Cory Schneider made a truly remarkable save last night as his New Jersey Devils dropped a 2-1 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the shootout. The hockey world will be buzzing after some spectacular individual efforts on goals to be sure (see Phil Kessel’s absolutely awe inspiring tally) but the play of the night was likely Schneider’s save, which came on a 3-on-1 in overtime.
Those aren’t some fourth-line grinders out there making a pretty passing play. Those are three of Toronto’s top players in Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Dion Phaneuf.
Talk about getting left alone out on an island.
The Leafs come in with good distance between them and form a triangle, making the play nearly impossible to defend. The defenseman’s job in odd-man situations is to guard against the pass while the goalie takes the shot, but it’s pretty tough to protect against two different passing options simultaneously.
Kessel ends up with what appears to be the game-winning goal on his stick, but Schneider somehow manages to get his pad down and across in time to stuff the attempt. While the Devils eventually lost the contest in a shootout, this was a spectacular save that preserved the game when it clearly could have been ended by Kessel.