Hockey Day in America and the National Hockey League celebrated with a day full
of great action. In addition to our Monday morning staple, the “Week in Review,”
we will take a look at a big game in New Jersey.
Steals the Show
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been one of the better stories of the 2019-20 season. After dealing with a mass exodus of free agents during offseason and many key injuries since opening night, they are right in the middle of the playoff race.
their road to the Stanley Cup playoffs has gotten a little rockier with their
recent 0-3-2 stretch. They lost their fifth in a row on Sunday thanks to the efforts
of New Jersey Devils’ netminder Mackenzie Blackwood.
The Devils, who traded away captain Andy Green and forward Blake Coleman before the game, gutted out a 4-3 shootout win thanks to Blackwood’s gallant effort. After making 52 saves in regulation and overtime, he stopped six of the seven shots he faced in the shootout.
team has no quit, no matter what the score is,” Blackwood
said on Sunday. “We’re going to keep playing, so as long as we kind of find
a way to settle things down, we know we’ll be alright and keep playing.”
The 52 saves were a new career-high for Blackwood and they were the third-highest single-game total in franchise history. William McKenzie made 53 saves on Jan. 1, 1978 and Bill Oleschuk holds the record with his 54 saves on Jan. 17, 1978. Both of those performances came when the franchise was still the Colorado Rockies.
Week in Review
written so much about Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy lately
that we should rename this column “THW’s What Andrei Vasilevskiy Did Last
Night.” He had another huge week as he continues to prove that he is the best
goaltender in the league.
his week with a 35-save effort to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime on
Tuesday night. He allowed just one goal on 30 shots against the Edmonton Oilers
on Thursday. On Saturday, he had a rare slip up by allowing three goals to the
Philadelphia Flyers, but still picked up his league-leading 32nd win
on the season.
He finished the week with a 1.64 goals-against average (GAA) and .949 save percentage (SV%). Vasilevskiy has not lost in regulation since he was defeated by the Washington Capitals on Dec. 14.
Vezina Trophy winner wasn’t the only goaltender to pick up three wins last
week. Carter Hutton guided the Buffalo Sabres to victories over the Detroit Red
Wings, Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs.
game of the week came on Thursday night when he made 28 saves in a 3-2 overtime
victory over the Blue Jackets. His week ended with a 2.30 GAA and .915 SV%.
of the season, it appeared that the New Islanders were a lock for the Stanley
Cup playoffs. However, they have slipped to third place in the Metropolitan Division
and are in a dogfight for a postseason berth.
Thomas Greiss had been having a pretty good season until he missed some time due to injury. After making 40 saves against the New York Rangers on Jan. 21, Greiss was placed in injured reserved with a lower-body injury and has struggled since getting back on the ice.
In his four
games since returning on Feb. 1, he has allowed 13 goals on 86 shots for a 4.03
GAA and .849 SV%. His low point came this past Thursday when he was pulled
midway through the first period after giving up three goals on just eight shots
against the Nashville Predators.
not gone as planned for the Predators this season. They entered the season as
one of the favorites in the Central Division, but if the Stanley Cup playoffs
started today, they would not be in them. The firing of head coach Peter
Laviolette and replacing him with John Hynes has not provided the spark they
wanted as the Predators have gone 8-7-0 since the move was made.
One of the
biggest reasons for the team’s struggles this season has been the play of their
goaltenders. Pekka Rinne, just two years removed from winning the Vezina Trophy,
is having the worst season of his career with a 3.11 GAA and .895 SV%.
While backup Juuse Saros’ numbers have not been great, they have been better than Rinne’s. He had himself a nice week by appearing in three games and winning both of his starts.
After relieving Rinne in Vancouver on Monday, he had a 31-save shutout on Thursday night against the Islanders. He followed that up with a 23-save performance in 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. His week concluded with a 1.89 GAA and .931 SV%.
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The post THW’s Goalie News: Blackwood Shines & Week in Review appeared first on The Hockey Writers.