The White Flag Has Been Waved, As Mackenzie Blackwood Has Been Sent To Binghamton With The Return Of Cory Schneider
“It’s not fair to (Blackwood), it’s not fair to Cory and Keith (Kinkaid) and our team,” Hynes said about carrying three goalies. “The right thing to do is we want him to continue to play. It doesn’t mean he’s not going to be back here (in the NHL this season), but it’s an opportunity for him to go down and play and play a key role there, to help Binghamton get into the playoffs, which is important for our young players. It gives an opportunity for Keith and Cory to have a net and see what they can do." (h/t NJ.com)
And there you have it. If you were holding stubbornly strong to the possibility of the New Jersey Devils making some short of ridiculous run that would accomplish nothing more than making them look more respectable in the standings then you can finally let it go and click 'Buy' on your ticket to the tank-a-thon. I don't know why you'd still be optimistic about the season, since - for all we we've been told - Taylor Hall may have gone from winning the Hart Trophy to waiting on a heart transplant. However, for the overly positive crowd that remained illiterate to the writing on the wall, the demotion of Mackenzie Blackwood might as well be the most easily understood of audio books.
To be clear, I know why the Devils did what they did. They should see what, other than an unprecedented inability to win a hockey game, they have in Cory Schneider before deciding what to do with him and the anchor of a contract that he looks to be storing under his ass pad whenever he moves laterally. They could benefit from getting as many looks at Keith Kinkaid as possible before deciding whether or not they want to pursue keeping him in free agency. That said, fairness be damned, they would ignore all those prerogatives and ride Mackenzie Blackwood if winning games were even remotely close to being a top priority.
I love John Hynes, but not enough to let him relieve himself on my head then offer me an umbrella. Sending a kid who has come part and parcel with the Devils' watchability, never mind winning ways, the last few months back down to Binghamton to ride a bus immediately after he helped steal a game they had absolutely no business winning is the white flag amongst a whole bunch of red flags that have plagued a reality check of a season. Never mind being sellers come the trade deadline. Giving NHL games to Cory Schneider instead of the promising prospect who, as premature an observation as it may be, looked more than capable of replacing him in the role of franchise goaltender basically serves as one of those storefront-sized fire sale signs that hangs outside a Christmas shop on December 26th.
I don't want to say the cost of winning is currently too great to start Mackenzie Blackwood, as I think the Devils are too proud a group to plummet much further than they already have regardless of who is in net. However, starting someone whose presence in the lineup has literally guaranteed defeat since 2017 is pretty damn telling of how the organization has budgeted victory.