With opening night officially coming to a close, the New Jersey Devils and the Winnipeg Jets were both very loose offensively, defensively and goaltending was okay on both ends. For a little while, the Devils were leading 4 to 1 against Winnipeg and the wheels slowly came off once Cory Schneider was pulled after the second goal.
Both the Devils and Jets were exchanging hit for hit as if it were a playoff game. What really happened was MacKenzie Blackwood came in and tried to settle in, but the Jets, after losing to the Rangers the night before, tied it up in the final period. There were times in the third period where Miles Wood could’ve gotten the game winning goal, but the crossbar decided to deny Wood a clutch goal.
Overtime provided very many chances for guys like P.K. Subban, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall to cash in net. However, it seemed guys like Hughes’ shooting was a bit off where the crosshairs should have been. Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier tried coming up being heroic, but they tried too hard.
Nikita Gusev did start off the shootout very strong with a goal. However, after a few saves by Mackenzie Blackwood, that was matched and exceeded by Winnipeg’s goalie Laurent Brossoit which helped Winnipeg win in a shootout.
Going forward, with Cory Schneider likely out in Buffalo as well as a start this early on in the season, it appears Blackwood is the starter in net against the Sabres. It appears that is will be either Gilles Senn or Evan Cormier. They are likely going to be getting the call if Cory Schneider can’t make the road trip. It’ll be a three hour trip West for either of the goalies.
This does lead into a silver lining after this game. Cory Schneider has been injury prone lately in his career. Blackwood is the starter for the Devils at this point going forward. Having either Senn or Cormier on the bench will learn with Blackwood on adjusting to an NHL defence and dealing with faster and more skilled players. It’s a long season and I see GM Ray Shero making moves to improve the left-handed defence corps and picking up a goalie that would fit in the AHL to add depth and more potential.