The New Jersey Devils entered Monday’s game against the Boston Bruins trending in the wrong direction in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
So with that in mind, their 3-0 win over the Bruins was a pretty good way for them to start the new calendar year.
Schneider was able to stop all 22 shots he faced on Monday to record his second shutout of the season, while P.A. Parenteau, Sergay Kalinin and Taylor Hall were able to provide the offense.
It has to be a positive sign for the Devils to see Schneider get the shutout because he has struggled through a disappointing first half that has seen him post some of the worst numbers of his career. He entered play on Monday with a .904 save percentage after consistently being near the top of the league over the past three years.
If the Devils are going to find a way to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race they are going to need Schneider to play the way he has in recent years. He has too much of a track record and too much talent to keep playing at the level we saw this season and it was only a matter of time before he started to get back to his game. Perhaps this is where that turnaround begins for him.
Speaking of the playoff race, this was a big missed opportunity for the Bruins because they were unable to increase their lead over Tampa Bay and Toronto in the Atlantic Division. With Monday’s loss the Bruins remain just two points ahead of the Lightning and three points ahead of the Maple Leafs. Tampa Bay has two games in hand on them, while Toronto has four.