Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/16/13
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Through the Devils’ first six games goaltenders Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider have played three times apiece. That’s been mostly due to the Devils’ schedule which has already included two of the team’s league-high 22 sets of back-to-back games. Both goaltenders say they understand the way the schedule is set up and realize that it might stay a 50-50 split for a while longer but they’d also like the chance to eventually start playing more regularly. At this point neither knows who will start the team’s next game Thursday night in Ottawa. “We’ll see” Brodeur said of how the goaltending rotation will work out. “Right now I’m fine with it because I know (the schedule). But later on you’ve got to pinpoint somebody’s going to play more than the other because it’s just the way hockey is. It’s always question marks. In the playoffs how many teams that split two goalies (had success)? You’ve got to go with one guy I believe. “It’s just not the way we’ve been operating and most of the successful teams haven’t either. So there’s definitely a point that it’s going to have to change one way or the other. It’s part of what to expect of the season for me.” Broduer is 41 now and concedes playing fewer games can help him over the long season. Still he has always played better when he has played more often because it’s allowed him to get in a rhythm. “There’s rhyme or reason about my game” Brodeur admitted. “I don’t think I can play enough. That’s the way I feel about it. It’s always easier mentally when you don’t have to think about your performance. You just play. That’s what I like about the game. Because it’s a game it’s fun to play. But when you don’t play a lot for me it makes it a little harder. But I understand sometimes physically it’s tough for me tougher than it was when I was younger and I didn’t understand. But I’m still a goalie that likes to not think about it and not be nervous when I get a shot on the ice. “The schedule early on has been rough for that just to get any kind of momentum.” Schneider on the other hand though younger (27) actually has more experience than Brodeur with not playing as often. After Schneider was declared the No. 1 goaltender last season in Vancouver he played in 30 of the Canucks’ 48 games. That was only one more than Brodeur who missed eight games with a pinched nerve in his upper-back/neck. In an 82-game season Schneider never played more than the 33 he played in 2011-12. “I’m a little more used to it than maybe Marty is but it’s tough either way with the schedule the way we started” Schneider said. “There have been a couple back-to-backs where you’re getting right into it and then there have been a couple times here where we’ve had three four days off. For me it’s all about staying sharp in practice and just being ready when that time comes. “But I think eventually one of us will hopefully get in a rhythm and get a few starts in a row.”
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