Cory Schneider was acquired by the New Jersey Devils to replace Martin Brodeur. It was always just a question of when and how that would happen. According to Brodeur, that time has arrived.
Schneider will get his third straight start in goal for the Devils when the Vancouver Canucks come to The Rock on Thursday night, trying to turn around an embarrassing start that’s seen Jersey win one game in nine contests. When asked if this is the start of Schneider as the team’s primary starter, Brodeur said on Tuesday "I think so."
Said Brodeur, via Rich Chere of the Star Ledger:
"I think he's in the net now to stay. I don't think that's going to change. I'll be ready if it does."
"I hate not playing. That's the bottom line... I'm glad this happens at 41 and [not] 27."
Earlier, maligned Devils Coach Peter DeBoer explained what is “never an easy” situation, via the Ledger:
"I think both guys have handled it very professionally so far. It hasn't been an issue. (Schneider) has had experience with that in Vancouver (alongside Roberto Luongo). I think that's helped him. On the flip side, Marty has been outstanding in his handling of it so far. You always worry about the mental state of guys that aren't playing. The good news is we've got two top-flight professionals who are better people even than they are players. That helps."
Obviously all eyes are on Brodeur here, who hasn’t had to share his crease for nearly 20 years with the Devils. It’s a balance between the competitive fire that’s had him play into his 40s vs. the realization that as of Oct. 2013, Cory Schneider gives the Devils their best chance to turn their season around. His save percentage is .917; Brodeur’s is .865.
That said, Brodeur likely knows that the torch isn’t passed until he’s no longer on the roster. It’s a long season. It’s not inconceivable that he’ll get another chance to reclaim the crease. Hell, Luongo did.