Rookie goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood has been nothing short of a true hockey player on Retro Night for the New Jersey Devils.
The rookie goaltender already initiated Calder Trophy nomination talks with his performance in net over the last two months. No. 29 once again broke headlines on Tuesday night vs. the New York Islanders.
What started as an uneventful second period ended with a standing ovation for the 23-year-old at the Prudential Center. Moments after Hischier netted a backhand top-shelf goal to tie the game at 2-2, Blackwood blocked a Ryan Pulock clapper with the chin area of his mask.
This is what happens when a Ryan Pulock slap shot hits the goalie mask near the chops. Blackwood stays in the game after taking this shot 19:28 into the 2nd. pic.twitter.com/on7XcDkSpQ
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) January 8, 2020
— NJ Devils on MSG (@DevilsMSGN) January 8, 2020
The gasps from “The Rock” were apparent after the Devils’ future star goaltender fell immediately to the ice with what appeared to be a serious injury. Blackwood then slowly rose and took off his mask once the play was ruled dead.
The shot was so hard and angled in an odd fashion that it knocked out the goaltender’s teeth. New Jersey’s rookie goaltender portrayed the look of an old fashioned hockey player with the battle scar. Conveniently, it happened to take place on Retro Night – which brought back more memories of the 1980s and ’90s.
The youngster received loud cheers after he threw his mask back on and decided to stay in the game, but that was just the beginning. Blackwood later made a phenomenal sliding save on Islanders forward, Casey Cizikas, who attempted a wraparound.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) January 8, 2020
The save closed out the period and “The Rock’s” crowd rose to its feet to salute its potential Rookie of the Year with a standing ovation.
Now, that’s old-time hockey.