Jarret Stoll discussed how the Kings can do a better job against Schneider in Game 5…
STOLL: “Well, we got a lot of shots at him, but I think we can get more quality shots, more second opportunities, more traffic. The shot clock said 40, or whatever it said, but sometimes that can be a little askew too. It’s one of those things where you just have to come after him in the first period, get shots, get traffic, all those good things. He’s confident, too. He’s a good goaltender. I wouldn’t say he’s a backup, by any means, so we know we have to be good in front of him and not let him down. We have to make sure he sees a lot of rubber.
“We don’t look at it any differently. We don’t focus or prepare any differently. They obviously have a couple different little tendencies that are different, but the mindset is the same. You’ve got to shoot pucks. You’ve got to make him work. If you’re missing the net or passing up good shot opportunities, you’re not making him work. That’s the main thing right there.’’