The New Jersey Devils have been running with Nico Daws in net for the better part of three months now. However, it would be best if he spends some time with the Utica Comets to help them push for a championship.
The New Jersey Devils have been in a bad way when it comes to the goaltending position for a long time. All season, they’ve been dealing with an injured Mackenzie Blackwood. He hurt his heel in the preseason. Jonathan Bernier hurt his hip pretty early in the season, and we haven’t seen him start a game since December. Nico Daws has been with the Devils basically full time since the start of February. He’s been their best option since Jon Gillies and Andrew Hammond are unplayable sometimes.
Daws is needed in New Jersey for now. However, the Devils are playing four goalies in practice at this point. Daws is joined by Hammond, Gillies, and Blackwood. Once Blackwood is ready to play in NHL games, the Devils should immediately send Daws back to Utica to get ready for the playoffs.
The Devils only have six games remaining in the season. If Blackwood could play two games, Gillies play one, and Hammond play the other three, then they can survive without Daws. Meanwhile, the Comets are trying to survive without him.
At one point, Akira Schmid was the best goalie in the AHL. His save percentage was once in the .940s. Now, it’s .914, and he’s ranked 14th in the league in save percentage. The Comets were lifted by goaltending, but the issue on the main club has forced the Comets to lean on players who aren’t ready for that kind of workload. The Devils have been forced to play Marke Mitens despite his .888 save percentage.
Daws still has a .918 save percentage in the AHL. That leads the team, and it would rank in the top ten in the league. He’s only lost five of his 17 games in the minor leagues this season. He is the best option for the Devils in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
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Daws is going to be in good shape to make the Comets better. They are losing games despite giving up less than 20 shots because their goalies are exhausted. Daws can go to the AHL and give the Devils organization a shot at a championship. They should do it sooner rather than later.