Please Send Me All Lists That Don't Have Cory Schneider As One of The Top Goaltenders In The League, Because I Am Running Out Of Toilet Paper
NJ.com- Had it not been for the play of goaltender Cory Schneider in the first period Saturday night, the Devils might have found themselves on the wrong side of a rout against the Arizona Coyotes.
Perhaps Schneider, who bought the entire team dinner at Flemings Steakhouse Friday night, is owed one by his teammates for saving them yet again.
Read that above passage. Now apply it to about 80% of the Devils wins this season. Make no mistake, that was the narrative on Saturday, it's been the narrative the entire season, and it will most likely be the narrative for the New Jersey Devils heading into the immediate future. If they are going to achieve any amount of success that is. Cory Schneider hasn't just been a key to the Devils recent success. He has been THE key. Any of the Devils fans that criticized the organization for Schneider's 7 year deal when he let up a few bad goals earlier in the season want to take some accountability? Now is your chance. It's better for us to laugh with you than at you. Sometimes admitting defeat is better than continuing to fight for an illogical cause.
I'm not saying Cory didn't give up some suspect goals earlier in the year. He absolutely did. Show me a goalie that has never given up a bad goal in the NHL and I'll show you an AHL goalie. It happens. It is just completely blown out of proportion when you play for a team that is immune to scoring. Many people questioned his ability to be a legitimate number one goaltender given his past. All while he was facing a workload that was unprecedented in today's game. Do you realize that Cory Schneider broke Marty's consecutive starts to begin a season record? Do you know how asinine that is given Brodeur's history of starts per season? He played the first 20 games of the season. It became a league wide joke at one point. So forgive me if I choose to excuse a weak goal or two.
Numbers don't lie, and Schneider's recently have been almost unimaginable, especially for a team that is destined to be sitting home come playoff time. For all the flak he received earlier in the year, Schneider may be the most valuable player to his team in all of hockey. I truly don't think that's an exaggeration. They probably have single digit wins without him. Cory standing on his head has been so commonplace that you would think it is part of the game plan. The people that criticized his ability to handle the duties of a number one goaltender were the same people singing the praises of Keith Kinkaid after one or two career starts. It was astonishingly hypocritical. All I know is that I can say with confidence that Cory Schneider was not solely responsible for any one loss this season, and he has been almost solely responsible for damn near half of their wins. If there was one song to describe the Devils season it would be 'Lean On Me' and Cory Schneider would be on stage in black face speaking in the most recognizable voice known to man.
I get it. The head coach and the goaltender are the easiest people to blame when things aren't going well. That's always been the case. Blame the man in charge and the last line of defense. The Devils midseason turn around has been about lot more than a coaching change. Their winning ways directly coincide with a streak in which Schneider has been damn near unbeatable. The fact that his excellence has been the norm does nothing to show he was a detriment to the team earlier in the season. It just shows that he is as paramount to a team's success as one player can be.
Let' make this clear Devils fans. Cory is not Marty. The only thing that Schneider has in common with the person that Devils fans watched man the net for the last 20 years is that they are both excellent goaltenders. For as flamboyant, unique, and revolutionary as Brodeur was, Schneider is equally as fundamentally sound. He makes saves look easier than they are because of his positioning. That doesn't take away anything from either player, obviously Marty is one of the best of all time. However, Schneider is never going to be as exciting to watch in goal as Brodeur was, no matter how low his GAA dips. Maybe Devils fan can't digest that, or maybe they just needed a scapegoat. Either way, the best player that is currently on the Devils is Cory Schneider and anyone with the best interest of the franchise in mind better hope it stays that way.