Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will face off with New Jersey Devils netminder Cory Schneider tonight at the Prudential Center.
Despite the various struggles the Tampa Bay Lightning has endured over the course of the past few weeks, there has been one thing that has remained consistent. The Tampa Bay Lightning has continued to win games. Tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning charge into the Prudential Center in Newark to go head-to-head with captain Andy Greene and the New Jersey Devils.
Judging by what we have seen so far, whether you bleed blue like the Tampa Bay Lightning fans here in the Bolts Nation or you bleed red and white for the New Jersey Devils, tonight is going to be one heck of a game. Both the Lightning and the Devils are battling it out for position in the Eastern Conference.
The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to wrestle away the first place spot from their in-state rivals, the Florida Panthers, in the Atlantic Division. At the same time, the New Jersey Devils are fighting tooth and nail for the final Wild Card spot in the East. No matter which team comes home with the victory tonight, it is going to shake up the current state of their respective divisions and the Eastern Conference.
As we have said a million times before, when it comes to keeping the puck out of the net, the goaltender is a team’s very last line of defense. In other words, they are the only thing between their opponent and the back of the net. Tonight, as these two Eastern Conference teams make their way out to the ice at the Prudential Center, it will be Lightning netminder Ben Bishop protecting the pipes for the Bolts. On the other side of the ice, it will be Devils netminder Cory Schneider.
While we wait for puck drop, let’s take a closer look at these two goaltenders and get an idea what kind of game we are in store for tonight.
[table id=18 /]
As you can tell, Schneider has quite a few more games under his belt this season, but this isn’t exactly doing him any favors. When you look at Cory Schneider and Ben Bishop side by side, their records look very similar. Unfortunately for the Devils, there is one thing that is going to have quite an impact on Schneider’s game.
As we mentioned before, the New Jersey Devils were essentially destroyed by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Well, it was Schneider who faced just 11 shots before he was pulled in lieu of backup netminder Keith Kinkaid. Why, you may ask? Well…it probably had something to do with the fact that he allowed three goals on those 11 shots. Definitely not the kind of performance you want to write home about.
At the same time, a loss like this one can make someone hungrier than ever to prove what they can do for their team. There are only two ways something like this can go. Either he will let his frustration get the best of him and this will be a good night for the Tampa Bay Lightning, or he will channel that frustration and the Lightning are going to have to work for each and every goal they get.
The puck is scheduled to drop in just about an hour. How do you think these two goaltenders will fare against each other tonight in Newark? Let us know what you think in the comments below.