The back of Cory Schneider’s goalie mask is gloriously nerdy. At first glance, the airbrushed phrase “None Shall Pass” just seems like a good slogan for a guy whose job involves stopping pucks all day, but the three words are actually a tribute to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the classic comedy featuring the legendary British troupe.
“My dad loved that movie so I used to watch it as a kid,” Schneider said. “It resonated with me and it’s something my dad and I like to joke about.”
Specifically, the line is uttered by the Black Knight, a warrior of hilariously delusional power who is cut down by King Arthur in quick order, but refuses to concede the fight. Even when he is morbidly reduced to a stump of a man, he is still unwilling to admit he lost.
It’s tough to make a parallel with Schneider’s career, which has been quite successful so far. Getting traded to New Jersey from Vancouver at the 2013 draft was the shock of the day and gave the Devils a nice succession plan for the inevitable retirement of the franchise’s most famous player, Martin Brodeur. Schneider loves playing alongside the legend and is happy to be in Newark.
“It’s been a good experience so far,” he said. “The organization has done everything they can to help get me used to the routine and get me assimilated quickly. I’m getting comfortable. It’s a structured, disciplined style of hockey so it’s great to play behind.”
Plus, the New England native is reaping the off-ice benefits of being back in the Eastern time zone.
“It’s great to be closer to home,” Schneider said. “A lot more family and friends come to see me. I miss the lifestyle on the West Coast and Vancouver is a great city, but I’m really enjoying being near New York.”
While his stats have been solid, Schneider hasn’t gotten the wins you would expect from a netminder with a 2.19 goals-against average, earning just one victory in eight appearances. But a lot of that has to do with New Jersey’s lack of firepower in front of him. The young American has a good shot at landing a spot on Team USA’s Olympic team and as for the team’s struggles early on, Tis but a scratch as the Black Knight would say; the Devils aren’t far off a wild card spot in the East.