The New Jersey Devils have announced that Martin Brodeur will be their starting goalie when they open the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 3 with a road date in Pittsburgh.
Though expected, the decision will be a hot-button topic for discussion.
Brodeur, 41, has been New Jersey’s starter since the
beginning of time 1994-95 season, but now faces the stiffest competition of his career in Cory Schneider, the ex-Canucks netminder acquired at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Devils head coach Peter DeBoer has been consistent in calling Brodeur the team’s starting goalie ever since the trade, but has often referred to Schneider as a “fantastic 1A” option.
On Monday, the 27-year-old Schneider wowed fans in his Devils debut, stopping all 22 shots faced in the first two periods as the Devils beat the Rangers 2-1 at the Prudential Center.
Those in attendance even began chanting Schneider’s name.
“I thought he was excellent,” DeBoer said following the game. “You obviously want to win the home fans over and he’s playing against his old coach from last year in Vancouver, Alain Vigneault.
“It was nice for him to put up the performance he did and for us to get him a win.”
Battling for the No. 1 gig with an incumbent veteran is nothing new for Schneider.
He spent the last few seasons platooning with Roberto Luongo for the starting job in Vancouver and, in last year’s season opener, got the start for the Canucks before getting hooked for Luongo in a 7-3 loss to the Ducks.