New Jersey Devils: 5 Stupid Narratives You Will Hear This Offseason

Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils are offseason bound, and that usually comes with some hilariously hot takes. Some of them will come from this very website. The internet is a take machine, and some have some validity and trust behind them, while others are mostly emotional takes about a team that’s been a massive disappointment. Bleacher Report literally made up trade offers for the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Donald, and T.J. Watt, who aren’t going anywhere. Sometimes these takes make no sense and the narrative is just a straight overreaction.

The Devils will be surrounded by these narratives all season long. The only player who is probably safe from them is Yegor Sharangovich. It seems like just about everyone is on the young Belarusian forward’s side in every argument. Besides him, if there is a possible Devils take, it is out there somewhere. Between Twitter hashtags, Facebook groups, Youtube videos, and the many hockey blogs out there, there will be some interesting takes.

Takes such as:

Mackenzie Blackwood Isn’t Good Enough

Mackenzie Blackwood wasn’t great this season, but he literally got COVID-19 in the middle of the season, and he said it took a while to get over the symptoms. He literally told everyone why he struggled for most of the season. Still, people are just going to look at his stats and say he isn’t the answer.

This is going to be a prevailing storyline for most of the offseason. While the Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin and the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin were fine in rookie seasons, Tristan Jarry, Blackwood, and Carter Hart only brought doubt for clubs in the Metropolitan Division (at least what the division will be next season). So, when people do season previews for teams in this division, Blackwood’s issues will come up again.

No matter which stats you look at, Blackwood didn’t do too well. He had to work to get his save percentage over .900, finishing with a .902. He had a .921 save percentage in the last four games just to get this. He still finished the season 39th among goalies in save percentage. When it comes to advanced stats, it’s even worse. He ranked 82nd in goals saved above average when comparing every goalie who played a game. When limiting it to goalies who played 500 minutes, he was 52nd.

The numbers look bad, but there are too many excuses to actually take this season seriously. There were no answers about Blackwood’s future we learned this season. It stinks, but we just have to go into next season with hope without overreacting to his numbers. However, many in the national media will look at Blackwood and think the Devils need something better.