BOSTON — Cory Schneider is no stranger to TD Garden.
The Marblehead, Mass., native played at the Garden several times during his three years at Boston College from 2004-05 through 2006-07 and attended games as a fan of the Bruins growing up.
He will start for the New Jersey Devils against the B’s on Monday night, and a lot of people in the crowd will be cheering for him.
“I got a lot of people coming,” Schneider said after New Jersey’s morning skate.
“A lot of friends and family. I live here in the offseason, so obviously I know the city pretty well. I played here a lot in college, Beanpot and Hockey East tournament, so it’s a fun building with a lot of good memories.”
Despite making his NHL debut during the 2008-09 campaign, Schneider has only made one regular-season start against the Bruins at TD Garden. That was the exhilarating Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks On Jan. 7, 2012. The Canucks won 4-3, and B’s forwards Milan Lucic (leaving the bench) and Brad Marchand (clipping) were both ejected.
“This is only my second regular season game in Boston,” Schneider said. “It’s crazy, I’ve been in the league five or six years, and this is only my second regular-season game. It’s still a pretty new experience for me.”
“It’s great. It’s a unique experience, it’s a unique city. It’s something I haven’t thought a whole lot about because I’ve always (played) elsewhere. To come back, it’s fun to come home. It’s a close community.”
As a Hockey East alum, Schneider is happy that the conference has so many great players this season, several of whom — including Jack Eichel of Boston University and Noah Hanifin of Boston College — are expected to be selected in the top five of the 2015 NHL draft.
“I remember back around my draft time, there was (Jonathan) Toews and (Phil) Kessel going high, and Erik Johnson,” Schneider said. “Guys who were real good players towards the top of the draft. There’s been a bit of a lull in terms of those kinds of players. But it seems this year there are going to be some good ones.
“It’s great for college hockey to get that kind of exposure.”
Photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images