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NHL Rumours: New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders

Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! The league has a lot going on and some of it not so good. Corey Perry has had his contract terminated and the Minnesota Wild have fired their coach. However, there is other intriguing buzz surrounding teams looking to improve their respective clubs. Todays rumours focus on the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

NHL Rumours

New Jersey Devils

Rumour: Elliote Friedman on TJMS discusses the Devils goaltending position

If there was any team that could benefit from good goaltending, it is the New Jersey Devils. Even though they were without Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes for a period of time, goaltending has become the downfall. Tom Fitzgerald has put a good team together and the talent is in plenty. After the historic season last year, there was room for optimism surrounding the goaltending. However, it did not come without questions or concerns.

All summer long there were questions surrounding the Devils goaltending. Fitzgerald even poked around Connor Hellebuyck, who signed a long term extension to remain in Winnipeg. Friedman says that they have been poking around but both are imminent. New Jersey poking around makes sense and for good reason.

As it currently stands, New Jersey is outside looking in for the playoffs. It is still early in the season but a lot of their losses stem from poor goaltending. Both Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid have been underwhelming this season.

Vanecek has been the most underwhelming and after a sluggish playoff series, it has looked much the same. He has a 3.49 goals against average and a .879 save percentage. Against the Islanders last night, he allowed four goals even though the Islanders generated 2.03 expected goals. His goals saved above expected is at the bottom among goalies. Schmid has been better but not much better.

Schmid has a 3.24 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Bottom line is the Devils need better goaltending but what the solution is remains a mystery. This team has too much talent and is capable of contending but with that goaltending it could derail the season.

New York Islanders

Rumour: Kevin Weekes says the Islanders are a team in on Nikita Zadorov

The next of our NHL Rumours stays within the division. Lou Lamoriello is looking to improve the roster when it comes to goal scoring. It makes sense, as the Islanders lack a power punch up front. They sit 29th in average goals per game with 2.69. Anders Lee has had a slow start to the season and if he elevates his play that’ll be a huge boost in that regard. One area they are looking to improve is defensively and there is one player in mind.

There are other teams interested in Nikita Zadorov, including the Devils. However, they won’t look to make a major splash until they work things out and improve their level of play. As for the Islanders, they’ve circled around him and placed him on the radar. New York sits 18th in goals against and averages 3.10 goals against per game. For a team and a manager that prides itself on strong defensive play, it has not been nearly good enough.

Zadorov is a big body and a physical presence. His level of play defensively would be a big boost to the Islanders. After giving up three goals in a comeback loss to the Devils last night, circling further around Zadorov may pick up more.

Main Photo: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports


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