New Devils by the Numbers

The Devils today announced the numbers their new acquisitions will be wearing for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

Ryan Murray will be the 34th player in team history to wear the number 22. Patrik Elias actually wore that number when he debuted in 1997 before switching to his more familiar number 26, which has since been retired by the club. Jordin Tootoo wore the number notably in 2016 while Kyle Quincey was the last to do so in 2017.

Andreas Johnsson will become the 21st Devil to wear the number 11, the first since Brian Boyle did so in 2018-19.

Free agent signing, goaltender Corey Crawford will be the second Devils player in history to don the number 50 on his back. The other was Evan Cormier, also a goalie, who did so last season briefly.

Speaking of Crawford, there was a fantastic article on the Devils app today written by Amanda Stein that notated Crawford idolizing none other than Martin Brodeur while growing up.

Crawford, Stein said, grew up in Chateauguay, Quebec, which is “just a short drive from Saint-Leonard where Martin Brodeur was raised.”

Crawford went on to say on the Speak of the Devils Podcast that the team puts out that he “had posters of” Marty on his wall growing up. He said that he “started idolizing Marty, you know, he’s unbelievable, just how good he was with the different style of play. And, you know, he was fun to watch. And I had, I still have, that ‘Heaven’, VHS, I think back home, from when they won [in 1995].”

He is, of course, referring to the 1995 Stanley Cup video put out by the NHL for the Devils. On a personal note, I wore that sucker out from the sheer amount of viewings and even had a friend who would religiously watch it each and every day for about a year to keep the memory fresh in his mind.

But back to Crawford. When the Devils were courting him as a free agent, they had a secret weapon: Martin Brodeur.

Marty spoke on the phone with Crawford, recounted Stein, trying to convince him to sign.

Corey told Matt Loughlin and Stein on the Speak of the Devils Podcast: “That was a big surprise. Obviously, I’m from Montreal, Marty was a pretty big idol of mine growing up, you know, I watched him and [New Jersey] when they were winning Cups. So, to talk to him on the phone was pretty cool. It’s pretty special. And, you know, it definitely, definitely persuaded me to think about Jersey and what they can offer.”

And what Crawford can offer the Devils is being a part of a top goaltending tandem with Mackenzie Blackwood. He will also make a great mentor for the young Blackwood. Crawford was brought here to not only take some pressure off of Blackwood and be a good 1A/1B pair, but to also be a locker room leader. He has been there; he has won Cups with Chicago. He is a proven winner and can bring a lot to the Devils via his leadership.

Corey Crawford is here to help the Devils get back to those Broderian days, to get the Devils back to the top.

Devils Waive Schneider, Recall Domingue

At abound 11 AM this morning, the Devils sent out a tweet that they would place goaltender Cory Schneider on waivers at noon and, should he clear, he would be sent down to Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

In addition, the Devils announced that they had recalled Louis Domingue from the Binghamton Devils.

Domingue, according to the Devils’ website, “started four games with Binghamton” this season, going 2-1-1 with a 2.25 goals against and a .914 save percentage.

They touted his 21-5-0 record last season with the far-superior-than-the-Devils Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a 2.88 goals against and a .908 save percentage there.

I only mention that the Lightning are a better team than the Devils, not to demean Domingue in any way, but to put things into context and temper a lot of the Devils’ own hype. He is a good goalie at the NHL level, but Tampa was a juggernaut last year, let’s not forget that.

On the subject of Schneider, head coach John Hynes had this to say, according to an article by Marc Ciampa on “The way the schedule comes now, we didn’t see him getting into a lot of games in the next couple of weeks.”

Ciampa said that, basically, Hynes wants him to get into games. “When a player, particularly a goalie, if you’re not going to have an opportunity to play it’s hard to get the game reps and confidence that you need,” Hynes told Ciampa.

Hynes mentioned to Ciampa about Cory’s stint last year in Binghamton: “We had a similar situation with him last year, he came back and played well for us at the end of the year.”

Hynes cited the World Championships, where Schneider represented the United States and training camp as reasons to believe that Schneider will get things back on track. As he said to Ciampa: “If he does clear waivers and go to Binghamton, it’s not the end of the road for us here.”

Schneider has battled recurring injuries and confidence issues since suffering problems with his hip and knee a while ago.

Hynes told Ciampa that “He had a very good World Championships, I was there with him [Hynes was an assistant coach with Team USA], had a good training camp, good start to the year but unfortunately wasn’t at a level consistent enough to find ways to win games. That’s why we’re going to give him the opportunity to do that and it’s proven in the past that he [sic] has helped him.”

Hopefully Cory gets things sorted out. He is a great guy and a good teammate, someone that you really root for to do well. He has had a rough go of it the last few seasons, whether it’s injuries or just losing confidence in his abilities (where one may lead to another here). It goes even down to suffering the cramps in the season opener this year against Winnipeg when he was playing pretty well. I am sure that most fans are hoping that this is not the end for Cory Schneider in New Jersey.