Due To Not A Single Fault Of His Own, Cory Schneider's Statistically Impossible Losing Streak Continues
It feels so weird to say now, after every win from last February through last April basically had the effect of chugging a chilled glass of dopamine, but the Devils losing doesn't have me down. At this point, the only way they could do more on-ice damage to their chances of signing Taylor Hall to a long-term deal is if they literally brought them out to beat with their sticks as a form of intermission entertainment. Therefore, having made their bed, they might as well hibernate in it so as to increase their odds of adding a difference maker come draft time.
Still, even as an begrudged member of 'Team Tank', I'd really appreciate it if the Devils didn't take advantage of the fact that I have ZERO expectations in meeting them in a way that makes them feel as though they've been stood up on a first date. For example, I wasn't quite convinced they'd put forth a competitive effort against the Kings on Tuesday. I was, however, hoping they'd play a baseline brand of defense that wouldn't allow for Ilya Kovalchuk to flash that stupid, self-satisfied smirk after scoring the easiest and most low-effort goal of his Communist career...
Point being, I really don't think I'm asking for too much. However, even when offered more than enough opportunities to bring to a long-overdue conclusion the most mathematically mesmerizing and confidence crippling of losing streaks for a goaltender who has been through AH(el)L and back in trying to find a shell of himself, they still couldn't answer against the Islanders.
As a long time Cory Schneider apologist, even I had to start making jokes at his expense when he managed to go a full calendar year without a win in a deflating form and fashion that was almost as oddly impressive as it was woefully depressing. His future between the pipes remains about as bleak as his future on the books. That said, we're talking about a proud professional who hasn't caused a single commotion in being let down (and sent down), to varying degrees, by his body and his team. He's been brutally bad far more often than not, but on a night where he was undeniably good, the Devils' powerplay looked about as shorthanded as their lineup and their execution was as emotionally exhausting as it must have been physically exhausting to chase after the pucks they misplayed. There shouldn't have been a non-Tavares jersey burner in the building last night that wasn't desperately rooting for Cory Schneider to get the King Kong-sized monkey off his back. Yet the team in front of him was more likely to slip on the proverbial banana than use it to help coax the gorilla off their beDeviled goaltender.
The truth is, getting beaten by a touchdown would have felt less frustrating than what I watched last night. A win that would have been worth far more than an extra point in standings that are now pointless was well within their grasp, and - in flat missing the net on multiple shootout attempts - they basically grabbed at it as clumsily as Miles Wood might handle a stick or Kurtis Gabriel might contain his emotions.
It's genuinely nice to hear that the locker room still believes in Cory Schneider, but if actions speak louder than words then he should keep his back to the wall and his head on a swivel. Simply put, this isn't the first time they found a way to keep the most embarrassing of streaks alive as effortlessly as they've found ways to piss me off during games of which I walk in the door not caring about the outcome.