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Schneider wants to have that ‘playoff feeling’ again

Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 9: Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center on April 9, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Maple Leafs 5-1. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

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The New Jersey Devils are going to miss the playoffs for a fifth straight season, and Cory Schneider isn’t getting any younger.

Schneider, who turns 31 later this month, has been one of the NHL’s best regular-season goalies of the past decade. Yet after backing up Roberto Luongo in Vancouver and then getting traded to New Jersey in the summer of 2013, he only has six career postseason starts to his name.

“I came from very successful years in Vancouver,” Schneider told recently. “The success we had was tough to match. When you’re early in your career, that’s all you expect.”

He added, “That feeling, the playoff feeling, it’s the best feeling there is. I made a commitment here because I felt this team had a good, long-range plan and future and I still believe that. I’m a guy who wants to be part of the solution.”

Schneider is signed through 2021-22, so it’s not like the Devils are in danger of losing him. But with a goalie of his caliber, even though his numbers are down this season, there has to be a real sense of urgency in the organization to right the ship, and right it fairly soon.

Unfortunately, while the past few drafts have added some decent prospects to the system, the Devils do not appear on the verge of a dramatic turnaround. Currently, they’re on a nine-game losing streak. Their most recent defeat came at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, the worst team in the league.

Schneider said he’s had “no indication from anybody that I’m not a part of the solution here,” but if GM Ray Shero were to shop his starter, there would be considerable interest, to say the least.

“That’s a conversation you can have at the end of the year,” said Schneider, who does have a no-trade clause in his contract.