With just 91 seconds left in regulation time, New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider surrendered a power-play goal to Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen, but held on to preserve the 2-1 victory. In other words it was a moot goal in a game that didn’t even count.
Except to say it was the only goal that Schneider allowed in his first preseason run with the Devils. For 158:29 minutes he was perfect. It was a stretch both impressive and ultimately futile, as Martin Brodeur was already tapped as the team’s opening game starter last week.
For his part, Schneider shrugged off the accomplishment.
“Come the start of the year no one is going to care what happened,” Schneider told the Star-Ledger. “They’re going to care going forward.”
True, but this serves as a small preview of what the New Jersey Devils’ goaltending controversy might look like this season.
Forget his preseason numbers. Either way, Schneider is a superb goaltender worthy of a starting gig, but Brodeur is a legend gearing up for what could be his final season. Assuming Brodeur doesn’t suffer a significant injury or completely fall apart, it’s hard to imagine the Devils benching Brodeur for long stretches of time, even if Schneider ends up producing statistically superior numbers.
Speaking of which Brodeur, who hasn’t been nearly as good in the preseason, will wrap up the Devils’ exhibition schedule on Thursday.
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: