A year ago, a goalie matchup between Mike Smith and Cory Schneider would have been a rare occurrence in the NHL.

Last season Smith was still a backup, sitting on the end of Tampa Bay's bench. He only appeared in roughly a quarter of the Lightning's games, having difficulty shedding his reputation as a bonafide No.2.

Schneider was and still is an understudy, second in command with the Vancouver Canucks to Roberto Luongo. He was always steady last year, going 16-4-2 when he stepped in, but Schneider really started to emerge as an elite goalie with a solid relief effort in the playoffs.