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Canucks GM on Luongo: “I’m sure he’ll be starting Game 1 of the playoffs”

Mike Gillis

Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Mike Gillis speaks to reporters in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday April 25, 2011. Vancouver and the Chicago Blackhawks play game 7 of a Western Conference quarterfinal Stanley Cup playoff series Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)


The day after Canucks fans cheered Roberto Luongo getting pulled from a game, Vancouver GM Mike Gillis went on local radio and backed his under-fire netminder.

“We have two games left here to play, we have to get through them without injury,” Gillis told TEAM 1040. “If Roberto’s healthy, I’m sure he’ll be starting Game 1 of the playoffs.”

Luongo was yanked from Tuesday’s game against Anaheim after allowing four goals on 15 shots, replaced by Cory Schneider. The Canucks rallied behind Schneider for a 5-4 shootout victory, meaning the backup now has a 10-2-1 record with a 1.42 GAA and .953 save percentage since the All-Star break.

He’ll get one more opportunity to play before ceding the goal to Luongo for the foreseeable future. According to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, Schneider will start Vancouver’s final road game of the year -- Thursday night in Calgary -- while Luongo will get the nod in the season finale Saturday against Edmonton, then the postseason opener.

Of note? Today is Luongo’s birthday. Can’t imagine a better way to celebrate it!