Martin Brodeur: Cory Schneider No. 1

Cory Schneider is scheduled to make his third straight start Thursday when the New Jersey Devils host the Vancouver Canucks, which begs the question: Has the NHL's all-time winningest goaltender become the backup?

The answer is yes if you ask Martin Brodeur.

"I think so. I think he's in the net now to stay," Brodeur said Wednesday, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. "I don't see that's going to change any time soon. I'll be ready if it does. We have to try and win some games somehow.

"This is what [coach Pete DeBoer] feels is the best opportunity to be successful, having him in the net. That's fine. If we win, everybody is happy. Even though I don't play, it's more enjoyable to be around."

Schneider has a 2.21 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and was in net for the Devils' only win of the season. Brodeur has a 3.40 GAA and a .865 save percentage in four games.

While New Jersey is in desperate need of wins, the fact that the Devils are facing Schneider's old team seems to have been a contributing factor in DeBoer's decision to start the 27-year-old.

"It's Vancouver. I'm sure if it was a different team it could have been different, but I don't know that for sure, either. That's a question you have to ask the man who makes the decisions," Brodeur told The Star-Ledger.

"There are a lot of factors that go into the decision. That's the decision," the coach answered when asked.

No stranger to being part of goaltending drama, Schneider seems to be getting along well with Brodeur, who was quick to deny that his affable attitude toward the situation means he's losing his desire to play.

"I haven't changed. I want to play every game. It's not fun to sit," Brodeur said, according to the paper. "The body feels good. That's about it. It's hard when you're used to being the guy that is counted on to play and all of a sudden you're not asked to. It makes it a little hard, but it's part of the process of getting older.

"Over the last three years I haven't played as many games, either. It's somewhat of a transition, but definitely it's not fun. You don't play hockey, especially at the age I am, to just sit on the bench and hang out. It was fun [in practice] today, though. I had a blast. But ask me that in two months. I don't know if I'll say the same thing."