Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Blackwood Talks Grier’s Exit Message to Sharks, Speer’s Impact on His Rebound Year



Credit: San Jose Sharks

After declining play and frequent injuries plagued Mackenzie Blackwood the last couple seasons in New Jersey, the goaltender found success with the San Jose Sharks.

On the worst team in the NHL this season—and one of the worst in the salary cap era—Blackwood put up a respectable .899 save-percentage and +0.37 Goals Saved Above Expected per SPORTLOGiQ. That GSAx was 14th in the league.

Granlund, Blackwood Lead 2023-24 Sharks’ Micro-Stats (+)

While a minor groin injury sidelined the 27-year-old at the end of the season, he shared that he will have his first summer free of rehab in three seasons.

In his exit interview on Apr. 20, Blackwood reflected on his personal rebound season and how the team dealt with all the losing this year.

Will the last-place Sharks improve next year? Check out what the best betting sites think.

Blackwood, on Mike Grier’s post-season address to the San Jose Sharks:

He was just saying that it was a hard year. He was happy that, for the most part, we stayed pretty positive. Obviously, this was hard for everybody this year. But, he wanted to reiterate that we’re not an organization that’s going to be content with losing or being “almost.” So, I think there’s a big onus on guys to take the next step individually and try and drag the team in the forward direction, together.

Blackwood, on remaining strong and positive during a tough season:

That’s a thing that I struggled with when I was younger. You learn as you go. You can only do so much as one guy. So, if I got down on every situation that I felt frustrated, it’d be a tough life. You learn how to manage the highs and lows and take the positive stuff out of every single day.

Blackwood, on the high point of his 2023-24 season:

Maybe the first game [when I made 51 saves]? I don’t know. (laughs) I would say as a whole, it was great to be able to have a fresh start. It’s hard to put your finger on one particular moment, but for me I was pretty excited to come in here, new place, new people and have a fresh start, a chance to reset and get my game going. I thought that happened. I was pretty happy with the way things worked out.

Blackwood, on San Jose Sharks goaltending coach Thomas Speer:

He’s awesome, can’t say enough good things about him. I feel pretty lucky to have been able to spend a year with a guy like that. Coming here, I didn’t really know him until he came out and skated with me in Toronto. We clicked right away. He’s a smart guy, he knows the game, and I think he has a good mentality about it, too. We’re pretty fortunate to have him.

SOURCE: Sharks Want Goaltending Coach Thomas Speer Back

Blackwood, on becoming a mentor for younger players:

Time keeps going by pretty quickly. I’m not 22 anymore. But I don’t want to be an “older veteran” goalie. I think I have a lot of good playing years in me, where I can shoulder a lot of workload. (laughs) I like helping people. I like helping people get better. Every time I have a partner, if I can help them, that’s something that I want to do. I take pride in trying to bring the best out of the people around me.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info