Happy New Year Devil Fans! The boys found a way to close out 2018 on a high note after struggling to keep pace with the rest of the Metro division the past month or so. 22-year old rookie goaltender, Mackenzie Blackwood is giving the fan base hope moving into the new year. The kid is starting off his NHL career like an absolute beast. After recording his first NHL win vs Boston, he has recorded back to back shutouts vs Carolina and Vancouver.
With a current shutout streak of 149:03, 1.25 GAA, .963 Sv%, Devils fans are embracing this kid like a veteran.
Obviously this is a small sample size but you can’t just luck your way through back to back shutouts in the NHL. Blackwood doesn’t wow you in any way, at 6’4’’, he plays so positionally sound he doesn’t have to recover from any major mistakes. He is there when he’s called on to make the easy save and tracks his rebounds well. I enjoy watching a goalie that can play this way consistently instead of a guy that Dominik Hasek’s all over the crease.
Good to see John Hynes is going with the hot hand moving forward and riding this wave with Blackwood. With Schneider back on the IR and Kinkaid struggling recently, its nice to get some consistency back there.
Is this the future of the Devils? If so, I really like the way it is beginning.
The Devils are riding a 3 game winning streak, longest since the first week of the season (4 games). Winning all those games without reigning MVP, Taylor Hall (lower body). Good to see the other big pieces of the roster are starting to produce again like Hischier, Zacha and Wood. If all four lines can get back to playing possession hockey in the offensive zone they can find a way to get back in playoff contention.
The Devils will begin 2019 with a four game road trip with some winnable games on the horizon. Looking forward to getting Hall back in the lineup and start closing the gap in the standings.
Happy New Year everyone, enjoy the Winter Classic!