Question 2: Can Vitek Vanecek Devils Through A Series?
Vitek Vanecek was the right man for the job. The Devils needed a goalie desperately after the season they suffered through in 2021-22. Seven goalies trotted themselves out for the Devils last season, and none of them played well. This offseason, Tom Fitzgerald traded for Vanecek, and he gave Mackenzie Blackwood one last chance. Vanecek stole the net, and he’s the man going into the playoffs.
He’s played in the playoffs before, which is more than Blackwood can say. However, Vanecek had a few rough starts when it mattered most. He has three starts but just 112 minutes of ice time. That means he was pulled from two of those three starts. His postseason save percentage is .855. That’s obviously terrible.
Vanecek has never been in this position. He’s always been behind Ilya Samsonov when he played in Washington. This time, he’s THE guy. He has to be great. Who knows if that will help him or put more pressure on him, but it will definitely be different.
Some might have issues with Vanecek’s workload. He’s never played this many games in his career. Will he burn out in the playoffs? We just need to see it. Once Vanecek puts together a great playoff performance, Devils fans will breathe easier.