As the final horn of the 2011-2012 NHL season rang out through the Prudential Center, each end told a different story. On one end, 26 year old Johnathon Quick celebrated a Stanley Cup championship with his teammates. Pure elation. On the other, 40 year old Martin Brodeur looked on, considering what had just gotten away from him. Pure agony.
Meanwhile in Vancouver, as the offseason drags on, two sides of a different coin ring a remarkably similar tune. Cory Schneider, 26, is poised to become the starting goaltender for the Canucks. Roberto Luongo, the incumbent, the consummate veteran, looks on considering what has just gotten away from him.
Young defeats old. Potential over what could have been. The most accomplished goaltender in the history of the franchise discarded in favor of his young, composed successor. Will this saga end for Vancouver as it did in the Stanley Cup? Will young and unproven lead to one of the greatest moments in the city's history? Will the Canucks lament the loss of their veteran netminder? Only time will tell. The fans speculate, assuring each other of what they know to be true. "Roberto Luongo is a has been". "Cory Schneider can't hold up over the course of a season". "Luongo can't win the big games". "Schneider is Steve Mason 2.0". While every one of us professes a knowledge of the future, none of us knows which way the coin will land. Heads or tails, it makes for a compelling story.