If a disgruntled goaltender situation were to build this season in New Jersey, the safe bet before the season would have been that veteran Martin Brodeur would be the one having a tough time dealing with the lack of playing time, not Cory Schneider.
That's not the way it's playing out, though. Brodeur will start for the Devils on Wednesday night, the third straight game he has started. Overall, Brodeur is making his 11th start in the last 15 games for the Devils. Schneider was a little dinged up in that time but that's still a pretty large disparity between starts of late, especially when Schneider is seen as the goalie of the future (and is in his prime right now).
Schneider is no stranger to this sharing the net business and that partly explains why he's growing tired of sitting on the bench. From the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti:
"It's Groundhog Day for me," Schneider said. "I can't seem to escape it. I'm just trying to work hard and do what I can. I''d just like to see the ice a bit more is all."
Schneider said he had no plans to talk to head coach Pete DeBoer about it.
"Again, Marty's playing really well," Schneider said. "He's got the net. He's running with it. It's part of the game, but I just feel at this point in my career it's something where I'd like to play more."
This Groundhog Day doesn't sound anywhere near as enjoyable the one that Bill Murray lived.
His coach Peter DeBoer is in a tough position with respect to his goaltenders. Both have played well this season and the team has been rolling of late with Brodeur in the net. It's hard not to ride the hot hand but at the same time he's understanding of Schneider's frustration and said there will be more playing time in the next couple of weeks when the schedule gets thick.
This seemed inevitable coming into the season, it's hard to have two goalies like this and keep them both happy, especially when Schneider was dealt out of a similar situation and has been waiting for a team to truly become his to lead. It seemed like it wouldn't be an issue seeing how Brodeur played last season but he has turned it around with Schneider around.
Certainly it is a good problem to have for the Devils as long as it doesn't get to be too big of a problem, but there doesn't seem to be any danger of that happening. Brodeur is still in his 40s and doesn't have long left while Schneider knows that his patience will eventually pay in terms of play.
It's just hard to blame the guy for wanting to play now, especially when he has a .925 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average. The guy has played well enough to play more but so has Brodeur -- and the team has played better in front of Brodeur for whatever reason. Commence the controversy.