No. 8: Cory Schneider, G, New Jersey Devils
Now, this is not the Vezina Trophy race. While Crawford should be a favorite over Schneider, as well as another goaltender later on this list, in that chase, things are different when talking about a regular-season MVP. Crow loses points in that chase because of a forward who is having an absurd season. Schneider has no one like that in front of him.
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That’s not to say the Devils are void of talent, but Michael Cammalleri’s 38 points paces this club. And yet, the Devils hold the second wild-card post with 55 points, two ahead of Pittsburgh. They can certainly thank Schneider for that. While his record isn’t sparkling (22-14-5) due to the team in front of him being entirely average, Schneider is boasting a .928 save percentage (fifth among goaltenders who have made more than half of their team’s starts) and 2.03 goals-against average (fourth). He has four shutouts, and he’s seen more rubber than all but three goaltenders (Crow among them).
If Schneider was not as good as he has been, the Devils would probably be hanging out with the likes of Carolina, Buffalo and Columbus. But as it is, New Jersey has a chance to be a surprise playoff team in the East. And if the Devils do qualify for the postseason, Schneider will probably jump a few more spots on this list.