Welcome to another edition of the drama that is “Devils Goaltending.”
The team released the news today that Mackenzie Blackwood has tested positive for COVID and has entered into COVID protocol. Team reporter Sam Kasan wrote on the news in a post on the “Inside the Devils Blog.”
Because of that, Jon Gillies will make his second start for the Devils on Thursday at the New York Islanders Kasan writes.
Head coach Lindy Ruff was quoted by Kasan as saying “It’s a greater challenge for us. Gillies will step in and play, we need to play well in front of him.”
Devils defenseman Ryan Graves added “Gillies is a good goalie. He’s a big guy and we trust him. I thought he looked good in the game we played earlier this year.”
Graves continued “This season gives guys opportunities. It’s one of the good things over the last few years, guys that maybe weren’t going to get games are now getting games. He’s one of those guys that will benefit from it. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. He’s a guy that’s had a longer road. It’s nice to see him get a chance.”
Kasan said that Ruff did not confirm that the Devils will recall Mareks Mitens from Utica, though Kasan feels that they will need him to serve as New Jersey’s backup. This is because of the loss of Jonathan Bernier, who had season-ending hip surgery and with Akira Schmid and Blackwood being unavailable with COVID and Nico Daws out with an injury.
Ruff simply told Kasan “It looks that way yes.”