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How will the Devils' awkward 1a/1b pan out this year?


The New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks made a bold trade this summer, sending ripples throughout their respective fan bases. Vancouver ended their internal soap opera by dealing away the asset that no one thought they would trade. The Devils made a statement to their fans regarding the future of their goaltending.


The table was set for the passing of the torch in New Jersey’s crease.


But for this season, is it really that simple?


Looking at their overall statistics from last season, it appears that Schneider is the best option going forward. Courtesy of Frozen Pool, here is a look at Brodeur’s numbers in 2012-13:


2012-2013 Regular Season

 

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

SA

SV

GAA

SV%

Yrs

Salary

Caphit

N.J

29

13

9

7

2

65

654

589

2.22

0.9006

1

4000000

4500000

 

Here is a look at Schneider's statistics from last season:

 

2012-2013 Regular Season

 

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

SA

SV

GAA

SV%

Yrs

Salary

Caphit

Van

30

17

9

4

5

61

835

774

2.11

0.9269

2

3500000

4000000


Both goalies played a similar number of games in 2012-2013. Brodeur played 30 games and Schneider had 29 appearances. Both posted a similar and very respectable GAA -Brodeur finished with a 2.22 GAA to Schneider’s 2.11 GAA.

However, the similarities end there.

Schneider dominated the save percentage category finishing with a .927% to Brodeur’s .901% last season. Schneider also faced 181 more shots and posted 185 more saves than Brodeur. Clearly the Devils play a system where their goalies face fewer shots on goal. It will be interesting to see whether this helps or hinders Schneider as he adapts to his new team.


Most impressive are Schneider’s five shut-outs in just 30 games during the lockout shortened season, compared to just two for Brodeur last year.


If poolies look at last season’s numbers and compare the regular season statistics from 2011-2012, the choice seems obvious and we should expect Schneider to receive most of the team’s starts this year.  Here is a quick look at statistics for both players from 2011-2012. 


2011-2012 Regular Season (Schneider)

 

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

SA

SV

GAA

SV%

Yrs

Salary

Caphit

VAN

33

20

8

1

3

60

945

885

1.96

0.9365

0

900000

900000

2011-2012 Regular Season (Brodeur)

 

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

SA

SV

GAA

SV%

Yrs

Salary

Caphit

N.J

59

31

21

4

3

136

1472

1336

2.41

0.9076

1

4000000

4500000


Due to their respective situations, Brodeur saw more playing time in 2011-2012 and finished with more wins and saves. Schneider (while sharing games with Luongo) dominated with an impressive 1.96 GAA and .937 save percentage.  In 26 fewer games, Schneider still managed to post as many shut-outs as Brodeur as they finished with three each. If he played as many games, it appears that Schneider would have been better in every category.


So looking at the statistics going into 2013-2014, we should expect Schneider to get 50-55 starts and Brodeur with around 20-25 starts. 

 

But is it really that simple?


Brodeur is at the tail end of his Hall of Fame career and there is no question that he will enter the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. Brodeur owns numerous goaltending NHL records and has led the Devils to four Stanley Cup appearances and three Stanley Cup championships. There is no chance that the organization will relegate him to a back-up role without giving him the opportunity to be the number one this season. Tack on the fact that Brodeur’s father (Denis) recently passed away and likely you have one of the greatest goalies to ever play the game with even more motivation and incentive to compete this year.

 

The Emotional Factor


Brodeur is a clutch performer. We cannot say that about Schneider at this point. If the Devils are in a playoff push or competing for a playoff spot, will they go with the goalie they have historically leaned on, or will they turn to Schneider.


If the Devils are out of the playoff picture it is more likely that starts will be split. The team will want Brodeur to go out with class if he is indeed retiring after this season. The franchise and their fans will want to see Brodeur get his share of games. It is a guarantee that Brodeur will start the team’s final home game this season.


Most hockey experts have anointed Schneider as the starter in New Jersey and suggest that he will get the majority of playing time. This season, it does not appear to be that simple.

 


Final Forensics Note:


Barring injury, starts this year will go to the hot hand. Expect Schneider to get 45 starts and Brodeur to get 35 starts.


Poolies should expect Schneider to face fewer shots this year compared to his days in Vancouver. This will happen even if he receives the majority of starts this season.


Schneider has two years left on his current contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2014-2015. Look for the Devils to sign Cory Schneider to an extension next season.


Brodeur is currently in the last year of his contract. There is no indication yet that he is looking to retire after this season.


 

Previously in FrozenPool Forensics:

 

 

 

Forensics: Beau Bennett

 

Forensics: How Relevant is Captain Colorado?


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