5 Things That Must Happen For New Jersey Devils To Win Stanley Cup

New Jersey Devils watch a Stanley Cup Champions banner (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils watch a Stanley Cup Champions banner (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29): (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. A Dominant Goaltending Duo

First and foremost, the New Jersey Devils need their two goalies to dominate. This is the most likely thing to happen on the list, but also the most important. For the Devils to win the Stanley Cup, they need Mackenzie Blackwood and Corey Crawford to carry them there.

Take both their stats, and this is the type of duo who can carry a team to the promised land with great talent around them. Crawford is a two-time Stanley Cup winner, and was one of the so-called “Black Aces” for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 (basically, an emergency call up that travels with the team). He knows what it takes to be the goalie for a Stanley Cup winner.

Last season, Blackwood went 22-14-8 behind a putrid defense and a mess of a team overall. He stopped 91.5% of the shots against him. He got hot as every towards the end of the season. Blackwood absolutely has to avoid the bad stretches he had last season. He was awful in the beginning, putting up a .871 save percentage in October when the Devils season went off the rails. This cannot happen.

Crawford needs to stay healthy. He hasn’t played more than 40 games in three seasons. Now, with a 56-game season and being the 1B of this tandem, the Devils don’t need him to play more than 28 games, but he HAS to be there for those 28 games. If the Devils eventually have to go to Scott Wedgewood, things clearly went wrong.

The Devils know how important having two great goalies is. The team hasn’t been able to trust two goalies since Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg in 2011-12. Even when Cory Schneider first came, Brodeur was on his last leg. Having Crawford and Blackwood gives them the most confident duo in a long time.