It was going to happen sooner or later. Cory Schneider was going to assume the role as the Devils’ No. 1 goalie taking the baton from Martin Brodeur and getting a run of starts.

Clearly it’s happening sooner rather than later. Schneider will make his third straight start in goal Thursday night when the Devils host the Vancouver Canucks at Prudential Center and Brodeur acknowledged it as the changing of the guard.

“I think so. I think he’s in the net now to stay” Brodeur said today. “I don’t see that’s going to change any time soon. I’ll be ready if it does. We have to try and win some games somehow.

“This is what (coach Pete DeBoer) feels is the best opportunity to be successful having him in the net. That’s fine. If we win everybody is happy. Even though I don’t play it’s more enjoyable to be around.”

Brodeur is making it easy on his coach by being as professional as a backup as he’s been as the Devils’ automatic No. 1 for 20 years.

Nevertheless imagine you are the coach that tells the winningest goalie of all time that times have changed.

“It's never easy. We've got two very good goalies at different points in their careers. One is the greatest goalie of all time and the other guy is a legitimate starter in this league. That situation is never easy" DeBoer said.

“I think both guys have handled it very professionally so far. It hasn't been an issue. (Schneider) has had experience with that in Vancouver (alongside Roberto Luongo). I think that's helped him. On the flip side Marty has been outstanding in his handling of it so far. You always worry about the mental state of guys that aren't playing. The good news is we've got two top-flight professionals who are better people even than they are players. That helps."