New Jersey Devils: 5 Things We Learned About This Roster In 2020-21

Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29): (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

There Are Still Questions In Net

Going into training camp, the Devils had one of the best goaltender duos in the league. Mackenzie Blackwood was leaning on stardom last season, and if he was on a better team he might be there. To help take some of the workload off of him, Tom Fitzgerald signed former Stanley Cup Champion Corey Crawford. It was a very smart decision at the time and it gave the Devils a chance to win on a nightly basis.

Then, Crawford surprisingly retired. He left close to $8 million on the table to go home. Things just didn’t fit for him, and he decided that if he didn’t play in Chicago, he didn’t want to play anywhere. That left the Devils with just Scott Wedgewood, Gilles Senn, and Evan Cormier behind Blackwood.

The Devils eventually signed Jeremy Brodeur because they were required to have five goalies on the roster. Having to have a goalie on the taxi squad really put the Devils in a bind. The team eventually put in claims for both Eric Comrie and Aaron Dell so they would have some depth at the goalie position, but both of them are nowhere near as good as Crawford.

Then, there’s the season Blackwood put up. There were times where Blackwood looked elite, but there were other times where he looked below average. He said that his COVID diagnosis really put a damper on this season, but even when he was fully healthy he was inconsistent.

It’s clear the Devils are going to shoot for another goalie in free agency (or trade, but that’s much less likely). A 1A-1B situation is probably best for the time being. Blackwood has the skill to be a workhorse goalie, but it’s probably not in the Devils best interest to make that the only option. Get someone who can help him solidify the net like Crawford was supposed to.