The start of the season for the Devils has not gone well, to put it mildly. Their new acquisitions haven’t been particularly productive and neither has Taylor Hall whose contract situation is on the front burner of the hockey hot stove. Perhaps even worse, their goaltending, which actually was pretty strong down the stretch last season, has struggled mightily as New Jersey ranks 30th in the league in goals allowed heading into Thursday’s action.
To that end, Jared Clinton of The Hockey News argues that GM Ray Shero should be looking into making a move to shore up their goaltending, one that’s bigger than their recent pickup of Louis Domingue as extra injury insurance. A combined save percentage of .880 from Cory Schneider and MacKenzie Blackwood isn’t going to get them into the postseason (or close to it) which would certainly lower their odds of re-signing Hall. If a goalie upgrade can improve both of those chances, it’s something Shero will seriously need to consider.
Elsewhere in the East:
- The Canadiens are hopeful to get center Jesperi Kotkaniemi back for one of their upcoming games on Friday or Saturday, notes Postmedia’s Stu Cowan. The sophomore has missed six straight games due to a lingering groin issue. However, head coach Claude Julien indicated that if Kotkaniemi gets the green light to return, he’ll only play in one of those two contests.
- Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko was a late scratch tonight but it’s not injury-related. The team announced (Twitter link) that he’s dealing with the flu. The rookie has come on as of late after a slow start as he has five points in his last five games.
- While Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry made the team as the backup, Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that their willingness to move him likely hasn’t changed with Casey DeSmith standing by in the minors. However, with only four appearances (three starts) this season, any potentially interested teams will almost certainly need to see more of him in the NHL before considering making a move.