There is no question that Cory Schneider, the apparent heir to the New Jersey Devils goalie throne, is a solid goaltender. He has played very well this year as well as his entire NHL career. But why can’t the Devils win with him in net?
Here are a few stats from this season:
Schneider has played 19 games this season, five less than Martin Brodeur, but has seven less wins.
Schneider (5-9-7), Brodeur (12-9-3).
Schneider boasts a 2.13 GAA and a .914 SV%, while Brodeur has a 2.36 GAA and a .903 SV%.
Why do the Devils struggle to win with Schneider in net? Why do they win with Brodeur?
Truthfully, there is no answer. The Devils just cannot score for him and it is quite frustrating for both the skaters and Schneider. The numbers on goals for are extremely alarming:
Brodeur – 24 GP, 71 Goals For
Schneider – 19 GP, 31 Goals For
WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Sure, Schneider has not played as many games as Brodeur, but there should not be a 40 goal gap for just five games.
The Devils average 2.96 G/G with Brodeur in net, while averaging just 1.63 G/G. Those are alarming statistics.
Some may argue that Brodeur is the best puck-handling goalie in the history of the NHL, while Schneider is average at best. Schneider lacks these skills because while playing goalie he is shooting on his off-hand. He is a right-handed shooter, but his dominant glove hand is his left hand, causing him to have to shoot lefty and hurting his puck-handling. These puck-handling skills help create breakouts and more scoring opportunities than Schnieder ever could.
While this is true, Brodeur does not create, on average, 1.33 G/G by being a puck handling extraordinaire and assisting goals down the ice. There has to be more factors.
One factor to consider is leadership on the ice. Brodeur may as well be the captain of the Devils, and I am sure he would be if goaltenders could. His leadership could help players perform better. Or they just do not want to let down the greatest goaltender of all time by failing to score.
You also must consider the possibility that because Marty is such a bonafide goaltender, the team feels more comfortable with him out there, leading to more relaxed defense and a focus on offensive pressure. While on the other hand, the team wants to focus on playing a more defensive-minded game with Schneider in net, ultimately sacrificing goals.
Regardless, the Devils have a great goaltender on their hands with Schneider, they just have to start scoring for him. His statistics are very good and he should have more wins under his belt than he does this season.
In the end, nothing really makes up for the Devils lack of goal support for Schneider. Maybe it is all a plan to keep Brodeur playing into his 70′s.
The Devils hope the goal scoring can start Tuesday when they host the Flyers. See the game by getting your Devils tickets here.