Devils Reveal 2020-21 Schedule

The Devils today, along with the rest of the NHL, released their schedule for the truncated 2020-21 regular season.

There will be a 52-game season, beginning on January 14 for the Devils and concluding on May 8. The Devils will only play teams in their newly minted East Division which includes the Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, Penguins, Bruins, Sabres and Capitals.

The season will commence on January 14, 2021 as the Devils host the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Many games this year will be back-to-backs against the same opponents, AHL-style. With that, the Devils will also play host to Boston on January 16 as well.

They will have a few days off and then travel across the Hudson River to take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden for the first time on January 19. On the 21st, they will faceoff with the Islanders at (I am assuming?) the Nassau Coliseum. They will host the Islanders on the 24th in their first game back at The Rock since the second game versus Boston. Back-to-back home games against the Flyers on the 26th and 28th and two games in Buffalo on the 30th and 31st round out the month of January.

New Jersey kicks off February on the second of the month and the fourth playing in Pittsburgh. They return home on the 6th to play host to the Rangers and then on that Tuesday (the 9th) they will host the Penguins. Then it is off to Philly for a pair of games on the 11th and 13th at Wells Fargo Center.

Two games at Boston on the 15th and 18th of the month and then two against the Sabres at home on the 20th and 22nd round out the middle of the month. The Devils complete February hosting the Islanders on the 23rd (a rare set of two-night, back-to-back games – after playing Buffalo on the 22nd) and then finish off by playing the Caps at home on the 27th.

March and April are the busiest months for the team. They kick off March with a game at home against Washington on the first of the month. A home-and-home against the Rangers sees the Devils play in Manhattan on the 4th and in Newark on the fifth. A pair of games down in DC follows as they play the Capitals on March 7 and March 9. This is followed by another home-and-home this time versus the Islanders. The Devils play at Long Island on the 11th and at home on the 13th.

Following two days of rest, the Devils are back at it, hosting the Sabres on the 16th and Pittsburgh on the 19th and 21st. An extended road trip finishes out the month with back-to-back games at Washington on March 25th and 26th and then a pair at Boston on the 28th and 30th.

April begins with a game against the Capitals at Prudential Center on the 2nd and another tilt with the Caps at home on the 4th. The Devils then play three against the Sabres, playing host on the 6th and then shuffling off to Western New York on the 8th and 9th. They host the Pens on the 11th and then get four games versus their archrivals, facing the Rangers at Prudential Center on the 13th and at MSG on the 15th and 17th. They return to Newark on the 18th to finish off their season series with New York

Following that, they get one against the Flyers at home and then travel to take on fellow Pennsylvanians, the Penguins in Pittsburgh on the 22nd and 24th. The month of April (the final full month of the season) concludes with a homestand against the Islanders on the 27th and the Flyers on the 29th.

May sees a meeting with those same Flyers, this time in the City of Brotherly Love, on the 1st. The final two home games come against those who helped kick things off: the Boston Bruins. They will faceoff on Prudential Center ice on the 3rd and 4th. The long-awaited 2020-21 season ends with a pair at the Islanders on May 6 and 8, 2021.

Please note that all start times for these games are TBA. More information to come on television broadcasts and starting times.

The Big Mac Attack is Back: Blackwood Agrees to Terms

Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, a restricted free agent, has agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $8,400,000.

Blackwood’s contract has an average annual value of $2,800,000, with $1,475,000 due to him in 2020-21; $2,800,000 due him in 2021-22 and $4,125,000 in 2022-23.

In the press release put out by the Devils, it mentioned that Blackwood, in his second season with the NHL club, had a 22-14-8 record with a 2.72 goals against average over 47 games played (including 43 starts). He finished sixth in the Calder Trophy voting and was voted second for goalies on the NHL All-Rookie Team. In his first season as a starter for the Devils, he set career highs in various categories. These include games played, starts and wins. He had a career-high three shutouts and a shutout streak at one time of 171:37.

February was his best month as he posted a 6-0-1 record, a .967 save percentage – a category in which he led all NHL goalies that month – and a 1.27 goals against average. He even had a point in the month, registering an assist on February 6.

His career stats see him with a 32-24-8 record over 70 NHL games, posting a 2.72 GAA and a .916 save percentage. He adds five shutouts to that resume. He made his NHL debut on December 18, 2018 against the Maple Leafs.

Devils Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald had the following to say about Blackwood: “Mackenzie is going to be one of the key young, core pieces for this organization for a long time and we are excited and extremely happy to have his under contract. He’s obviously show that he cab be a number one goalie, and the sky’s the limit for him.”

Blackwood is young (turning 24 on December 9) and could be the future for the team in net. The signing of veteran Stanley Cup-winning goalie Corey Crawford should help him develop with Crawford serving as a mentor.

Blackwood was picked by the Devils 42nd overall, in the second round of the 2015 Draft. He stands 6-feet, four inches and weighs in at 225 pounds. In his international career, he won a sliver medal with his teammate, defenseman Damon Severson at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, where he was also coached by new Devils’ head coach Lindy Ruff on Team Canada. Ruff served as an assistant with the Canadian team.

The goaltender also represented Canada in 2016 at the World Junior Championship.