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What’s the Plan for the Devils’ Goaltending Moving Forward?

All of Jake Allen, Kaapo Kahkonen, Nico Daws, & Akira Schmid are on the Devils’ expanded roster as of Saturday.



New Jersey Devils

NEWARK — Following Friday’s 3 P.M. NHL Trade Deadline, the New Jersey Devils have four goaltenders on the roster.

General Manager Tom Fitzgerald acquired former Montreal Canadiens netminder Jake Allen, as well as former San Jose Sharks backstop Kaapo Kahkonen. Yet, interim head coach Travis Green explained it’ll be Nico Daws making his 20th start of the season on Saturday against the Hurricanes. Further, Akira Schmid has been recalled from the American Hockey League as he will back up Daws this afternoon.

Now that the trade deadline has passed, rosters are expanded. As a result, the Devils weren’t required to reassign anyone to the AHL.

“With travel and immigration, [Allen & Kahkonen] are working through that,” Greene explained. “So, I’m hoping to see one or two of them on the ice as soon as possible with us.”

The message to the Devils after Friday remains the same. Green takes over as the Devils’ bench boss with a bit of a different approach than Lindy Ruff. Both Green and Fitzgerald remain steadfast on winning as much as possible moving forward in pursuit of regaining playoff position.

“The message is nothing that hasn’t been already,” Green said to New Jersey Hockey Now. “You know, we’re taking every game and trying to win every game that we can. We’re also trying to install some subtle, different thoughts and ideas. There is a difference always when you change a coach and how he approaches things. I thought we had a good game last game and building off of that.”

The belief is that both Allen and Kahkonen will provide a more stable presence in the Devils’ crease. Their respective save percentages and goals against average might not look much different than any of Vitek Vanecek’s, Daws, and Schmid’s, however, they played for weaker teams in the Canadiens and Sharks.

So what’s the plan for the four goaltenders moving forward this season?

Well, for starters, both Allen and Kahkonen need to make their way to New Jersey. As for the duo in New Jersey on Saturday, Fitzgerald made it clear he wants both Daws and Schmid to return to the Utica Comets and get as much work in as possible.

“As far as Nico is concerned, you know, that will depend on Jake and when he gets into town,” Fitzgerald explained on Friday. “You gotta remember, you know, immigration isn’t easy, especially getting back into the country. But that’ll depend on where he’s at, where his games at where he feels comfortable enough to take the ball and play games. He’ll need a bunch of practice, a few practices anyway, to get some of the rust off. It all depends on Allen for what we do with Nico. But at the end of the day, we don’t want [Daws] sitting. We want him going down and playing but it’s a fluid conversation we’re going to have with the goalie department.”

For now, Daws and Schmid remain the goaltending tandem. You can expect Schmid to be the first reassignment once one of the two goaltenders lands in Newark. And once they both arrive, Allen and Kahkonen will be the Devils’ goaltending duo for the remainder of the regular season, barring an injury, while Daws and Schmid work in the AHL.

It sounds like Allen will be the starter moving forward, too. Or at least the 1A while Kahkonen is the 1B.

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