New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider looked like he had a great shot to make the US Hockey team when favorites Jonathan Quick and Jimmy Howard both fought injuries this season. Quick has yet to come back from a groin injury for the Los Angeles Kings. Howard just recently came back from a knee injury.
Ryan Miller also made the team, but he was an obvious choice after his performance in Vancouver four years ago, along with his attempt to make the Buffalo Sabres a respectable team.
Schneider could be argued that he should have made the team according to his career. His career save percentage of .926 is better than both Quick and Howard. Even this season he has the better stats, with a 2.13 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
USA decided to take a chance with two injured players. If they get injured prior to the games, then they can be replaced, but if they just return and play badly, they are stuck with them.
The secret on Quick is that he hasn’t been dominant since he won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. He had 10 shutouts in 69 games in 2011-12, but in two seasons since he only has a total of two. His save percentage is 26 points lower in the past two seasons. Even worse, the two players that have replaced him–Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones–have played like the best two goalies in the league.
The problem with Howard is how he would play with the knee injury. He was already having a lackluster season prior to the injury.
Ben Bishop could have also been considered for the job, but his lack of experience made him fall behind with a deep crop of goalies. He could have a chance down the line, but for now he will have to watch on TV.
This will be the first time since 1998 that there were no Devils on the Olympic team. Everyone remembers Zach Parise’s performance in the last games. He’s now a part of the Minnesota Wild. Schneider has a slim chance of still making the roster since he was apparently the final cut in the minds of the selection committee, but that would have to come with an injury to one of the top three. If that is not the case he will have to use this snub as motivation in the future.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NBA, MLB and NFL content You can follow him on Twitter here.