Schneider is enjoying being ‘the guy’ for the Devils

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If the New Jersey Devils don’t make the playoffs, goaltending will be one of the main reasons why. The team’s .905 save percentage is tied for 24th in the NHL, with timely saves being particularly hard to come by, not to mention the issues in the shootout.

With a netminding tandem of Martin Brodeur, one of the greatest ever at the position, and Cory Schneider, one of the top under-30 talents in the game, it wasn’t supposed to go this way.

On the bright side, Schneider’s play has been much stronger of late, and New Jersey’s playoff chances are still alive as a result. The 28-year-old has stopped 107 of 112 shots in his last five appearances, a save percentage of .955 over that time.

“I did it for most of last season (with the Canucks),” Schneider said, per the Star-Ledger. “I played 15 or 16 out of the last 18 down the stretch last year and got us into the playoffs.

“I haven’t done it as much as Marty might have, but I’ve done it before and it’s fun. It’s fun to play these games. This is why you play. You don’t play not to make the playoffs or not have important games. You want to be the guy and have that responsibility, so it’s good.”

Schneider was indeed brilliant down the stretch last year. He had a .937 save percentage in March, and it was .936 in April. By the end of the season, his numbers were significantly better than Roberto Luongo’s.

Schneider’s recent stretch has lifted his season save percentage to .918. He’s expected to start again tonight versus Calgary.

Brodeur, meanwhile, is stuck at .900, as his time with the Devils possibly draws to a close.