New Jersey Devils: 3 Goalies That Give Us Hope With Mackenzie Blackwood

New Jersey Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood (29): Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood (29): Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Goalie Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Thatcher Demko

This one makes a lot of sense because of the time in which Thatcher Demko was “bad” and his ability to immediately bounce back into one of the better netminders in the league. This is the ideal future for Blackwood. In Devils fans’ minds, if they can get a Demko-type performance in net, they will be contenders in no time.

However, in the 2019-20 season, Demko had some serious question marks. He had an amazing first stint with the Canucks in 2019. He had a .913 save percentage in his first nine games. Then, when he was given the true backup job the next season, he had a .905 save percentage in 27 games. Obviously, this wasn’t the dropoff we’ve seen with Blackwood, but many thought that Demko was showing more cracks in his armor.

He immediately jumped back into elite status when he took the starting role the next season. He’s had a .915 save percentage for two seasons in a row. He had the second-best goals saved above average according to Natural Stat Trick in the entire league. Blackwood was eighth-worst in the league this past season. Two seasons ago, Demko was the 13th worst in the league.

This just shows it can turn around quickly. Demko is just a little older than Blackwood, so the age range is about right. They both deal with similar issues (defensive miscues, a high-speed offense), but Demko has proven himself in these systems. Blackwood could if the Devils decide against moving on.