The New Jersey Devils had a solid week and it is mostly thanks to the play of MacKenziqe Blackwood in goal. He was brilliant.
The New Jersey Devils have played well over the past few games. They have not given up a goal in six and a half periods worth of play. They shutout the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night and the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. So the last goal they gave up was to Christian Folin of the Montreal Canadiens at 9:35 of the third period in that game.
It is large in part due to the play of MacKenzie Blackwood. He has now recorded two shutouts in a row. It has been a very good stretch for the Devils’ netminder. He earned the start against the Kings with bow good he played against the Flyers. He made 83 saves on 83 shots in those two games to lead the Devils to victory.
The team has also been good enough around him to make sure he earns those shutouts. Obviously, to get a shutout you need a few bounces to go your way. With that said, the Devils did a pretty good job of keeping the shots on goal from the perimeter while keeping the high danger chances against to a minimum.
The Devils have always needed good goaltending to have any sort of success this season. They didn’t get it for the longest time. Now they are starting to get it but it is much too late. The Devils are way too far away from the playoff picture to have any sort of realistic chance, but watching them play well down the stretch would be nice. They need Blackwood going forward so as long as he continues to grow as a goaltender, the team will start to see more results.
Blackwood and the Devils are back at home on Tuesday night when the Florida Panthers come to town. Florida is right in the thick of a playoff race right now so they Devils can plan to see their best. Florida is not as good defensively as some of the other playoff-bound teams so this might be a game with a lot of good chances on both sides. Blackwood will definitely need to be on his game in this one to have a chance to win.