NEWARK — The Devils appeared to be a franchise on the rise after a surprising playoff berth last season. But except for the glimpse of hope offered by the young goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, 2018-19 quickly devolved into a lost season.
As they head into their bye week and the All-Star break, the Devils (18-23-7) have a league-low 43 points and their five road victories are the fewest in the league. On Friday, the veteran Drew Stafford led a players-only meeting.
Injuries have taken their toll. The reigning most valuable player Taylor Hall has missed the last 13 games with a lower-body injury and will not play in the All-Star Game as a result. The absence of his playmaking ability has been felt.
“I think everybody in this room and in this organization has expected more this year,” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “We have not been nearly good enough this first half of the season, and it’s definitely been a disappointment.”
Inferior goaltending has been a significant reason the Devils have regressed in the standings. Entering this week, they ranked 29th out of 31 teams in overall save percentage (.892). It has put the franchise in unfamiliar territory, trying to solidify the same position once held for more than two decades by the Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.
“Our goaltending hasn’t been, over all, what we needed it to be throughout the season,” Devils Coach John Hynes said.
Blackwood, 22, though, has already shown No. 1 goalie potential, even if he has experienced some growing pains of late.
“It’s been surreal,” said Blackwood, who has been living at an extended-stay hotel 15 minutes from Prudential Center. “But now, the challenge is to stay consistent. That’s what separates the good goalies from the bad. Can you do it every day, or are you just a flash in the pan?”
Blackwood began the season fourth on the organizational depth chart behind Keith Kinkaid, Cory Schneider and Eddie Lack. But injuries to Lack (season-ending hip surgery) and Schneider (abdominal strain) paved the way for Blackwood’s promotion on Dec. 17. And Kinkaid’s struggles enabled Blackwood to make his N.H.L. debut in relief a day later.
Blackwood proceeded to go on a tear from there, making 36 saves in his first career start on Dec. 20 and then 40 saves in his first career win on Dec. 27. And on Dec. 29 and 31, Blackwood became the first rookie goaltender in franchise history to record back-to-back shutouts.
But he was forced to exit the Jan. 4 game because of a lower-body injury and has not been as dominant since returning to action, allowing 13 goals over his last four starts. Still, Blackwood’s .924 save percentage is a significant upgrade when compared with the team’s other netminders.
Schneider, formerly a model of consistency, has not won a regular-season game since Dec. 27, 2017. Plagued by injuries, his confidence has been shaken. He is still owed million over the next three seasons. Kinkaid, meanwhile, has performed more like a backup than the starter that carried the team into the postseason. He will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Devils General Manager Ray Shero, who has some tough decisions to make at what he refers to as a “hard and volatile position,” is impressed with Blackwood’s early success, but not surprised by it.
“It’s not like we picked him up off a street corner,” Shero said of the 2015 second-round pick.
Yet it was only a year ago that Blackwood had been demoted from American Hockey League to the ECHL, his future with the organization at a crossroads. But he managed to salvage his 2017-18 season, setting the stage for a return to the A.H.L., where he excelled before his promotion last month.
“You realize things are never as bad as they seem,” Blackwood said of his demotion to the ECHL. “I could’ve went down there with a mind-set of ‘screw this’ or ‘poor me.’ But I was able to go down there, work hard and get myself back on track.”
Blackwood will play with the Devils’ A.H.L. affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y., during the team’s bye week to stay sharp during the break.
Standing 6-foot-4, Blackwood covers a lot of the net. But he has also benefited from working with coaches Rollie Melanson and Scott Clemmensen on simplifying his approach.
“For me, the biggest thing has been compacting my game, playing a little deeper and letting the game come to me instead of trying to chase it,” Blackwood said.
Blackwood quit hockey when he was 10. A friend persuaded him to come back a year later, and the following season Blackwood volunteered to play goalie. He did not begin taking the sport seriously until he was 15.
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Blackwood rooted for the Colorado Avalanche as a child because his father was a fan of Joe Sakic. The Devils, formerly the Colorado Rockies, played the Avalanche in the 2001 Stanley Cup finals.
“I was anti-Devils growing up,” Blackwood admitted with a laugh. “But now they’re my favorite team.”
Blackwood’s development is a key part of Shero’s plans. To the dismay of some Devils fans, Shero has maintained his team is still in rebuilding mode, even after its playoff run. He did not make any significant additions in free agency over the summer.
Hynes received a multiyear extension as a way to maintain continuity and reward a coach that enabled his team to overachieve in 2017-18.
“I really wanted somebody who can grow with the team,” Shero said. “He’s got the respect of his players.”
Shero has been working to clean up the team’s salary cap situation, get the roster younger, add secondary scoring and more consistent defense, and bolster the farm system for nearly four years. Hall is the biggest long-term question mark. He can become a free agent in 2020, though he is eligible for an eight-year maximum extension on July 1 this year. Shero has not held extension talks with Hall and his agent yet, but Shero said keeping Hall was “something we’d love to do.”
Shero has a lot to think about, with the N.H.L. trade deadline approaching on Feb. 25. Asked if he considered the Devils a buyer or a seller, Shero said, “We’re looking for an opportunity to get better.”B:
天下彩报刊大全【柏】【塞】【谷】【的】【目】【光】【阴】【冷】，【爆】【射】【出】【了】【凌】【厉】【的】【杀】【机】，【他】【也】【不】【说】【话】，【往】【前】【逼】【近】。 【突】【然】，【柏】【塞】【谷】【的】【身】【形】【一】【动】，【闪】【电】【一】【般】【的】【袭】【杀】【向】【了】【宁】【川】。 【柏】【塞】【谷】【手】【中】【的】【长】【剑】【如】【银】【蛇】【飞】【舞】，【在】【雪】【夜】【的】【虚】【空】【中】【划】【过】【了】【无】【数】【道】【银】【光】，【忽】【然】，【一】【道】【银】【光】【直】【奔】【宁】【川】【的】【咽】【喉】【飞】【射】【而】【去】。 【宁】【川】【微】【微】【眯】【起】【了】【眼】【睛】，【他】【的】【瞳】【孔】【在】【瞬】【间】【就】【收】【缩】【成】【了】【麦】【芒】【状】，【此】【时】【的】【宁】【川】
【比】【赛】【开】【始】，【第】【一】【位】【出】【场】【的】【选】【手】【苏】【北】【以】【超】【高】【的】【水】【准】【完】【成】【经】【典】《Opera2》，【赢】【得】【现】【场】【的】【欢】【呼】。 【陈】【墨】【作】【为】【第】【二】【位】【出】【场】【的】【选】【手】，【穿】【着】“【星】【空】【装】”【缓】【缓】【走】【上】【了】【舞】【台】。【台】【下】【的】【孙】【小】【花】、【金】【钱】【义】【等】【人】【疯】【狂】【地】【喊】【着】【陈】【墨】【的】【名】【字】。 【在】【演】【唱】【之】【前】，【主】【持】【人】【按】【照】【惯】【例】【有】【个】【小】【小】【的】【互】【动】【环】【节】。 “【陈】【墨】，【你】【好】！【今】【天】【真】【的】【好】【漂】【亮】，
“【见】【过】【师】【尊】！” 【三】【位】【无】【上】【仙】【立】【马】【行】【拜】【大】【礼】，【叶】【晨】【也】【道】：“【父】【亲】，【你】【来】【了】。” 【叶】【晨】【看】【着】【千】【寻】，【平】【静】【道】：“【何】【谓】【危】【机】？【危】【险】【之】【中】【代】【表】【着】【相】【应】【的】【机】【遇】，【当】【年】【的】【我】【便】【是】【这】【样】【一】【步】【一】【步】【地】【走】【过】【来】，【你】【想】【要】【证】【道】，【成】【为】【至】【强】【的】【万】【古】【巨】【头】，【混】【沌】【海】【是】【危】【险】【之】【地】，【也】【是】【你】【的】【机】【遇】【之】【地】，【你】【去】【吧】，【你】【几】【位】【娘】【亲】【那】【边】【我】【自】【会】【解】【释】。”
【厉】【南】【爵】【感】【觉】【异】【常】【憋】【屈】，【可】【是】【又】【无】【可】【奈】【何】，【他】【想】【发】【脾】【气】，【却】【害】【怕】【把】【苏】【墨】【墨】【吓】【跑】。 【此】【时】【的】【苏】【墨】【墨】【不】【了】【解】【厉】【南】【爵】【的】【纠】【结】，【她】【的】【脑】【子】【飞】【速】【运】【转】，【想】【着】【有】【什】【么】【办】【法】【搪】【塞】【对】【方】。 【苏】【墨】【墨】【的】【脑】【袋】【微】【微】【低】【垂】【着】，【额】【头】【前】【的】【刘】【海】【在】【不】【经】【意】【间】【滑】【落】【下】【来】，【那】【双】【清】【澈】【见】【底】【的】【眼】【眸】【被】【遮】【挡】【住】【了】，【散】【发】【着】【不】【知】【名】【的】【暗】【茫】。 【电】【话】【那】【头】【的】【厉】【南】天下彩报刊大全【二】【堂】【里】【散】【了】【会】，【周】【昂】【很】【快】【出】【去】【找】【到】【了】【郭】【援】。 【一】【问】【之】【下】，【他】【果】【然】【对】【现】【如】【今】【翎】【州】【城】【市】【面】【上】【可】【称】“【大】【事】”【的】【吕】【氏】【搬】【家】【一】【事】，【了】【解】【不】【少】【情】【况】，【当】【下】【便】【笑】【道】：“【这】【吕】【家】【的】【门】【第】【可】【不】【一】【般】，【祖】【上】【也】【是】【做】【官】【的】，【且】【极】【有】【钱】。【现】【如】【今】【正】【在】【城】【里】【到】【处】【发】【帖】【子】【呢】！” 【顿】【了】【顿】，【他】【又】【笑】【道】：“【他】【家】【势】【大】，【到】【时】【候】【估】【计】【会】【挺】【热】【闹】【的】，【但】【毕】【竟】
【装】【修】【好】【之】【后】“【味】【煨】【蒸】”【正】【式】【开】【业】。 【开】【业】【那】【天】，【赫】【连】【承】【明】【还】【是】【手】【捧】【着】【花】【篮】【来】【祝】【贺】【了】，【对】【于】【赫】【连】【承】【明】【的】【到】【来】，【独】【孤】【安】【琪】【甚】【是】【欣】【慰】。 【她】【看】【着】【赫】【连】【承】【明】【内】【心】【一】【阵】【感】【激】。 【这】【都】【多】【亏】【了】【独】【孤】【安】【智】，【要】【不】【是】【独】【孤】【安】【智】【从】【中】【帮】【忙】【劝】【说】，【或】【许】【赫】【连】【承】【明】【会】【很】【不】【理】【解】【独】【孤】【安】【琪】【的】【做】【法】！ 【百】【里】【萧】【萧】【跟】【西】【门】【承】【建】【也】【来】【了】，【百】【里】【萧】【萧】
【刘】【雅】【婷】【到】【底】【是】【方】【宇】【的】【贴】【身】【小】【棉】【袄】，【所】【以】【还】【是】【相】【当】【体】【贴】【人】【的】。 【知】【道】【方】【宇】【最】【近】【两】【个】【月】【在】【横】【店】【拍】【戏】【很】【辛】【苦】，【因】【此】【特】【意】【把】【档】【期】【错】【开】，【意】【思】【是】【让】【他】【好】【好】【休】【整】【几】【天】。 【等】【休】【整】【过】【后】 【用】【来】【调】【整】【状】【态】【的】【时】【间】【也】【不】【长】，【五】【天】【左】【右】。 【嗯】，【讲】【道】【理】，【五】【天】【时】【间】【用】【来】【休】【息】，【这】【对】【于】【很】【多】【人】【来】【说】，【已】【经】【算】【是】【长】【假】【期】【了】。 【时】【间】【再】【长】【点】
【宣】【淑】【妃】【不】【是】【不】【懂】【东】【太】【后】【叹】【气】【为】【何】，【只】【是】【她】【已】【到】【了】【如】【今】【这】【番】【地】【步】，【再】【收】【手】【是】【不】【可】【能】【的】，【已】【经】【无】【法】【回】【头】【了】。 【明】【贵】【妃】【搭】【着】【冬】【兰】【的】【手】【上】【了】【撵】，【遥】【遥】【与】【宣】【淑】【妃】【对】【视】，【下】【一】【刻】【便】【齐】【齐】【扭】【头】【冷】【哼】，【往】【自】【己】【宫】【殿】【去】【了】。 【谨】【德】【妃】【是】【后】【来】【才】【知】【道】【明】【贵】【妃】【叫】【自】【己】【去】【时】【为】【了】【何】【事】，【下】【令】【叫】【宴】【初】【去】【叮】【嘱】【宫】【人】【不】【得】【再】【胡】【言】【乱】【语】，【便】【未】【将】【此】【事】【放】【在】