October 23, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

October 23, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

  1. SUMMARY
  2. LOCAL PRINT/WEB
  3. TV/VIDEO LINKS
  4. RADIO LINKS
  5. NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

1) SUMMARY

 

Abbey Mastracco, The Record, spoke to Devils center Kevin Rooney about what he has learned from Nikita Gusev from watching him during games.

 

“When he gets from the blue line and in down in that o-zone he’s very dangerous,” Gusev’s part-time linemate Kevin Rooney said Tuesday after practice at Prudential Center. “He’s a fun player to watch and learn from. I’ve picked up on some things he’s done that I’ve never even thought about so it’s cool to have a guy who brings that to the team.”

 

“Once he realizes how the game is played here then it will be easier for him to transition and things will happen a little bit quicker for him,” Rooney said. “But nothing that he’s done has slowed us down.”

 

Chris Ryan, NJ.com, spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about Pavel Zacha’s play in the teams first eight games and how he has shown how dynamic of a player he could be.

 

“We knew coming into the year that Pav was going to be a guy that we could utilize in certain situations, and whether he’s playing wing or center,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “I slot him up sometimes with (Taylor) Hall’s line which is good because he’s been good on face-offs, so it’s nice to see him have put a couple games, back-to-back, together, and the big thing with him was we need now we need consistency of being that same guy every night.”

 

“He’s been consistently competitive, which is what we’ve been asking him to be,” Hynes said. “He’s been harder on the pucks, his face-offs are coming, but you trust him in the face-off circle right now. He understands how to play in the defensive zone and he has the physical tools to be able to play against top players.”

 

Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com, wrote her 10 Takeaways from the past week.

 

2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB

 

  1. The good, the bad and the Gusev: How NJ Devils’ Nikita Gusev is fitting in

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2019/10/22/how-nj-devils-nikita-gusev-fitting-his-first-nhl-season/4050527002/

 

NEWARK — There is a reasonable expectation that a player coming from the KHL to the NHL will have a dip in production. The equation translates to about 1/3 of the points produced in the KHL.

 

But try telling that to eager fans who have been watching highlight reels all summer.

 

The expectations for reigning KHL MVP Nikita Gusev were sky-high as the season began. When the New Jersey Devils traded for him over the summer the fanbase seemed to think that made the Devils an instant Stanley Cup contender. The reality is that the team is figuring out how to play with all of their new pieces and Gusev is still adjusting to the North American ice and the NHL game.

 

However, the learning curve isn’t exactly steep for the 5-foot-9, 27-year-old winger. It should be noted this learning curve is more about hockey than anything else. His English is good and getting better, especially since the Devils set him up with a tutor and his wife’s English is very good. He has said in the past he’s comfortable communicating with teammates and coaches and can understand what’s going on in meetings, he’s not necessarily confident using it to speak to the media. That’s not uncommon with young players. It’s also completely understandable.

 

On the ice, Gusev has played up and down the lineup as New Jersey has attempted to figure out the right combinations and no matter who he has played with, he’s been a dynamic game-changer in the offensive zone.

 

“When he gets from the blue line and in down in that o-zone he’s very dangerous,” Gusev’s part-time linemate Kevin Rooney said Tuesday after practice at Prudential Center. “He’s a fun player to watch and learn from. I’ve picked up on some things he’s done that I’ve never even thought about so it’s cool to have a guy who brings that to the team.”

 

But there are adjustments to be made.

 

Gusev has been somewhat turnover-prone, which has led to some one-and-done chances for the Devils in the offensive zone and doesn’t allow them to get anything going offensively with one of their best offensive players on the ice.

 

Some of this is just his creativity with the puck. You take risks and sometimes they pay off, but sometimes they don’t. Other times, they’ve been a result of a faster NHL game speeding up on him.

 

“Some of them, he has less time and space, particularly coming out of his own zone with how hard everyone pinches down with no time and space on smaller ice,” coach John Hynes said. “But some of the plays through the neutral zone or a rush play, those are decisions that have got to be better.”

 

In the last two games, Gusev played with Pavel Zacha centering his line. Zacha can get pretty creative himself but the speed of that line gave the Rangers and Canucks problems. The coaches also put him with Rooney to be able to put him next to a defensively responsible forward who plays a simple enough game that it compliments a flashy one like Gusev’s.

 

And sometimes that’s necessary because we see that learning curve coming into play when he doesn’t have the puck.

 

“I think in this league when you lose possession in the offensive zone, it’s how hard you work and how quick you work to get it back,” Hynes said. “It’s forecheck pressure, it’s tracking back, checking hard in tight gaps and understanding that once you lose it, you have to work really hard to be able to get it back and that’s an adjustment for him.”

 

Teammates say Gusev has been a quick study and they can already see him thinking the game at a quicker pace and eliminating those mistakes off the puck.

 

“Once he realizes how the game is played here then it will be easier for him to transition and things will happen a little bit quicker for him,” Rooney said. “But nothing that he’s done has slowed us down.”

 

With four points in eight games, the early returns on Gusev have been good and they’re only going to keep getting better. The expectations around the team following a 2-4-2 start may have changed but the Devils still think they are a playoff team and Gusev helps get them there.

 

  1. How Devils’ Pavel Zacha has turned into team’s Swiss Army Knife

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2019/10/how-devils-pavel-zacha-has-turned-into-swiss-army-knife.html

 

Pavel Zacha’s exact role with the Devils wasn’t clear entering the 2019-20 season.

 

The fourth-year center player across the lineup early in his career, getting some time on nearly every line while even playing at left wing. He proved to be a strong penalty killer and had experience on the power play.

 

It turns out Zacha’s role is filling all of those things.

 

Through eight games, Zacha has been plugged in across the lineup. He started as the team’s fourth-line center, but he’s anchored other lines, and he’s even played games at left wing.

 

“We knew coming into the year that Pav was going to be a guy that we could utilize in certain situations, and whether he’s playing wing or center,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “I slot him up sometimes with (Taylor) Hall’s line which is good because he’s been good on face-offs, so it’s nice to see him have put a couple games, back-to-back, together, and the big thing with him was we need now we need consistency of being that same guy every night.”

 

The biggest example of Zacha’s versatility came in the last two games with center Nico Hischier hurt. Jack Hughes moved up to Hischier’s spot on the top line, but in certain game situations, Hynes turned to Zacha. The forward also jumped on the power play in those games.

 

With Hughes still learning the NHL early in his rookie season, Hynes let Zacha take some of the tougher assignments in recent games, such as defensive-zone face-offs or matchups against other top lines.

 

“It really comes down to the situations in the game. The last couple of games when I’ve done it, it’s been maybe coming out of the timeout if Hall and Palmieri weren’t on prior to that, or there were a lot of penalty kills and they might have to be the line after the penalty kill,” Hynes said. “Palms and Hallsy aren’t killing penalties right now, so it just depends on what the matchup is and what the flow is, because those guys gotta play.”

 

And in a fully healthy lineup , Zacha played a bit on Hughes’ left wing on the third line earlier this season. That gave the Devils another option on face-offs if needed, and Zacha brought a solid defensive presence with him.

 

Since being a healthy scratch in the second game of the season, Zacha has been a staple in the lineup, and he appears to be trending closer to what the Devils want to see, regardless of where he lines up.

 

“He’s been consistently competitive, which is what we’ve been asking him to be,” Hynes said. “He’s been harder on the pucks, his face-offs are coming, but you trust him in the face-off circle right now. He understands how to play in the defensive zone and he has the physical tools to be able to play against top players.”

 

  1. Why Devils have given Taylor Hall maintenance days early in season

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2019/10/why-devils-have-given-taylor-hall-maintenance-days-early-in-season.html

 

The Devils are being proactive in managing Taylor Hall’s ice time on non-game days.

 

For a handful of practices over the first three weeks of the regular season, Hall has been absent, taking maintenance days to rest. That was the plan for Hall and the Devils entering the season after he missed the final three-plus months of the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury and surgery in February.

 

Hall has played in all eight of the Devils’ games in 2019-20, and he’s never been a question mark to dress.

 

“I don’t know if it’ll be this way all the time,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “But having come off from not playing, basically, what was it, nine months? Going into training camp and into the games and into the start of the regular season, that first two weeks for us was pretty demanding with the back-to-back games.

 

“So it was just trying to make sure we’re managing him the right way right now and see how it does, and it seems to be working well for him. He’s feeling good.”

 

Hall took one of his maintenance days on Friday between wins against the Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, and he was off the ice again on Monday to start a long week of practice. He returned Tuesday as a full participant.

 

They’ll continue to monitor Hall’s workload in the coming months to keep him on the best plan for managing his practice schedule, and Hynes said he talked to Hall about it entering the season.

 

Hynes and Hall still talk regularly, but the decisions on his maintenance days also come from input from the team’s sports medicine staff. Hynes meets with the group daily to talk about Hall and every player.

 

“For (Hall) it’s a little bit more out of, here’s what our team’s gonna do, this is what we think he may or may not need and then we just discuss it daily,” Hynes said.

 

  1. 10 TAKEAWAYS: The Week of Jack

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/10-takeaways-the-week-of-jack/c-310358148?tid=277567796

 

NEWARK, NJ – Oh, what a week it has been!

 

Patience, sometimes it’s hard, I know. But here we are, a week later from when we last met and New Jersey has posted two consecutive victories. There have been some success stories this week, first points, goals and how many blocked shots exactly?!

 

It’s been a good week for New Jersey, who only play again on Friday, hosting Arizona.

 

Let’s have a look back on the week that was with the 10 Takeaways brought to you by Ticketmaster.

 

1.

The Week of Jack, it was a big one on many counts. I’ll try not to make this all about the rookie, but it just so happened that the schedule makers put together a string of games that would be meaningful to the 18-year-old and his game rounded out just in time. For starters, the Devils and Rangers rivalry has been taken to a new level, dating back to April 9, 2019. That was the day of the NHL draft lottery, from there we all knew it was Devils picking first, Rangers second. And the Hughes versus Kaapo Kakko debate began.

 

On Thursday night, the Devils hosted the Rangers for the first time this season, which also marked the first time the two players met on an NHL ice surface. During the preseason, when one was playing the other wasn’t, so this was a first.

 

Hughes picked a good time for his first point – it came against the Rangers, assisting on a Miles Wood goal. Kakko did not factor into any Rangers scoring.

 

2.

 

Just a game later? The questions turned from Hughes versus Kakko to Hughes versus Hughes. With the Vancouver Canucks in town, Jack would face off against his brother Quinn for the first time in their very young NHL careers. Quinn was drafted seventh overall by the Canucks in 2018

 

And so, Jack picked an ideal night for his first NHL goal. It was a snipe from atop the circle on the power play and stood as the game-winner. In fact, it was the only goal scored that night as the Devils shutout the Canucks 1-0.

 

3.

I don’t know why but I’ve been very obsessed with this stat, so I thought I’d share it. Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier scored their first career NHL goals exactly two years apart. Nico scored his on October 19th, 2017 while visiting Ottawa, while Jack had his on October 19th, 2019. It probably doesn’t mean a thing, but I like the coincidence, and now you have this stat to tell your friends.

 

4.

While we’re discussion Nico, he will be around with the Devils for the foreseeable future. On October 18th, the 20-year-old agreed to an extension with New Jersey that extends his entry level contract by another seven seasons for $50.75 million-dollars. That sum of money officially goes down as the richest contract handed out to a Swiss-born NHL player.

 

It was not only a big day for Nico, but one for general manager Ray Shero and his staff. This is a very proud moment, having drafted Nico first overall in 2017, to see him commit to the team on the long-term as a “home-grown” talent.

 

“Our own pick, home grown player,” Shero said. “Some players like this…some players are signing shorter extensions, maybe waiting for the salary cap to go up… when he’s happy he knows it. And he knows how he can have success here.”

 

“The confidence they give me is all a player can ask for,” Hischier said. “We have a young, exciting team, and I am driven to try my best to help the team succeed every day. I was really welcomed here from day one, and I have always felt that I wanted to be part of the Devils.”

 

5.

When the Devils were away in Boston last weekend, Olympian Lindsey Vonn, who happens to be P.K. Subban’s fiancée, was out visiting local animal shelters. It appears Vonn made a spur of the moment decision to take home four foster dogs. Keep in mind, Lindsey and PK already have four dogs of their own!

 

Maybe it was a little more than PK and Lindsey could handle, but a couple of teammates stepped in to help out. Kyle Palmieri and his wife Ashlee stepped in and will adopt one of the dogs, who will join the pup they already have, Penelope. The Carrick’s, Connor and his wife Lexi, are currently fostering one of the dogs named Indie.

 

6.

Someone tweeted me the other day, asking why Mackenzie Blackwood always throws the water bottle above the goaltender’s net to the bench before the start of every period. I got to the bottom of it this week. Turns out, in Junior Blackwood once let in a goal that popped the water bottle. It bothered him, he didn’t like seeing that physical reaction, so, that was it. It wasn’t going to happen again. Ever since then, he’s gotten rid of the bottle on top of the net, just a precaution to make sure that embarrassing moment doesn’t happen ever again.

 

I’m not sure video exists, I went looking.

 

7.

This past week, the Devils posted their first two victories of the season. The victories didn’t just include four points in the standings, it also gave us our first glimpse of the “Player of the Game” prop. In 2017 it was a jacket, provided to the club from their trip to West Point, in 2018 it was that glorious, flashy helmet gifted to the club from SC Bern during the Global Series. This year, it’s another jacket and it’s fantastic. Actually, it’s a whole outfit – a ‘Top Gun’ jacket along with the aviators.

 

First winner? Will Butcher, which was handed to him by team captain Andy Greene after the first win of the season against the Rangers.

 

The second winner, Jack Hughes, after his first NHL goal stood as the game-winner and only goal against the Canucks.

 

From here on out, the previous winner hands the jacket and glasses to the next winner after each win.

 

8.

Can you stay up until 11:35 p.m.? Because I can’t. But I made the extra effort on Sunday night. Our very own NJ Devil made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The two made a Twitter bet during the Devils and Rangers matchup this week and well, not only did the Devils win the game, but NJ himself also won. He got to make an appearance on Fallon’s show, where he got to smash a pie in the late-night host’s face.

 

This is going to escalate quickly, isn’t it?

 

The Devils and Rangers play three more times this season.

 

9.

Did you know that the Devils, in one game alone blocked 23 shots last week. Against the Vancouver Canucks, the Devils blocked a whole lot of shots, which might be a microcosm of the number of penalty minutes in the game. The Canucks had seven power plays, but the penalty killers and their shot-blocking prowess managed to keep the Canucks 0-for-7.

 

No surprise here, captain Andy Greene lead the team in blocked shots with five.

 

“We don’t want to take that many penalties, obviously,” Greene said. “But when you’re killing for 12-plus minutes you’re going to start to get tired and then you have to be forced into position to make more blocks. I think if we can cut those penalties down to three, you won’t get as many blocked shots probably.”

 

Compare that number in the win against the Rangers, the New Jersey had just six blocked shots.

 

10.

Last week John Hynes had a meeting with PK Subban. He asked Subban to simplify his game, he didn’t need PK to do everything. That message seemed to have really positioned Subban to success. In the following game, the 30-year-old defenseman was a force to be reckoned with on the ice against the Rangers. He tallied his first goal, an empty net clearing attempt and tied a career-high with nine shots on net. The last time Subban had nine shots on net was with Nashville in February of 2018.

 

BONUS:

Check out this fantastic video from the Binghamton Devils. They’re hosting a Star Wars night and if you ask me, some of these guys given their impressions have no idea what Star Wars is!

 

3) TV/VIDEO LINKS

 

  1. RAW | Hynes 10.22.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/raw–hynes-102219/t-277437418/c-4409240

 

  1. RAW | Butcher 10.22.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/raw–butcher-102219/t-277437418/c-4409136

 

  1. RAW | Subban 10.22.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/raw–subban-102219/t-277437418/c-4409073

 

4) RADIO LINKS – N/A

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB – N/A

 

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New Jersey Devils 2019-20 Media Guide

New Jersey Media Guide 2019-20

Posted in Resources | Leave a comment

October 22, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

October 22, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

  1. SUMMARY
  2. LOCAL PRINT/WEB
  3. TV/VIDEO LINKS
  4. RADIO LINKS
  5. NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

1) SUMMARY

 

Abbey Mastracco, The Record, spoke to Devils captain Andy Greene about how the team needs to work on improving their breakouts from the defensive zone.

 

“It’s making the second play,” defenseman and captain Andy Greene said. “We don’t make the right read or we put a puck somebody’s feet or something where it’s a bobble play and then we get hemmed in. How do we make that tape-to-tape and crisp and then it forces us to play fast coming out of our zone.”

 

Mastracco also spoke to head coach John Hynes about his emphasis on the teams quickness this week during practice.

 

“There has got to be more support,” Hynes said. “We need to have our defensemen activating more so there is another option on the play. I think it’s quicker decisions and needing to know where our support is going to be. A lot of those things, you play faster when you have more puck support you know where guys are going to be. Also, a big one was having our defensemen filling a weak side lane too, so it gives the guys more options to be able to get up and go.”

 

“You want to have a good balance where you’re working on concepts that you want to work on but there also has to be that competitive level,” Hynes said. “If you have a good balance in your practice, that does allow you to be ready for the game coming up.”

 

Amanda Stein, newjerseydevilscom, spoke to Hynes about the addition of new skills coach Ryan Murphy.

 

“He’s from New Jersey,” Hynes added. “He was coaching prior to this – he was an assistant coach in the American Hockey League. He has a skills company, we hired him this year. We felt it was one of those things that was important for here and in Binghamton. When you have opportunity to practice, and days like this is good, where guys get a little bit more puck touches, individual skill work that you don’t get in an everyday practice.”

 

“We’re trying to make sure that as the season goes on, guys have situations where they’re continuing to work on their skill, their hands and things you kind of do all summer that you don’t have time to do in a regular team practice,” head coach John Hynes said post practice on Monday.

 

2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB

 

  1. How the NJ Devils are trying to keep momentum during 5-day break

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2019/10/21/how-nj-devils-trying-keep-momentum-during-5-day-break/4050519002/

 

NEWARK — John Hynes and the New Jersey Devils staff ran a practice that mimicked that of one they might run during September, not late October, on Monday at Prudential Center. The team engaged in battle drills, breakouts and skill drills.

 

There were no line rushes taken and no previews of lineups soon to come but a New Jersey-based skills coach named Ryan Murphy was in attendance.

 

It’s training camp 2.0 for the Devils. They might have just won a couple games but the six losses they can’t erase shows they still have plenty to work through, starting with breakouts.

 

Even in the two victories, the Devils were still playing too much in their own zone. They struggled with breakouts last season as well but this season was supposed to be different. They have more skill up front a blue line full of puck movers but still haven’t been able to break out of their own zone cleanly.

 

“If you don’t break out of your zone, you’re going to be in it,” defenseman Damon Severson said. “When we didn’t break out, we played a lot of time on the defensive side of the puck. If we’re breaking out clean, we can play in the offensive side of the zone. I know for a guy like myself, that’s where I’m good is on the offensive side of the puck and where we’ll be able to thrive a little bit more.”

 

The problem isn’t the first pass made out of the defensive zone. It’s the decisions made regarding the next one. The second one is ending up either picked off or at the skates and the Devils aren’t able to start any plays off the rush.

 

“It’s making the second play,” defenseman and captain Andy Greene said. “We don’t make the right read or we put a puck somebody’s feet or something where it’s a bobble play and then we get hemmed in. How do we make that tape-to-tape and crisp and then it forces us to play fast coming out of our zone.”

 

The breakout problems are evident in the numbers. New Jersey’s 45.42 percent Corsi-for is the third-worst in the league. The Devils are just ahead of the Islanders (43.65 percent) and Rangers (43.25) so apparently the three area teams are allergic to possession.

 

Quickness was emphasized above all else Monday, because if you can beat a defender to the puck you have more time to think through the next step.

 

“There has got to be more support,” Hynes said. “We need to have our defensemen activating more so there is another option on the play. I think it’s quicker decisions and needing to know where our support is going to be. A lot of those things, you play faster when you have more puck support you know where guys are going to be. Also, a big one was having our defensemen filling a weak side lane too, so it gives the guys more options to be able to get up and go.”

 

Piece by piece, the Devis are fixing the holes in their game. Last week the message was about simplifying the offensive playmaking. This week it’s breaking out to stay out of another slump.

 

Quick Hitters

 

– This break could be coming at the wrong time for New Jersey, so in order to maintain the momentum gained from those two wins practice needs to mimic a game-like intensity, at least to a certain extent.

 

“You want to have a good balance where you’re working on concepts that you want to work on but there also has to be that competitive level,” Hynes said. “If you have a good balance in your practice, that does allow you to be ready for the game coming up.”

 

Forward Taylor Hall took a maintenance day and did not practice Monday. He is expected to return Tuesday.

 

– Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood also did not practice Monday. With Blackwood sick, the Devils used this an opportunity to work with emergency goalie Casey Ferris, the club’s director of premium partnerships. A former college player, Ferris has been used as an emergency goalie in the past and it was easy enough to ask him to come downstairs and have him work out with the team for a day.

 

  • Will Butcher (upper-body, injured reserve) skated in the morning ahead of the team. Nico Hischier (bruised rib) participated in full.

 

  1. How Devils emphasized playing more offense at start of long layoff

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2019/10/how-devils-emphasized-playing-more-offense-at-start-of-long-layoff.html

 

The Devils have been spending too much time in their own defensive zone.

 

While they did a better job of ending plays and suppressing goals in winning their past two games, transitioning to offense more efficiently is still a point of emphasis.

 

So on the first day of a rare week of multiple practices between games, that’s exactly what the Devils worked on improving.

 

Specifically, the team worked on breakouts from the defensive zone. A large portion of Monday’s practice in Newark revolved around five-man units transitioning the puck out of their own end.

 

“Our initial play off the breakout has actually been pretty good. It’s that next play (that hasn’t),” Devils captain Andy Greene said. “That second play, where if you don’t make it, you have to start scrambling and play a lot more D-zone, or if you’re good at it, you get going off the rush and get to create more offense that way.”

 

“Whether we don’t make the right read or we put the puck in someone’s feet, it’s a bobble play and we get hemmed in. It’s how to get that tape-to-tape and crisp, and that forces us to play fast, too, coming out of our own zone.”

 

Through eight games this season, the Devils have controlled just 45.42 percent of the shot attempts at 5-on-5, which ranks third lowest in the NHL. An easy way to remedy that ratio is spending more time in the offensive zone, so the Devils worked on a basic way to get there more frequently.

 

Video sessions before practice showed spots where the breakout needed to improve, and Devils coach John Hynes saw one key area in particular.

 

“There’s got to be more support. We need to have our defensemen activating more so there’s another option on the plays,” Hynes said. “I think it’s quicker decisions, being able to know where our support is going to be. A lot of those things you play faster when you have a little bit more puck support, you know where the guys are going to be. But also the big one was having our D-men filling a weak-side lane, too, so it gives the guys more options to be able to get up and out.”

 

On top of the usual practice session for the full team, the Devils separated into two smaller groups before and after the main practice, allowing players to get some skill work on the ice.

 

During a typical week with multiple games, the Devils typically manage ice time to conserve players on practice days. Six days between games with off days built in allowed them to stretch things out on Monday.

 

The Devils also want to maintain the momentum they built by winning their two games prior to the break. As much as they try, there’s only so much they can replicate in practice compared to games.

 

“We have to do it in practice. We have to stay sharp, stay on top of it, make sure we’re putting the work in and continue to build off what we’ve done the last prior week,” Greene said. “Take it into this week and just be ready for Friday. You don’t get many opportunities like this ever during the season. It’s good to be able to fine tune some areas and make sure we’re good to go in areas we need to be better at.”

 

  1. Devils injury updates: Good news on Nico Hischier, Will Butcher

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2019/10/devils-injury-updates-good-news-on-nico-hischier-will-butcher.html

 

Center Nico Hischier was a full participant in Monday’s practice, providing another good sign he’ll be ready to return to the Devils’ lineup for their next game on Friday.

 

Hischier practiced on Friday but missed his second straight game on Saturday due to an upper body injury. Hischier said he was feeling good but not quite ready to play at full strength.

 

Defenseman Will Butcher, who also missed Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks due to his own upper body injury, skated on his own Monday morning, making another step toward his return. If he practices in the coming days, it will point to Butcher being ready to play on Friday.

 

The Devils did have two other players absent from practice on Monday. Taylor Hall took a maintenance day as the Devils continue to monitor his ice time on non-game days. With Hall out, forward Jesper Boqvist skated on the top line with Hischier and Kyle Palmieri.

 

Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood missed practice due to illness, though he is expected to be ready to return in the next day or two. The team used Casey Ferris as their second goalie on Monday, along with Cory Schneider.

 

  1. BLOG: Devils New Skills Coach

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/blog-devils-new-skills-coach/c-310336110?tid=277567796

 

Prior to the start of the 2019-20 NHL the Devils hired New Jersey native Ryan Murphy as a skills coach. On Monday, Murphy made his first appearance with the club prior to practice. This particular week provides a good time for Murphy to step in and work individually with players.

 

“We’re trying to make sure that as the season goes on, guys have situations where they’re continuing to work on their skill, their hands and things you kind of do all summer that you don’t have time to do in a regular team practice,” head coach John Hynes said post practice on Monday.

 

Murphy worked with the forwards on Monday and will host a session with the defensemen on Tuesday.

 

“He’s from New Jersey,” Hynes added. “He was coaching prior to this – he was an assistant coach in the American Hockey League. He has a skills company, we hired him this year. We felt it was one of those things that was important for here and in Binghamton. When you have opportunity to practice, and days like this is good, where guys get a little bit more puck touches, individual skill work that you don’t get in an everyday practice.”

 

Murphy has also worked with Devils players returning from injury and players who have been scratched.

 

  1. BLOG: Blackwood Sick, Devils Employee Steps In

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/blog-devils-new-skills-coach/c-310336110?tid=277567796

 

Mackenzie Blackwood did not take part in Devils practice on Monday morning, leaving the New Jersey Devils down a goaltender for practice.

 

Have no fear, the Devils and all their employees look out for one another.

 

Casey Ferris, Manager, Premium Service, had goalie equipment in his car and was called upon to serve as a second goaltender in practice today.

 

This isn’t the first time Ferris has suited up on short notice, he also ran into this scenario last season, so he’s a veteran now at stepping away from his desk and onto the ice!

 

  1. BLOG: Hall Maintenance, Butcher Skates

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/blog-hall-maintenance-butcher-skates/c-310327974?tid=277567796

 

Forward Taylor Hall was not on the ice with his teammates this morning for practice, instead electing to take a maintenance day.

 

Meanwhile, injured defenseman Will Butcher, who was placed on Injured Reserve on Saturday was able to skate on his own today prior to practice.

 

Butcher did not participate in the regular practice schedule, but being on the ice on his own is a step in the right direction for his recovery.

 

The 24-year-old was injured against the New York Rangers last week and was unable to finish the game.

 

3) TV/VIDEO LINKS

 

  1. VIDEO: NJ Devils’ coach John Hynes on break in schedule

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/videos/sports/nhl/devils/2019/10/21/video-nj-devils-coach-john-hynes-break-schedule/4055119002/

 

  1. PRACTICE REPORT | Mini Camp

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/practice-report–mini-camp/t-277437418/c-4407344

 

  1. RAW | Hynes 10.21.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/raw–hynes-102119/t-277437418/c-4407221

 

  1. 3-ON-3 | The Week Ahead

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/3-on-3–the-week-ahead/t-277437418/c-4407199

 

  1. RAW | Greene 10.21.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/raw–greene-102119/t-277437418/c-4407184

 

  1. RAW | Schneider 10.21.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/raw–schneider-102119/t-277437418/c-4407150

 

4) RADIO LINKS – N/A

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB – N/A

 

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New Jersey Devils Post-Game Notes: 10/19 vs. Vancouver

New Jersey Devils 1 vs. Vancouver Canucks 0

  • Attendance: 13,818
  • Three Stars: 1. Hughes 2. M. Blackwood 3. T. Demko

 

TEAM NOTES

 

  • The Devils shutout the Canucks, 1-0, in their first head-to-head contest of the 2019-20 season.
  • Tonight marked the first NHL game played between Devils Jack Hughes and his older brother, Quinn Hughes. It is the 108th time in Devils franchise history that involves a brother vs. brother matchup. (Credit: Craig Seiden, Devils hockey statistician).
  • With his goal, Hughes became the ninth player in NHL history to score his first NHL goal in a game against their brother. Marcus Foligno (w/ BUF) was the last to do so on March 10, 2012 against Nick Foligno (w/ OTT). (Credit: NHL Public Relations).
  • The Devils went 7-7 on the penalty kill and are now 13-13 in their last two games played.
  • Sami Vatanen led the team in time on ice, skating in 26:35 minutes and recording one assist.
  • The Devils will face-off against the Canucks in their second and final matchup November 10th at Rogers Arena. 

PLAYER NOTES

  • Mackenzie Blackwood got the start in net for his 4th start of the season, stopping all 25 shots faced.
  • Jack Hughes got the Devils on the board at 14:08 in the first period on the power play, recording his first career NHL goal, assisted by Taylor Hall and Sami Vatanen. With his goal, Hughes becomes the second youngest player in Devils franchise history to score a goal at 18 years and 157 days (behind Craig Wolanin, 18 years 135 days) (Credit: Craig Seiden, Devils hockey statistician).

 

STATISTICS

 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE   *Subject to change

Sunday: DAY OFF

Monday: Practice @ 11 am at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Devils Today, Game Day, Post Game, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 21, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

October 21, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

  1. SUMMARY
  2. LOCAL PRINT/WEB
  3. TV/VIDEO LINKS
  4. RADIO LINKS
  5. NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

1) SUMMARY

 

Suzie Cool, theahl.com, took a look into the family of Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald, who has two sons currently playing in the AHL, and spoke to him about what it was like to watch them face-off against each other.

 

“It was weird because you just want your kids to do well and not get hurt. I thought both boys played extremely well it was cool to watch the boys battle at this level.”

 

“This is a giant step to their goal, and their goal is to play in the NHL,” said Tom. “The American Hockey League is the second-best league in the world and that’s where they’re at to find their way to the NHL. Whether it’s one game, a hundred games or a thousand games like me, it doesn’t matter, you get to the NHL and you should be very proud of achieving your goals.”

 

2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB – N/A

3) TV/VIDEO LINKS

 

  1. WATCH: Devils mascot pies NBC’s Jimmy Fallon after lost Rangers bet

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2019/10/watch-devils-mascot-pies-nbcs-jimmy-fallon-after-lost-rangers-bet.html

 

  1. NJ Heads To Fallon

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/nj-heads-to-fallon/t-277437418/c-4404293

 

  1. NJ Is Coming For You, Jimmy

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/nj-is-coming-for-you-jimmy/t-277437418/c-4404296

 

  1. COMMUNITY | Kids Day Reporter

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/community–kids-day-reporter/t-277437418/c-4404164

 

4) RADIO LINKS – N/A

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

 

  1. Hockey a family affair for Fitzgeralds

By Suzie Cool, theahl.com

https://theahl.com/hockey-a-family-affair-for-fitzgeralds

 

One look across the ice and there they are.

 

It’s a familiar face you’ve seen time and time again and you know almost everything about them. From their favorite food to their most embarrassing moments, you know this human all too well and now they’re standing on the opposite side of the playing field. Both of you sporting different colors, but with the same name across your back.

 

We’ve all seen this before, families playing one another in a sport that seems to run in their bloodline.

 

In the National Football League, the Watt brothers represent three different organizations in the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Last month, Miami Marlins pitcher Brian Moran made his big-league debut and struck out his brother Colin. Or how about the iconic sisterhood of Venus and Serena Williams, the only two women during the open era to play against one another in four consecutive Grand Slam finals.

 

Or, you could come from an elite hockey family like that of current Rochester Americans interim head coach Gord Dineen, one of five sons of legendary AHL coach Bill Dineen who all went into the family business of hockey.

 

Gord, Kevin and Peter Dineen all played in the NHL. Those playing days are what Gord can reminisce on the most for now.

 

“Playing against your brothers, you look across the ice and you see a different uniform and your brother that you’ve been sitting across the table from for a lot of years.”

 

And that’s just it.

 

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that these athletes, these coaches, these teams –- they’re just humans. Humans who have a favorite food, an embarrassing moment or two, and most importantly, families that they’ve grown with on and off the field of play. And sometimes two siblings that are cut from the same cloth have the chance to face off on the professional stage.

 

With more than 8,000 sports in the entire world, what makes these sibling matchups seem unique is the rarity in which they occur, like the one that happened on Oct. 12 when Rochester visited the Providence Bruins.

 

Amerks rookie defenseman Casey Fitzgerald and older brother Ryan Fitzgerald of the Bruins are two years apart in age and come from a family that has had hockey injected into their veins since birth. Their dad, Tom Fitzgerald, played over 1,000 NHL games in his career and remains heavily involved in the game to this day. As the current assistant general manager and assistant coach of the New Jersey Devils, there’s no question as to why Tom’s two oldest kids dove into hockey the way that they did.

 

Growing up, early mornings consisted of dad’s 6:00 a.m. practices that turned into long days at the rink. Time spent at the rink soon turned into watching their father’s skill set, applying it to their own and falling in love with the game that they seemed destined to grow up and play.

 

After so many years of watching their father on the ice, it’s no surprise Ryan wanted to emulate his dad’s path starting at a very young age.

 

“I think for our situation growing up, most kids probably look at their dad and their family members and that’s kind of the path that they want to emulate,” said the third-year pro. “For us, it was hockey and that’s because that was pretty much all we had growing up.”

 

Luckily for both boys, they were able to carve out their own path to professional hockey.

 

Now 22, Casey finds himself as an up-and-coming prospect in the Buffalo Sabres organization. Casey landed himself a spot on the Amerks roster to begin the 2019-20 season, setting up his first-ever faceoff against Ryan.

 

When the puck dropped, it was an all-out competition, but Casey admitted just how fun it can be when facing off against your own family.

 

“We take it seriously, obviously. We’re trying to win, both of us. But yeah, we’re very competitive as well,” Casey said. “We were kind of matched up against each other a little bit all night. I was right D and he was left wing, so I saw him a lot. He was giving me a couple of shots and we were going back and forth there a little. It was all fun, but we’re both competitive and we both were trying to win.”

 

Prior to competing at the pro level, Casey spent the last four years at Boston College. He served as team captain as a senior and won the Hockey East conference’s award for best defensive defenseman. And in his first two years at BC, he and Ryan got to team up while assisting one another on game-winning goals and sharing championship moments.

 

Ryan Fitzgerald was originally drafted right out of high school by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old has seen ample time at the AHL level, partaking in 134 games entering this season. Bringing a strong forward presence to the Providence roster, Ryan has a goal and an assist in his first five games of 2019-20.

 

Although at the end of the day it was just another game to add to the record books, Ryan made sure that his younger brother knew he wasn’t going to take it easy on him before their faceoff at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

 

“I told him before we played that you got to get the puck off of your stick quick, because I’m coming for it,” Ryan recalled.

 

Some playful banter beforehand, but most importantly, it was the moments that happened after the game that meant the most to the two boys. Despite their extremely busy schedules, their parents, along with a couple of others, came out to watch the competition. Coming from such a heavy hockey family, the Fitzgeralds are no stranger to taking in a game and watching their kids play. But this game was a little different considering the circumstances.

 

Tom Fitzgerald talked about the experience watching his boys battle it out against each other at the professional level.

 

“It was weird because you just want your kids to do well and not get hurt. I thought both boys played extremely well it was cool to watch the boys battle at this level.”

 

On the ice, the Fitzgerald brothers may be sporting different colors, but the name across their back was what brought them and their family together following the matchup. Both boys noted on how nice it was to have the level of support that they did, but the fact that they could come together as a family and put the competition aside is what was most impressive. Again, another weird concept when your own sibling, someone you often go to for advice, becomes your opponent on the ice.

 

Being the younger of the two, Casey admitted to going to Ryan time and time again while transitioning into his first professional season.

 

“In my pro career I’ve learned a lot from my brother. I’ve called him and tried to get the ins and outs of pro hockey to see what his experience was like three years ago when he was starting his first season.”

 

The season matchup between the two isn’t quite over just yet, as the Amerks and Bruins are set to have one more meeting in Rochester on Oct. 30. Ryan may have gotten the bragging rights with a 3-2 Bruins win the first go-around, but Casey will look to settle the score.

 

The relationship within the Fitzgerald family and their humble ability to make you see them as humans is incredible. You have Casey, who looks to his older brother for advice on how to handle his first professional season and Ryan, who was both participating in the game against Rochester and paying attention to his younger brother’s shifts in order to see if he was doing things right. And Tom, who simply at the end of the day goes to the rink to watch his kids play hockey in what just so happens to be at the professional level.

 

After so many years of being involved in the game himself, Tom knows the struggles and the triumphs all too well. He’s familiar with the dedication it takes to get to this level in the sport and he’s familiar with the sacrifices that come along with the territory. When Tom retired, he was most excited about being able to ‘be a dad’ and be around his boys, because in all honesty, the game can take away even the simplest of moments for some. Luckily for Tom he’s gotten to pass on his love for the game to his own kids who are now living what was once his own dream.

 

“This is a giant step to their goal, and their goal is to play in the NHL,” said Tom. “The American Hockey League is the second-best league in the world and that’s where they’re at to find their way to the NHL. Whether it’s one game, a hundred games or a thousand games like me, it doesn’t matter, you get to the NHL and you should be very proud of achieving your goals.”

 

 

 

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