Schneider Brings Playoff Experience to Coyotes

Published: April 14th 2010
in News » Local

Mathieu Schneider as a Red Wing

After 20 years in the NHL, 10 different teams and one Stanley Cup ring, Mathieu Schneider shows no signs of slowing down. Tonight, the 40-year old will suit up for the Phoenix Coyotes and take the ice for his 112th playoff game. The veteran defenseman who has scored 10 playoff goals over his impressive career says the playoffs don’t get to him anymore but it’s the day before that scares him."For me, it's always that game day, that first day, it's like anything else after you get a shift or two under your belt then you're into it, but that day leading up to it you just get a little bit of anxiety," Schneider told the Arizona media.


Last season the Coyotes posted 79 points and failed to qualify for the playoffs. This year however, the team has 107 points and holds the fourth seed in the Western conference, one spot behind Schneider’s former team the Vancouver Canucks. Tonight the old pro will face another one of his ex-teams the Detroit Red Wings.  The Red Wings are 2008’s Stanley Cup Champions and made it to the finals last year to defend their title, losing to Sidney Crosby’s Penguins. Schneider however, says Detroit’s recent and current Stanley Cup run is no cause for concern.


“It’s a different time of year, it’s a different intensity and there is not time to rely on the past.” He says the Coyotes will stick to what works for them and rely on the style of play that brought them this far. “I think the key is to play with the most passion, but keep your game within your game, play to your strengths instead of trying to more than your job description is, that's when you get into trouble," he said.


Schneider, who was raised Jewish, grew up in Woonsocket, Rhode Island before being drafted 44th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. With Montreal he earned a full-time roster spot during the 1990-91 season and got a taste of Stanley Cup victory in 1993 when the Habs defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games. Since his stint with the Canadiens, Schneider has been with 10 NHL teams, even returning to Montreal for the end of the 2009 season. Schneider started this season in Vancouver but was sent to the Coyotes on March 3.


According to Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett, having a playoff-tested specialist  like Schneider in Phoenix ads a much needed depth to the roster. "Those veteran guys, they recognize the level of play is going to get higher, they recognize situations that are going to happen," he said. "Any time you can have guys like that around your dressing room, I think it's a positive thing."


See Schneider in action tonight as the Phoenix Coyotes take on the Detroit Red Wings live on TSN, 10:00 p.m. EST.

Related articles: (Mathieu Schneider, hockey, jewish athletes, NHL, coyotes, canucks)

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