From the desks of:
NO SLEEP TILL BELMONT and THE BRICK CITY STYX
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
The Islanders quit on Doug Weight some time ago evidenced by their 12-21-6 record since New Year's day, and their 3-8-3 record in March. This from a team that for most of the season ranked among the top five scoring teams in hockey. Now officially eliminated from playoff contention, they have little left worth skating for outside of playing the role of spoiler. But that makes them a dangerous opponent, and Newark knows it well.
With only five games left in their regular season, the Devils need every point they can get. Ninth place Florida is hot on their tail, just three points behind but with six games left to play. That puts New Jersey in a bind.
For the moment, John Hynes continues demonstrating confidence in goalie Keith Kinkaid, electing to stay with the hot hand rather than handing duties back over to Cory Schneider, and for good reason. Schneider is 0-4 since returning to action on March 1. Upon Schneider's return, Coach Hynes initially started Cory and Keith every other game. But after three starts, Schneider went 0-3 with an .887 save percentage. He made one other start on March 20 (a 6-2 loss against San Jose), but none since.
The two goalies are almost even in starts now. Outside of actual wins and losses, there's not much that distinguishes one from the other:
- Cory Schneider - 39 games, 17-15-6 record, 2.88 GAA, .909 save percentage.
- Keith Kinkaid - 37 games, 22-10-3 record, 2.89 GAA, .910 save percentage.
Although Kinkaid was victimized by Sidney Crosby's abrupt game winning base hit in overtime this past Thursday against the Penguins, he is 7-3-1 in March with a .925 save percentage, not to mention the role he played in huge victories over Nashville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Tampa.