New Jersey Devils: Cory Schneider – the best goalie who doesn’t win

Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

If remaining with the Vancouver Canucks and becoming the undisputed starting goaltender was an ambition of Cory Schneider, count that failed expectation as his first loss since being eliminated from the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs against the San Jose Sharks. Schneider was acquired by the New Jersey Devils on draft day 13′ in exchange for the 9th overall pick (Bo Horvat). In his short time with the Devils, he has lost often on the scoreboard.

What makes Schneider’s recent run of disappointments so frustrating is the fact he has played solidly. His departure from the Canucks was the result of Roberto Luongo’s contract being unmovable. Throughout this season he has won once and lost five games, despite posting an impressive .918 save percentage and 1.98 goals against average. His team simply isn’t scoring enough. It’s easy to look at the situation from a distance and think Schneider is playing well; it’s not his fault the Devils can’t score for him. However, he doesn’t feel that way:

Devils head coach Peter DeBoer is certainly not hanging any of the blame for last night’s 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Cory Schneider:

Schneider is not getting the run support needed to win games. Tom Gulitti of The Record tweets a very telling piece of information regarding the Devils ability to score goals for the franchise’s inevitable Martin Brodeur replacement:

If you view him from a statistical standpoint and consider the lack of scoring by the Devils, Schneider is playing elite level hockey regardless of his win count. General manager David Poile and his team builders for USA Hockey may recognize the potential of Schneider despite his losing record. The Devils 1B netminder is playing as good, or better than, other American goalies – Craig Anderson, Jonathan Quick (now injured with a Grade 2 groin strain), and Tim Thomas, who he competes with for a spot on Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Making the American Olympic team would be a nice bright spot in an otherwise disappointing year.

The Devils are on the bubble right now. Making the playoffs is a long-shot unless they drastically improve offensively. Schneider’s club has scored a measly 38 times for him this season, which is third least in the NHL.

Jeff Paterson sums up Schneider’s poor 2013-14 very nicely in this tweet: