Cory Schneider prepared himself for the loud boom of Nationwide Arena's cannon at the start of Saturday's meeting with the Columbus Blue Jackets. But it still shook the Devils' goalie.

So Schneider was determined not to hear it again for the entire game by holding the Blue Jackets scoreless. And he did, with his fourth shutout of the season and second in four games.

"That was the biggest motivation at the end there," Schneider said with a smile.

Forget cannons. They should be blowing trumpets in New Jersey in celebration of what the Devils have seen from Schneider this season.

He is what some organizations, like the Philadelphia Flyers, can't seem to find. He is a goalie who is the foundation for a future Stanley Cup.

In a season that will almost certainly not include the playoffs, Schneider is the best thing to happen to the Devils.

"Oh, yeah. No question. Up to this point, no question about it," Patrik Elias said.

GM Lou Lamoriello, who builds his teams from the goalie on out, did not disagree.

"You can look at it that way," Lamoriello said.

Lamoriello, who would never publicly rate one player above others, made sure to add: "I don't know if you want to look at anything other than he's doing what we'd hoped he would do. He's just been a pillar back there. You can't ask for more than he's done. Even when things weren't going good he never once looked ay anyone. We're lucky."

Words of praise.

Schneider is 11-5-2 with two shutouts, a 1.69 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage in his last 20 appearances.