Let me start off my time here at Pucks & Pitchforks by assuring you all that I could not be a bigger fan of Martin Brodeur. His jersey hangs autographed in my closet, and I have on multiple occasions considered adopting a pet for the sole purpose of naming it after my hero goaltender. However, I am equally passionate about the New Jersey Devils as a team, and I want nothing but the best for their organization – and by extension, my mental well-being. This is why I am so uncomfortable with the question I am about to pose: Should Cory Schneider be the Devils’ go-to goaltender?
I realize that the season is still young, but it’s not quite young enough to excuse a “1” under the win column; however, it was a 4-0 win against the rival New York Rangers, and the team did a lot of things right. At this point, it’s time to figure out what the team did right and replicate it so the Devils don’t miss the playoffs for the fourth time in three years. In a situation like this, you can’t help but wonder if Schneider’s big shutout is one of the factors that should stay in place in order for a successful season.
The Marty Scope
Brodeur remains winless (0-2-2) in his four appearances this season, with a disappointing 3.44 Goals Against Average. We know him as a Hall of Fame goaltender, but he is certainly not putting up Hall of Fame numbers at this point – of course, neither are the Devils as a whole.
The Cory Scope
Schneider (1-2-1) has offered the team just one more point in the standings than Brodeur, although his numbers look a lot better. Cory’s shutout on Saturday night improved his save percentage to .927%, which is a more comfortable number than Marty’s .865%.
Martin Brodeur has been one of the most skilled and respected goaltenders in the National Hockey League for the better part of two decades, but his reign as king cannot go on forever. He will be 42 years old when his two-year contract expires after the 2013-2014 season. Schneider, on the other hand, puts up good numbers at a young 27 years old. The Devils organization has a habit of locking key players down for the long term, and it looks like Schneider may prepared for a full-time position.
Again, it’s a young season, but it’s something for Pete DeBoer to think about. Do we keep splitting the playing time down the middle despite Schneider’s superior numbers, or do we bench Marty during what could be his last season of a historic career? A better perspective may be offered when Schneider’s first series of back-to-back starts concludes after the Devils take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.