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New Jersey Devils Goalies Continue To Shine In Pre-Season Action

New Jersey Devils Goalies

After coming off of a win last night against the Montreal Canadiens, a specific trend carried over into the next night. For the second night in a row, the New Jersey Devils goalies have looked really good. That feels good to say if you are a Devils fan. Last night was all about Mackenzie Blackwood, and tonight was about summer acquisition Vitek Vanecek.

New Jersey Devils Goalies Look Good Early

For the second night in a row, the New Jersey Devils goalies stood out. Even though it is only pre-season, it is a good sign for the team. After going through the most goalie used last season, stability appears to be in the crease thus far. Both starting goaltenders started the two games, however, the backups got a chance as well. The backups got time in the crease and displayed their potential. But these last two games were about the starters. For the first time since last season, there is optimism early on in regard to goaltending.

Vitek Vanecek Performance

Vanecek was near perfect in his first game with the Devils sweater on. He finished with a 1.50 goals against average and a .929 save percentage. Vanecek was one of the better goalies at even strength last year in terms of save percentage and displayed that last night. He was perfect in the high-danger area, which is an area he hopes to improve on.

The majority of the chances came from the medium danger area of the ice. Credit to the Devils’ defence for keeping them away from the high dangers of the ice. That trend carried on the remainder of the way. The lone goal he allowed came from that area and was a perfectly placed shot. Vanecek would only play the first two periods but showed brilliance during his time in net.

Optimism Surrounding The Goaltending

Not only was the Devil’s defence playing well and only allowing five shots in the high-danger area, but the goaltenders also answered the bell. Both goalies looked sharp in the net and showed confidence in their game compared to last year. It is only pre-season, but the New Jersey Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek left a strong impression. Between that and the solid performance from Blackwood, last night should leave a good feeling amongst the fan base.

That is not all, though. Aside from the starters, the backups have looked good in their time in the net. The sample size is small, given it was one period of hockey, but Nico Daws and Akira Schmid looked poised and confident in their time in the crease. Both got a large portion of the workload last season and are looking to elevate their games this season.

Other Trends

As it turned out last season, the Devils were a good team at even strength. Despite being a basement team, the Devils finished 15th in the league in Corsi For Percentage and finished 10th in goals for at even strength. A trend that has shown in the last two games. In the second game against the New York Islanders, the team had the better possession at even strength finishing with a 52.86 CF%. Despite getting outplayed the last two periods, they were still the better team in that aspect. Against the Montreal Canadiens, they dominated at even strength and outperformed them in every period. The Devils would finish that game with a 64.79 CF%.

It’s early, but establishing good goaltending and remaining a good even-strength team is positive.


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