Cory Schneider is back in a familiar position.
The Devils goalie will sit for the third straight game on Wednesday, backing up Martin Brodeur for a home date against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.
It’s a justified decision — Brodeur has played well of late, stopping 47 of his last 51 shots faced — but one that’s gotten under Schneider’s skin, reminding him of the situation in Vancouver between himself and Roberto Luongo.
“It’s like Groundhog Day for me,” Schneider said, as per the Star-Ledger. “I can’t seem to escape it.”
Schneider said he’s “very surprised” and “frustrated” he’s not playing, but made point of saying Brodeur is playing well.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) November 27, 2013
Schneider spent his first four NHL seasons working as Luongo’s backup, ascending to a pseudo-No. 1 job in during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign. But even then, he hardly had a lock on the starting gig — Schneider made 30 appearances to Luongo’s 20 last year.
This summer, he was dealt to New Jersey in what many saw as a passing of the torch. There was no question he was the succession plan to Brodeur in goal, though several people within the organization — head coach Peter DeBoer and GM Lou Lamoriello most notably — made it clear Brodeur would be the starter and Schneider would be the “1A” this season.
Through 26 games, it’s basically gone that way.
Brodeur has a slight edge in games played — 14, to Schneider’s 10 — but Schneider does have the superior numbers, including a .925 save percentage and 1.87 GAA.
Schneider’s frustration is also somewhat justified given that, while Brodeur has played well lately, he’s still lost two games in a row.
But whatever the case, Schneider’s remarks certainly are interesting. He has just this year and the next remaining on his three-year, $12 million deal, and is facing a predicament — Schneider will be 28 at the end of this season, but has yet to appear in more than 33 games in a single season.
When does the “starting goalie of the future” actually get to handle a starter’s workload?