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With next to nothing happening in the hockey world, I've decided to take the plunge and write daily profiles for members of the New Jersey Devils.
I'll be commenting on the year each player just had as well as their projected role and expectations for 2019-20. I've written 13 thus far, with Kyle Palmieri being the most recent player profiled
Today we're taking a closer look at Cory Schneider.
26 games played, 6-13-4, .903 save percentage
.910 save percentage, .794 high-danger save percentage, -5.34 goals saved above average
It was another tough season for Cory Schneider as a whole. He won just 23% of his appearances, 26% of his decisions, and once again posted a save percentage below league average (it was .905 last season thanks to the goal rush). The playing circumstances weren't ideal – the Devils sucked – but those numbers are hardly what you want to see, or expect, from a $6 million goaltender.
Luckily, there were some positives – especially down the stretch. Schneider managed a .900SV% or better just three times over his first 12 appearances, and never twice in a row.
It was a much different story from mid-February on. Schneider recorded a .900SV% or better in nine of his final 14 appearances and his overall numbers were very encouraging.
From February 15th on, Schneider posted a strong .932SV% at 5v5. That was better than Andrei Vasilevskiy, Devan Dubnyk, Henrik Lundqvist, Frederik Andersen and Carey Price over the same span.
When looking at overall save percentage, Schneider's .927 slotted him 10th – above John Gibson, Jordan Binnington, Pekka Rinne, Vasilevskiy, and many of the same characters mentioned above.
The sample size was not large, of course, but it was nice to see Schneider string together a couple excellent months after looking downright horrible for nearly two years.
After peaking at .9344 in 2014-15, Schneider's 5v5 save percentage has dipped in four consecutive seasons. Wait, that's not fun!
Schneider concluded the 2018-19 season playing some of his best hockey in years. He's fully healthy and should finally be feeling good about himself. He also now has a ton of talent in front of him, and should see consistent goal support for perhaps the first time since coming over from Vancouver. Everything is in place for him to have a bounce-back season. He just needs to go out and do it.
Barring a horrible camp, or unbelievably good one from Mackenzie Blackwood, I think Schneider will be the starter on opening night. With that said, I don't think John Hynes is going to ride him into the ground even if he's playing well – not as a 33-year-old with an injury history. It's going to be somewhat of a platoon with the hot hand at the time often getting the nod. If all goes well, we could be looking at 45-50 games for Schneider.
numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com
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