Cory Schneider gets surprise start against his former team

New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers
New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

As the New York Islanders took to the ice for their Sunday afternoon game against the New Jersey Devils, a relatively unfamiliar face (for the Isles) was between the pipes for the blue and orange. Cory Schneider, not Semyon Varlamov got the start for the ISles.

With Ilya Sorokin still dealing with a day-to-day issue, Schneider was still up with the big club. But with a single-day break since the last game for the Isles, you could be forgiven if you thought the Isles would start Varlamov (I thought they would).

New York Islanders surprisingly stat Cory Schneider

After all, over Varly's last five starts he's gone 4-1-0 with a 2.20GAA and 0.936SV%. But after playing back-to-back games and with the team heading to Dallas for Tuesday, it's clear the Isles wanted to give Varlamov a rest.

So they had Varly sit on the backups stool as they faced the struggling Devils and put Schneider between the posts. A spot Schenider hasn't taken up since March 6, 2020. Schneider hasn't played an NHL game for two full years.

While he hasn't clearly played in the Show for a while, he's been good at the AHL level. Over the 2021-22 season, Schneider holds a 10-10-3 record while averaging a 2.68GAA and a 0.921SV%. Over his last five games with the Bridgeport Islanders, he's stopped 165 shots of the 172 he's faced for a 3-1-1 record with an average 1.40GAA and a 0.959SV%.

The Islanders obviously feel confident enough in Schneider's abilities now to run him out there. Something they have shied away from since they signed him last season. He'll get the chance to prove them right against his former club, a club that isn't exactly having a tough time scoring goals (17th overall in goals-for to the Islanders 25th.

This is a big test of the Islanders short-term goalie depth. Through the final month of the season, the Islanders have four back-to-backs on the schedule. If Sorokin takes longer to get healthy, we might see more of Cory Schneider if today goes well.