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BLOG: Blackwood's Workload

Mackenzie Blackwood picked up right where he left off with two big wins this week but the road ahead is busy

by Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com

Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood played on January 19 and then went into COVID-19 Protocol. Just as he was about to get out of protocol, 18 of his teammates joined him on the list so he went nearly a month between starts from his January 19 50-save win over the Rangers and this past Tuesday's 39-save performance. 

Currently ranking sixth in goals-against average in the NHL at 1.94 and second in save percentage at .945, Blackwood's 27 saves on Thursday night in Boston was his fewest number of saves in a game this season. In his five games, he's averaged nearly 38 shots against and 36 saves, which begs the question about his workload. 

"You don't really know how a player feels when you go through that," Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said on Blackwood being on COVID-19 Protocol. "He's the only person who really knows how he feels but he has youth on his side, good energy right now."

Ruff added that the team play in front of him was a lot better in Boston which, if it continues, will help Blackwood knowing the Devils have four games in seven days pretty much the rest of the season with Blackwood likely playing three of those. 

"Not a lot of scramble opportunities, second opportunities. We knew he was going to face some good chances because Boston's got a good team. But we did a good job managing the puck in front of him."

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