Cory Schneider Deserves To Be In The Vezina Conversation


For the first time in over two decades, the New Jersey Devils had an undisputed number one goalie not named Martin Brodeur. The man who would be leading Jersey’s team in 2014-2015 was Cory Schneider who they got in a trade with Vancouver in 2013. Schneider had never been a team’s no doubt #1 because he always had to share a net with Roberto Luongo as a memeber of the Canucks. Some people questioned whether or not Schneider could handle the workload that came along with being a team’s starter. Well, Cory Schneider hasn’t just been good this season… he’s been Vezina caliber.

Mar 3, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save during the first period of their game against the Nashville Predators at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

With the seasons Carey Price and Pekka Rinne are having, Cory Schneider appears to have no chance at winning the Vezina trophy (awarded to the league’s top goaltender). However, that doesn’t mean Schneider isn’t deserving of being a nominee or at the very least being in the conversation. The only thing that’s working against Cory is the fact he plays for a bad team. That is no direct representation of him, because the Devils would be Buffalo Sabres bad if not for him and a few other select players. Price, Rinne, Braden Holtby and Marc-Andre Fleury – just to name a few – play on playoff teams and have stellar numbers, so their recognition will be higher than Schneider’s.

I don’t expect Cory Schneider to win the award or even be nominated due to the sad fact his record is a pedestrian 24-23-6, but as I said that’s a bigger factor of the team he plays on. Ignoring the record, which would be much better if his team supported him, Schneider is top five in the NHL in the two biggest goalie categories. He is tied for second with Rinne posting a .928 SV% – only behind Price’s .935%. Schneider is also tied for fourth with Holtby posting a 2.17 GAA. Those are elite numbers and definitely worthy of being in the Vezina conversation.

Look at those stats TG tweeted out. Schneider has been as close to perfect as you can possibly be the last two months. I understand the Vezina isn’t just a “what have you done for me lately” award, but Schneider has been good all season. He hasn’t been this good, but he still has been terrific. Schneider had a bit of a rough October posting only a .906 SV% and to be fair he did allow a few weak goals. Unfortunately, that made people turn on him. Even with those rare errors, he was still playing good hockey. That’s why he had a .922 SV% in November and a .924% in December. He has taken his game to another level in 2015, but he was still damn good in 2014.

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Stats aren’t the be-all, end-all and they shouldn’t be, but they do show just how good Schneider has been this season. Even without stats, watching him play has been one of the only joys to come out of this season. He makes huge saves to keep the Devils in the game while getting virtually no support in return. The Devils score just 2.19 goals per game which is .02 more than his GAA. If he had any kind of support, he’d be mentioned with Price and Rinne on a daily basis. As it is, he stops 30+ shots seemingly every night and rarely allows more than two goals.

Cory Schneider has been one word this season… AMAZING. He likely won’t win the Vezina, but he for sure deserves to be mentioned in the conversation. The Devils are lucky to have an elite goalie behind them for the next seven plus years.

Next: What the Devils Must Do Moving Forward