There’s a reasonable explanation as to why head coach Alain Vigneault threw down the goaltending gauntlet before Tuesday’s game.

Not only did he manage to rip his most recent starter, Roberto Luongo, he managed to put everything of the shoulders of his latest No. 1, Cory Schneider.

He clearly knows what most have seen from the Canucks during the past month. The Canucks have one period in them every night.

It sure wasn’t the first on Tuesday.

After eight days without playing, which he spent re-working his game with goalie coach Rollie Melanson, Cory Schneider started out as slick as he’s been this year.

He needed to be. The floundering Canucks, who came into the game having won five of their past 16 games, had what was maybe their worst start of the season. They were outshot 15-3 by St. Louis. They were out-chanced 8-1.

They looked out-classed, and they should have been embarrassed. They played like it after the first intermission, thought. That’s the good news.

The Canucks poured in three second period goals, then had to hold on as they backed off to win 3-2. They faded yet again in the third period.

The Canucks were carried by Schneider but sparked by Jannik Hansen’s tenacity. His breakout season has been lost in the sludge of a goalie controversy, the power play disaster and the ongoing listless play which has led to calls for Alain Vigneault’s head.