The Devils will face-off against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow night at Bell MTS Place in their second and final head-to-head matchup of the 2019-20 season (8 pm, TSN3, MSG).


Chris Ryan,, spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about the teams improvement on the power play.


“They’re playing with a lot detail, their work ethic’s very strong,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “They’re working as a five-man unit and their decisions are good, which is a big part of it.”


Amanda Stein,, wrote her latest issue of the Devils Big Read, taking a look at the Swiss-born talent Nico Hischier and his journey to becoming a hockey hero in his home country.




  1. Why Devils’ power play has found sustained traction

By Chris Ryan,


The Devils’ power play was one of the team’s biggest weaknesses through the first six games of the season, going 0-for-18 in the first six games, where the team failed to record a win.


In the six games that followed, the Devils won three, and the power play became a big reason why.


The Devils netted at least one power-play goal in each of those games, converting on seven of 29 chances for a 24.1 percent success rate. The top unit has been the one responsible for generating the scoring, with Jack Hughes responsible for three goals, Kyle Palmieri for two goals, plus Wayne Simmonds and Sami Vatanen for one goal apiece.


“They’re playing with a lot detail, their work ethic’s very strong,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “They’re working as a five-man unit and their decisions are good, which is a big part of it.”


While the goals have started to fall, it’s been much more than just the Devils converting on their chances. They’ve created scoring opportunities on the man advantage at a much higher rate over the past six games compared to the first six.


While going 0-for-18 in their first six losses, the Devils generated scoring chances at a rate of 20.38 per 60 minutes, which ranked third-lowest in the NHL over that stretch. That led to 1.94 expected goals per 60, which was 10th-lowest. They were doing enough to produce at least some offense but had nothing to show for it.


Over the past six games, both those numbers have jumped considerably. They generated 53.06 scoring chances per 60 minutes in their run — 10th-highest in the NHL during that stretch. That led to 7.54 expected goals per 60 minutes, which ranks fourth-highest in the NHL in the same stretch.


When the Devils were a playoff team two seasons ago, they rode a power play that ranked 10th in the NHL, along with a penalty kill that ranked eighth. One season ago, the Devils finished 21st on the power play.


Along with the power play clicking over the past six games, the penalty kill has also settled down, allowing just two goals on 23 chances. If the Devils are going to keep climbing out of their early-season hole, they need their special teams to maintain their current level of play.


  1. BIG READ: Nico’s Nature

By Amanda Stein,


Sometimes, Nico Hischier can feel it.


He can feel the stares he might get, sitting with friends in a restaurant or walking down the street. He’s aware he draws attention – particularly in Switzerland. He says it’s most notable in his small town of Naters, not far from the Matterhorn.


“I don’t feel it all the time, but sometimes you know they’re staring at you. It’s obvious. Sometimes you’re almost like ‘should I go ask him if he wants a photo?'”


He doesn’t mind. And he completely understands.


Nico just considers himself Nico.


“I try to always be like that person, from when I grew up in Switzerland,” Hischier said.


He has a humble nature, one that you might not ascribe to such a successful athlete, the first of his kind in his home country.


The reality of it is, that Hischier commands the attention, particularly in Switzerland, because he became something no other Swiss hockey player has ever been: an NHL first-overall selection.


And while lines of fans scale the Prudential Center glass with No. 13 jerseys on, walk down the streets in Switzerland – particularly Bern – and the Devils are heavily represented. It was apparent when the team traveled to Bern last pre-season for the NHL Global Series, which stopped in the town where Nico played his first game as a professional.


It was deafening to hear the reception that Hischier was given when his name was announced on the ice on October 1, 2018. The fans in Switzerland love their native son. And he loves them back equally.


Hischier’s early success in the NHL and his prominent first-overall selection has made him a household name. He receives a lot of attention, though he probably would prefer not to. At the Global Series, little children everywhere were cheering for the New Jersey Devils – a team halfway across the world – because of one single player.


It didn’t start that way for Hischier though, as Adrien Bürgler, a journalist from Switzerland, put it.


“Early on, there were some reports of a boy that was probably the most talented Swiss player ever,” he wrote.


Bürgler said that ‘the boy’ was mostly recognized at first in his native Canton of Valais, but his jump to Bern was when his name took hold on a more national scale. And it wasn’t that long ago.


“I like the mountains, even for me when I’m gone for like eight, nine months and coming back [to Switzerland] I’m impressed,” Hischier said last month. “I lived there 17 years, during those years you don’t really think about it, appreciate it, so it was literally the first time when I came back at 18 years old, that was the first time I was like ‘woah,’ from my hometown window I was like ‘What’s this mountain? Was it that big all the time?” you start to see those things when you’re gone for a while.”


Hischier appreciates the little things. It seems a part of his very humble nature growing up in Naters. Anyone who has known Nico for years, or even by way of small encounters all recall the same thing. How humble he is. Unwilling, it seems at times, to acknowledge the amount of success he’s accomplished in his young life.


At around age 12, Hischier focused his energy on hockey. In his U-15 year, he had 97 points in 20 games. ‘The boy from Valais’ played 22 games with the U-17 Visp team that same year. He had 77 points.


Sebastien Pico was the general manager of HC Visp, Hischier was playing for the junior Visp club.


Pico began to put Hischier on journalists’ radar.


Emmanuel Favre, who is a Swiss journalist covering the NHL based out of Montreal recounted this story:


“At home, we have two stars,” Pico said. “One that the world knows: Alex Kovalev. There is also one other, one that the world will soon know: Nico Hischier.”


Favre said he though Pico may have been pulling his leg, finding a way to shed a spotlight on his junior club.


Alex Kovalev had just left the NHL after a career of 1316 games and 1029 points. The hockey world certainly knew Kovalev and his exquisite talents.


So, who could this Hischier boy be?


“I was perplexed,” Favre recalled. “I thought that Pico just wanted to put the spotlight on his club. The following week, I attended a match Nico was playing, there were just 25 fans in the stands.”


With the experience of covering hockey for 20 years, Favre sat down to watch and just minutes into the game he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.


“I had to see just two shifts,” Favre told me. “Two shifts, to realize that this kid from Naters actually had a hockey-sense that I had never seen in any other Swiss forward.”


Youth hockey doesn’t quite have the same following that you’d find here in North America, that you would in Switzerland. Mostly, you’ll find the spectators are parents and family members of the players on the ice.


“We never talk about it on television, we do not find the results in the newspapers,” Favre said.


So maybe it took a little longer for the Hischier name to catch on in Switzerland, but when it did, it took hold.


“Nico has played very few matches in professional leagues in Switzerland, just 28,” Favre said, “But, on one occasion, in one of those games, Hischier did something absolutely crazy. During a Swiss Cup match, he played with Bern against Visp, at the Visp ice rink. He was just 16 years old… The match was played to the shootout. And it was he, in the rink of his childhood, who had scored the winning goal for Bern. It takes a hell of a lot to do that. On that stage.”


He became a recurring topic,” Bürgler said. “At first it was mostly regional coverage in his native Canton of Valais. But the national media covered him too. Even more so during his year in the Quebec league, and he was one of the top prospects for the draft. In the last few days before the draft, things got crazy. There was a new story about Nico every day.”


And then came the World Juniors.


If you hadn’t heard of him before then in Switzerland, he was now on your radar.


“I think the first time he really made the news with the national team in Switzerland was in 2015, with the under-18 team,” Bürgler said. “The world championships were in Zug, Switzerland and the Swiss team surprisingly made it to the bronze medal game. He was only 16 then, and his impact was not necessarily that big. But in 2017 he was by far the best Swiss player at the world junior championships in Montreal and Toronto. He carried the Swiss team on his back and to the quarterfinals where he scored twice and single-handedly almost beat the U.S. team.”


That too, but Hischier on Ray Shero’s radar.


“Nico can certainly score, but he also has great playmaking abilities, and the ability to make other players better,” Shero said. “He was so impressive at the World Juniors, and U-18s, but especially with what he was able to do at Halifax in helping them make the playoffs as a young team and really driving that team and how he was able to make a difference.”


After Hischier’s first year in the NHL, there was much anticipation back in Switzerland that he would be able to play for the men’s national team for the first time. Buergler noted that many didn’t get to see Nico play with the Devils because of the time difference, this would be their chance. Unfortunately, a wrist injury prevented him from participating.


“But that made this spring even more exciting,” Bürgler said. “When Nico could finally made his debut with the men’s national team. And he scored a hattrick in his first game. He had a very big impact right away. Especially, since the center position used to be one of the weaknesses of the swiss team. Having Nico definitely changes that.”


“And when it mattered, he would score,” he added. “That’s also a quality, Swiss players often lacked.”


Hischier’s father Reno also had a knack for scoring goals. He played professional soccer as a striker for FC Naters, a third division club of the Swiss professional leagues. Sports, it seems, has always been in Nico’s blood. He found success in everything he tried.


“Where I grew up, Naters, it’s right in the Alps, a half-hour away from the Matterhorn. I’m 10 minutes I’m at the ski hill. I used to ski a lot. I wasn’t bad. I switched to snowboarding at the end.”


But not just snowboarding down the Swiss alps, Hischier and his friends sought out the powder.


“I love doing freestyle stuff,” he said. “My friends and I would go out where the powder is, and build moguls and places where we could jump.”


Again, the humble nature: “we could jump.”


But press him for more and he’ll admit: “We would do back-flips, we could do front-flips.”


That, most certainly, is not nothing, Nico.


Hischier has excelled at every sport he’s put his mind to. Skiing, snowboarding, swimming, you name it.


But Hischier found his groove on the ice.


He wouldn’t put hockey at the top of the sporting map in Switzerland when you ask him who rules that world.


Of course, Roger Federer takes the cake. But Hischier says after that, it’s soccer teams, skiers, and then there’s hockey.


“I’d say the last 5 to 10 years, you’re seeing hockey grow,” he said.


That timeline can be seen in parallel to the rise of Hischier’s career. Hischier, of course, isn’t the only successful Swiss hockey story, but he may be the most significant one in many years.


Defensemen Mark Streit joined the Montreal Canadiens in 2005, with many Swiss-born NHL players considering Streit a type of gateway into believing they too could reach that level of success. It seemed less foreign, less far away.


Streit was the first non-goaltender Swiss-born player to make it to the NHL.


Hischier, the first to be selected first overall.


“He is definitely making an impact on Swiss hockey,” Bürgler said. “He’s part of a group of young Swiss forwards that are proof that they can succeed in the NHL. So, for context: At first there were only Swiss goalkeepers in the NHL, Martin Gerber, David Aebischer, Jonas Hiller. Then Mark Streit came along and proved, that skaters can succeed as well.”


He is now just one of 12 active Swiss-born NHL players. Many consider him the ‘poster-boy’ of his generation, carrying the torch for Swiss hockey players.


“Streit was a defenseman and so the next batch of Swiss players in the NHL were defenders as well. Luca Sbisa, Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, Roman Josi, among them. But now Nico has been among the pioneers of Swiss forwards in the NHL. I think in his early career, he shows children in Switzerland, that even the wildest of their NHL-dreams can come true.”


Even for those on the sidelines, were witnessing, as Devils general manager Ray Shero said Nico’s name at the podium at the 2017 draft, had a moment of their own.


“From Switzerland, it was very difficult to assess Nico’s chances of being number one,” Favre said. “We did not see him playing with Halifax, we did not know the specifics of Nolan Patrick either and the other players who were favorites to be No. 1.”


“The dream,” he added, “was more of an emotional one than one for objective reasons” before the Hischier rise to prominence.


There were cries of ‘YES!’ in the early hours of the morning among the Swiss hockey fans when Devils general manager Ray Shero announced Hischier’s name at the entry draft.


It had finally happened.


“I was working and covered the draft live after midnight,” Bürgler said. “It was thrilling because it was a historical moment [for the country]. In the media the words “Swiss sports history” were everywhere.”


“I had appreciated the modesty of the moment from Nico,” Favre added. “He had barely cracked a smile before kissing his parents and shaking Nolan [Patrick’s] hand. Such high-class.”


Hischier continues, apart from returning to his native-Switzerland in the off-season, to remain connected to hockey fans in Switzerland all year round.


From the time he was 17, Hischier has contributed to a local newspaper.


It was Favre, who after those first two shifts seeing Nico at the junior level, knew this kid would be something special and someone to hold on to, stay connected to.


Favre suggested to Hischier’s agent that he contribute a bi-monthly article to Le Matin, a newspaper that draws 300,000 readers a day.


“When I brought this idea to the editor of the newspaper, he was wide-eyed and asked, “Who?”


At the time, other contributors to the column were international soccer players and acclaimed tennis stars like Stan Wawrinka.


Who was this Hischier kid?


Favre managed to convince his editor to give it a chance. Favre wanted to tell Hischier’s story as he headed to Canada to play for Halifax in the Quebec Major Junior league, and watch him flourish into a future star in the NHL. When Favre’s editor gave the go-ahead, he was excited.


Just two days later, Hischier was at the newspaper’s office. From then on, as Hischier played his way through the QMJHL, he connected back to his Swiss fans through his columns.


Hischier had 86 points in 57 games.


He shared all aspects of his life, Favre said who said the column had first been called “My Life in Canada”.


To this day, he still contributes.


“Nico is just such a generous person with his time,” Favre explained. “Last season, after a bad game in Ottawa, he still sat with me for a long time talking. Two weeks ago, while he was injured, he even took some time to return one of my calls. Not all high-level athletes will do this. So, I would define Nico as a very respectful person.”


Nico scored one of his prettier goals in the NHL just two nights ago. He dangled the puck around Carolina defender Jacob Slavin. During the game, I was sitting near the Devils healthy scratches. We all looked around as Hischier and the rest of the team were celebrating. What just happened? How did he do that?


In the locker-room afterward, ever the team player, but also realizing it’s somewhere in his bones, Hischier made no matter of the goal.


“I saw Bratter [Jesper Bratt] coming,” Hischier said. “I wanted to pass first to him, it was kind of a broken play. So handled the puck, and just tried to go far-side.”


Needless to say, that’s not exactly how many would describe it. It was far more than “handling the puck” and just “trying to go far-side.”


But that’s just how he operates: under the radar, just another guy doing his job, putting everyone before himself.


He is just 20-years-old, has a lot of attention around him, and is sought after, particularly by the New Jersey Devils fans and young Swiss fans as well. He makes the concerted effort to treat everyone the same.


“In my hometown, that’s where I feel it the biggest, obviously,” he said. “It’s just a small village and when I’m there for a week that’s where I get stopped the most. In Bern, I get stopped too. But sometimes I try and wear my hat.”


“The people in Switzerland, there like ‘oh yeah, look that’s Nico’, but they don’t come up and bother me,” he added. “For me, it’s no problem. Either way, if they’re looking at me or asking for pictures, I don’t have to do much, right? If they’re happy… If they want a signature, I’m happy to do that.”


There he goes again, humble as ever.


  1. PODCAST: Bratt on Ascending From Sixth Rounder to Devils Roster in a Year

By Marc Ciampa,


The fifth episode of the Devils Official Podcast is Jesper Bratt.


Bratt exploded for a two-goal game last week against the Tampa Bay Lightning and has been a dynamic young forward on the club as he embarks on his third NHL season.


Bratt was drafted by the Devils in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft but defied odds to make the club only a year later. Bratt actually attended the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo which is a rare thing to do for a player taken in the sixth or seventh round.


“It was really stressful. You don’t really know where you’re going to end up,” said Bratt. “There’s a lot of speculation and I was invited to the Combine for the top 100. The picks started to go and the rounds and everything and I was sitting there a little stressed.”


Once he was selected, however, his mind was at ease.


“I got picked in the sixth round there but I felt right away after my meetings (with the Devils) like the number didn’t matter at all. I felt like I came to a great organization. For me, if I was a second round pick or six or seven it didn’t really amtter to me. I felt like I came to the right spot for the right fit.”


And from there, that attitude worked for him as he found his way on the team a year later.


“I didn’t really have expectations on myself,” Bratt began. “I always believed that my type of game could take me pretty far if I was just dialed in and worked hard. I came to camp and I wanted to stay here and do everything I could to make the team. I feel like right away I got a pretty good start at the rookie tournament. I felt like the coaches like my game with my speed and everything.”






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Jersey Devils Post-Game Notes: 11/1 vs. Philadelphia

New Jersey Devils 3 vs. Philadelphia Flyers 4 (SO)


  • Attendance: 14,624
  • Three Stars: 1. S. Couturier 2. T. Hall 3. S. Vatanen



  • The Devils fell to the Flyers, 4-3, in a shootout, in their second head-to-head contest of the 2019-20 season.
  • New Jersey has scored a power play goal in each of their last five contests after not converting in their first six games.
  • Nico Hischier led the team in shots on goal, recording four.
  • P.K. Subban led the team in time on ice, skating in 25:24 minutes and recording one goal.
  • The Devils will face-off against the Flyers in their third of four matchups, February 6th at Wells Fargo Center.





  • Mackenzie Blackwood got the start in net for his 6th start of the season, stopping 28 of 31 shots faced (.903%).
  • Wayne Simmonds got the Devils on the board at 6:24 in the first period on the power play, recording his first goal of the season and his first as a Devil, assisted by Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri.
  • Sami Vatanen tallied his fourth goal of the season at 14:28 in the second frame on the power play, getting the helpers from Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall. Vatanen extends his goal-streak to a career-high three games (3G). With his assist, Hall extends his assist-streak to four games (5A).
  • Hall notched his second goal of the season at 9:58 in the third period, assisted by Andy Greene and Travis Zajac. With his assist, Greene extends his point-streak to two games (3A).


Posted in Post Game | Leave a comment

New Jersey Devils Post-Game Notes: 10/30/19 vs. Tampa Bay

New Jersey Devils 6 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 7 (OT)


  • Attendance: 13,152
  • Three Stars: 1. Palmieri 2. J. Bratt 3. O. Palat




  • The Devils fell to the Lightning, 7-6, in overtime, in their first head-to-head contest of the 2019-20 season.
  • New Jersey has scored a power play goal in each of their last four contests after not converting in their first six games (Creidt: Craig Sedien, Devils hockey statistician).
  • The Devils had seven players record multi-point games (Palmieri, Bratt, Hischier, Greene, Simmonds, Hall, Butcher).
  • Kyle Palmieri led the team in shots on goal, recording eight.
  • Sami Vatanen led the team in time on ice, skating in 24:04 minutes and recording one goal.
  • The Devils will face-off against the Lightning in their second of three matchups, January 12th at Prudential Center.





  • Cory Schneider got the start in net for his 5th start of the season, stopping 16 of 23 shots faced.
  • Kyle Palmieri got the Devils on the board at 1:10 in the first period on the power play, recording his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Wayne Simmonds and Taylor Hall. Palmieri’s power play goal marks the 50th power play goal of his career, 43 of which have come with the Devils (Credit: Craig Seiden, Devils hockey statistician). With his assist, Hall extends his point-streak to three games (3A).
  • Jesper Bratt tallied his second goal of the season at 6:05 in the second frame, getting the helpers from Pavel Zacha and Nico Hischier. With his assist, Zacha extends his point-streak to two games (1G-1A).
  • Palmieri notched his second goal of the game at 12:17 in the second period, assisted by Will Butcher and Hall. With his assist, Hall records his second multi-point game of the season.
  • Bratt recorded his second goal of the season at 13:16 in the second frame, getting the helpers from Andy Greene and Hischier. With his assist, Greene records his first point of the 2019-20 season.
  • Sami Vatanen tallied his third goal of the season at 1:13 in the third period, assisted by Simmonds and Greene. Greene’s assist marks his 31st career multi-point game and his first since 3/13/19 at Edmonton.
  • Palmieri notched his third goal of the game, recording his second career hat trick, at 19:52 in the third frame, the assists from Simmonds and Butcher. Palmieri’s hat trick is his first as a Devil.




  • Game Notes
  • Game Summary
  • Event Summary
  • Full Play-by-Play
  • Face-off Summary
  • Face-off Comparison
  • Roster Report
  • Shot Summary
  • Shift Chart
  • TOI Report – New Jersey Devils

UPCOMING SCHEDULE   *Subject to change


Thursday: Practice @ 12 pm at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House

Friday: Game vs. Philadelphia Flyers @ 7 pm at Prudential Center







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






The Devils will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Prudential Center (7 pm, MSG+, SUN). Tonight’s matchup marks the first of three head-to-head contests between the two clubs’.


Chris Ryan,, spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about his decision to scratch forward Nikita Gusev in tonight’s game and have him sit and watch the game with former Devil, Patrik Elias.


“It’s just understanding where, if you look and feel, he might have a little bit more time and space and that will help him get up out of the (defensive) zone a little bit better,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “Some forecheck situations where his play without the puck of where he can be to get a back, reads you can make to be in position to be on time on the forecheck or tracking situations on the line rush. Those are the areas he will watch with (Elias) and sometimes you get a different perspective too when you have a chance to just see the game and see other players play.”


Amanda Stein,, wrote her 10 takeaways from the week – looking into the team’s busy week of practice, P.K. Subban’s Blueline Buddies and how Miles Wood has been working with Devils great, Patrik Elias to help improve his game.




  1. How Devils’ Patrik Elias is going to help Nikita Gusev when he’s a healthy scratch vs. Lightning

By Chris Ryan,


Nikita Gusev is going to watch Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning from the press box, and the Devils forward is going to have company in the form of Patrik Elias.


The first-year NHL forward will be a healthy scratch for the first time in the team’s 10th game, with the Devils hoping to give him a quick step away from the ice to aid in his transition to the North American game.


Elias has been and will continue to be around the Devils on occasion over the course of the season, serving in an advisory role that includes on-ice work at practices. Now he’ll get some one-on-one time with Gusev to help the 27-year-old Russian winger see some adjustments he can make in games.


“It’s just understanding where, if you look and feel, he might have a little bit more time and space and that will help him get up out of the (defensive) zone a little bit better,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “Some forecheck situations where his play without the puck of where he can be to get a back, reads you can make to be in position to be on time on the forecheck or tracking situations on the line rush. Those are the areas he will watch with (Elias) and sometimes you get a different perspective too when you have a chance to just see the game and see other players play.”


Gusev saw a heavy workload in the preseason, playing in more games than most as the Devils gave him extra opportunities to adapt to the NHL. He played in every game to start the regular season, but Hynes found himself sheltering Gusev at 5-on-5, limiting his ice time and impact on the game offensively.


Gusev saw a heavy workload in the preseason, playing in more games than most as the Devils gave him extra opportunities to adapt to the NHL. He played in every game to start the regular season, but Hynes found himself sheltering Gusev at 5-on-5, limiting his ice time and impact on the game offensively.


  1. Devils practice lines: Jesper Bratt in over Nikita Gusev; Will Butcher ready to return?

By Chris Ryan,


Some slight changes appear to be coming to the Devils’ lineup.


In their final practice in Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Devils made tweaks to their practice lines, swapping out a pair of players.


Jesper Bratt, who was a healthy scratch last Friday against the Arizona Coyotes, took Nikita Gusev’s spot on the third line with Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha.


Will Butcher, who missed the past two games with an upper body injury, was on the third pairing with Matt Tennyson, replacing Mirco Mueller.


Here’s what the full lineup looked like:




Taylor Hall – Jack Hughes – Kyle Palmieri


Blake Coleman – Travis Zajac – Wayne Simmonds


Pavel Zacha – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt


Miles Wood – Kevin Rooney – John Hayden




Damon Severson – P.K. Subban


Andy Greene – Sami Vatanen


Will Butcher – Matt Tennyson




Cory Schneider/Mackenzie Blackwood




F: Jesper Boqvist, Nikita Gusev


D: Mirco Mueller


On IR: D Connor Carrick (broken pinky, out 4-6 weeks)


Wednesday’s game against the Lightning will be the Devils’ fifth in a six-game home stand. The team is 2-2-0 in its first four games. After playing the Flyers at home on Friday, the Devils will begin a five-game road trip, starting against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in Raleigh, followed by a four-game swing through Western Canada to play the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.


  1. PREVIEW: Devils vs Lightning

By Marc Ciampa,


The New Jersey Devils face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Prudential Center.


You can watch the game on MSG+ or listen on the Devils Hockey Network.


Read the game preview below and check back for lineup updates, stats, our Pre-Game Report and more.



Reports from recent Devils practices and more.



NEWARK, NJ – Check back around 2 p.m. for a full pre-game report.


— Marc Ciampa,



DEVILS (2-5-2) vs. LIGHTNING (5-4-2)


TV: 7:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG+




Tonight is the first of three regular-season contests between New Jersey and Tampa Bay. In 2018-19, the Lightning defeated the Devils in the season series with a 3-0-0 (6PTS) record. The Devils were 1-9 on the man advantage in the regular season series versus the Lightning, and 4-9 on the penalty kill.


Sami Vatanen (2A) and Miles Wood (1G-1A) led the Devils in scoring with two points. Taylor Hall led the squad with nine shots in three games played. Cory Schneider allowed seven goals in 95 minutes of action against the Lightning. Schneider played in all three contests against Tampa Bay.


Devils team scope:


The Devils are in a strange stretch of their schedule with only two games in 12 days to wrap up the month of October. With nine games played, the Devils are the only team with less than 10 contests in the season. In fact, the Rangers are the only team with less than 11 besides the Devils.


Taylor Hall leads the Devils in points with seven through nine games. Sami Vatanen, Jack Hughes and Pavel Zacha each have five.


Lightning team scope:


After last season saw them reach 128 points, only four off the NHL’s all-time total of 132 set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976-77, the Lightning are off to a slow start by their standards at 5-4-2.


The Bolts have dropped their last two games, falling 4-1 last night to the Rangers and 3-2 this past Saturday to the Predators.


Steven Stamkos leads the way for the Lightning with 12 points through 11 games while last season’s Hart Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov has 11 points in 11 games.


Goaltender Curtis McElhinney is looking for his first win as a Lightning, 0-1-2 in his first three starts with a 3.30 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.


By the Numbers:


Kucherov had nine points last season against the Devils which was the most of any player against New Jersey in 2018-19. … The Devils penalty kill got off to a rough start this season, going along at a 50% clip through the team’s first five games but since that time, the Devils have had the best penalty kill in the NHL. Since October 13, the Devils have killed off 95% of all penalties.


Injury Updates:


Devils – Connor Carrick (broken finger) is out; Will Butcher (upper body) is probable.


Lightning – Anthony Cirelli, Pat Maroon and Victor Hedman all left the game on Tuesday with an injury and are questionable


  1. 10 TAKEAWAYS: Blueline Buddies, Halloween, and More

By Amanda Stein,


NEWARK, NJ – There aren’t many games to talk about over the past week, it’s mostly been practice after practice with the schedule a bit weird these past two weeks. After the Devils won two games in a row against the Rangers and Canucks, which we discussed last week, New Jersey has played just one game since then, a regulation loss to the Coyotes.


So, we’re talking about practice, man.



Part of that practice time was dedicated to individual skills. Multiple times over the last few weeks, the Devils skills coach has made an appearance. Redbank, NJ native Ryan Murphy was hired prior to the season to work with both New Jersey and the Binghamton Devils when time permits for individual skills work.


“I’m new to it,” Subban told me. “In Nashville or Montreal, we never really had a skills guy come in during the season. But I like it, first of all because the way he comes in, for us he’s just saying “guys, this is for you guys” and that’s where it starts. The players see it more as helping us and you can get what you need out of it. I thought it was great.”



Earlier this week, Subban announced his plans to continue his Blueline Buddies program that began while he was with the Nashville Predators. He hosted his first night, which pairs youth and law enforcement together for dinner, the game and a meet and greet with PK. The first group of Blueline Buddies made their way through the Prudential Center last Friday. I made sure I was there for the pre-game meet and greet. It was really quite something to watch. One of the children there, before Subban came out, you could feel the level of excitement emanating. “I’m about to meet a celebrity!” they said. And then, when PK came out, the eyes lit up, the shyness came around, but Subban made everyone feel completely at ease, trying to get the kids out of their shell in the few short moments he had before the game.


It was this really nice reminder, the power that a simple hello, a simple five minutes of someone’s day can make a world of difference. Once Subban left for the team meeting, I chatted with the detectives and the two children they had with them. It was equally as exciting for the detectives to have the chance to participate in the program. It was neat for me to stand in the background and watch the power of an athlete make an impact with just a few moments of their time.



I’ve had so much fun this year with Matt Loughlin as we relaunched the Devils Official Podcast this off-season. We’ve had a string of players on our past three episodes. We obviously ask the hockey questions, but we really try and use that time to learn about the players off the ice. The podcast makes for a relaxed environment where I think Matt and I have been able to get players to open up. This week we had Nico Hischier on and I was totally impressed to know that Nico is a top notch snowboarder, which I guess shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given the fact he grew up in Naters by the Swiss alps. I had to ask, what about all those tricks people do on snowboards? Yup, Nico can do them too. But don’t worry, he says, he hasn’t done them since he’s been in the NHL and though not written in his new contract as a clause, he doesn’t plan on getting on a snowboard anytime soon!



Miles Wood has just two points in nine games this season, but maybe that’s about to change. We know players can be sticklers for equipment and equipment changes, but it sounds like Wood might give it a shot. Suggested to him by Patrik Elias, the 24-year-old is switching to a longer stick.


He first used it on the advice from Elias in practice on Saturday and said he felt an immediate difference.


“He sees the game as us,” Wood said. “What we were talking about out there was just my stick length. He think’s it’s a little too short. So I had the equipment staff put a nob in the stick just to extend for practice and I just kind of liked it.”


I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about equipment specifications, but here’s the adjustment that Miles will be using against Tampa, it’s minimal, but has made a difference so far.



Cory Schneider and his wife Jill (along, I guess, with their “son” Jack Hughes) hosted this year’s team Halloween party. The costumes were fantastic too. I’m partial, because I’m a crazed FRIENDS fan, but Taylor Hall and his girlfriend Rachel nailed it with their costumes, dressing as Ross and Rachel, after a wild night in Vegas and putting Sharpie marks on each others faces.


As for the host, he broke down some of his favorite costumes:


“Blake and his wife did Castaway,” Schneider said. “It’s one of my favorite movies. Damon and his girlfriend did Globo Gym from Dodgeball which was pretty good, there was a lot of creativity. There were a few last year where you could tell went to Target at the 11th hour and bought one off the rack but I thought this year everyone did a really good job.”



I was confused though, some of the costumes were recognizable. But, Jesper Bratt and Jesper Boqvist, I couldn’t quite put my finger on. When I asked Schneider, he had the best answer, sorting through his own confusion.


“I don’t know,” Schneider said when I asked him. “I don’t know if they were like ABBA, or Swedish 80’s … maybe in Sweden that’s the 2000’s! They were just party-boys from Sweden I guess!”



Something I found out, when talking Halloween? Not only is Kyle Palmieri not into the supernatural, but he once left a hotel on a road-trip because he thought the hotel was haunted. I won’t say where, but the team no longer stays at that hotel. But, Palmieri actually left the team hotel and bought himself his own room just up the street at another hotel. You can’t make this stuff up! I had it confirmed by several people, including Kyle himself!



Enough with the Halloween, now. How about the confidence of Jack Hughes rising? Actually, that might not be a fair way of putting it. Hughes has always had his confidence and has never been afraid to be confident in his game. But now it seems to have started to connect on the ice. Unlike before the NHL, Hughes doesn’t have the puck on his stick the entire time and with that he seems to have figured out how to play in the NHL. It is still a long learning process, but he’s recognized as just so smart on the ice that it might not take that long.


Heading into the next week, Hughes is riding a three-game point streak and his two NHL goals are eerily similar. A laser of a shot from the circle that rockets through a small hole between the goalie and the cross-bar. It’s incredible really, the precision.



Sometimes you find out little nuggets of information in press conferences about systems and the way a coach wants their players to play. On Friday night, John Hynes expressed his disappointment with how the game against the Coyotes went, particularly with the mental mistakes that ended up in the back of the Devils net. A rule in the John Hynes system?


“We have a rule,” Hynes said post-game. “You can’t line-change when you have the puck in the neutral zone. And we line changed.”


And it cost them against the Coyotes. So, in practice this week, we saw a lot of execution on the fundamentals.



And finally, congratulations are in order for Martin Brodeur. On Wednesday I had the chance to travel to Toronto, Canada to be in attendance while Brodeur was elected into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, along with seven other new members. While the three New Jersey Stanley Cups were mentioned, Brodeur was also recognized for his Team Canada play during the Olympics. He’s a hero to so many in New Jersey, but equally in Canada, his home country.


At the event, Brodeur was also awarded the first ever Order of Sport of Canada. It’s a recognition of an athlete, builder or contributor to Canadian sports that exemplify shared Canadian values of respect, equality, fairness and openness.


Brodeur was on the stage with several Olympic athletes, and I think he felt a little out of place, saying “as a hockey player [in the NHL], we always think about hockey, we don’t really think about sports.” As the audience broke into a chuckle, Brodeur continued, “Well, it is a game!”


BONUS: Please welcome to the team Catherine Bogart. You’ll see her throughout the year at community-driven events, making sure we bring to you all the initiatives the Devils and HBSE organization are doing behind the scenes. Catherine started last week and she has been a great addition to our Content Team!




  1. PRACTICE | One More Practice

By New Jersey Devils,–one-more-practice/t-277437418/c-4473765


  1. RAW | Hynes 10.29.19

By New Jersey Devils,–hynes-102919/t-277437418/c-4473760


  1. RAW | Hall 10.29.19

By New Jersey Devils,–hall-102919/t-277437418/c-4473741


  1. RAW | Greene 10.29.19

By New Jersey Devils,–greene-102919/t-277437418/c-4473699








Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment






The Devils will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night at Prudential Center (7 pm, MSG+, SUN). Tomorrow’s matchup marks the first of three head-to-head contests between the two clubs’.


Chris Ryan,, spoke to Devils forward Wayne Simmonds about searching for his first goal as a part of the Devils and changing his game to help create more offense.


“I don’t think I need to change anything, just put the puck in the back of the net. That’s the only difference here,” Simmonds said. “I’m doing everything right, playing defense well. I think I’m making good decisions in the neutral zone and I am getting to the net. I am getting my opportunities, so one’s got to go in, and usually once one goes in, they start to come after.”


The Devils announced yesterday that defenseman Connor Carrick will miss a significant amount of time as he recovers from a broken pinky finger.


Carrick suffered the injury while blocking a shot in practice on Thursday. He had surgery and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.




  1. Do the NJ Devils need another defenseman with Connor Carrick out 4-6 weeks?

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record


NEWARK — A few eagle-eyed social media sleuths were able to figure out that the upper-body injury that landed New Jersey Devils’ defenseman Connor Carrick on injured reserve over the weekend was actually an injury to his right pinky finger. Carrick posted a photo on his Instagram account of him and his wife Lexi ahead of the team’s annual Halloween party, showing a splint as an accessory to his (very accurate) Freddie Mercury costume.


As it turns out, the Devils will be without Carrick for at least a month because of that injury. Carrick underwent surgery on the finger after breaking it while blocking a shot in practice last week. He’s expected to be out 4-6 weeks.


Carrick has been in a tough spot as a right-shot defenseman in a group thin on the left side. But really, the entire group is pretty thin. Sure, P.K. Subban has been a strong addition and he’s leading the team in ice time. Sami Vatanen is back to leading the top power play unit and Will Butcher has matured into the type of puck-mover the Devils had hoped.


But for a group of puck movers New Jersey sure seems to have trouble moving the puck. The Devils’ 46.56 Corsi percentage (third-worst in the NHL) gives you a little bit of an idea of how hard it’s been for them to get out of their own zone at 5-on-5.


Their struggles have been magnified as the goalies have struggled, with Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood putting up a .870 save percentage, the second-worst in the league.


Carrick and Mirco Mueller are good sixth or seventh defensemen. Carrick has an extremely high work ethic and he’s versatile, capable of playing on either side. Mueller, one of few left-shot defensemen in New Jersey, is a good penalty killer, he has good size and he’s shown more of a willingness to use his size this season.


Without Carrick, Matt Tennyson is expected to continue to play solid minutes and so far the coaches like the way he’s been able to play a simple game.


But good isn’t good enough when the forward group is deep enough to outscore teams on a nightly basis. And no, the forwards aren’t exactly getting the results they had hoped for either which is why a shakeup may be in order and bringing in a defenseman could be what the team needs.


Early trades aren’t exactly rare but they’re not exactly going on at a high rate this time of year. The Anaheim Ducks and the Pittsburgh Penguins just made a swap with the Ducks thin on the blue line as well. It was late November in 2017 when Devils’ general manager got Vatanen from Anaheim, so it’s not like trades in the fall don’t happen.


You could also make the argument that with so much roster turnover, a trade wouldn’t be the way to go. Players are still getting used to their roles so why throw a wrench into things when the team is finally starting to figure things out?


But the Devils still think they’re a playoff team and they need another impactful defenseman on the left side, even if it’s just on the back end. If they get someone in earlier rather than later, that roster turnover problem will be less of an issue.


It’s still early but bringing in a defenseman could keep it from getting too late too early in New Jersey.


  1. Why Devils’ Wayne Simmonds is due for an offensive breakout

By Chris Ryan,


Wayne Simmonds is still searching for his first goal in a Devils uniform.


However, is nine-game scoreless start hasn’t come due to lack of effort or chances.


At even strength, Simmonds is tied with Taylor Hall for the team lead in shots with 20. He’s fourth with 13 scoring chances. Add in his power-play presence, and Simmonds’ numbers go up even more. He has nine shots and 11 scoring chances on the man advantage.


In his last three games, Simmonds has generated 12 shot attempts, nine shots, four scoring chances and two high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5. On the power play in those same games, Simmonds has eight more shot attempts and scoring chances, plus six high-danger scoring chances.


“I don’t think I need to change anything, just put the puck in the back of the net. That’s the only difference here,” Simmonds said. “I’m doing everything right, playing defense well. I think I’m making good decisions in the neutral zone and I am getting to the net. I am getting my opportunities, so one’s got to go in, and usually once one goes in, they start to come after.”


Simmonds has also posted the majority of those numbers 5-on-5 playing with Blake Coleman and Travis Zajac — two forwards who routinely anchor the Devils’ shutdown defensive line.


One of the question marks around Simmonds upon signing with the Devils was his 5-on-5 play, which declined in recent seasons. His team’s even-strength expected goal percentage with Simmonds on the ice stayed below 50 percent in each season since 2013-14 with the Flyers. Through nine games as a Devil, that percentage is at 53.68.


“They’ve done a good job, and he’s done pretty well in that role,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “They’ve been a fairly productive line. They’ve had offensive zone time, they’ve had hard minutes, they’ve played against top players, and that’s one of the things we talked about with him when he came here, was having some responsibility and playing an important role, and he’s done that. Whether he stays on that line or that line stays together, we’ll see, but as far as Wayne’s game, we feel it’s coming in the right direction.”


Regardless of where he’s at 5-on-5, a good percentage of Simmonds’ production will ultimately come from the power play, and after that unit’s slow start to the season, the top group in particular has found some traction.


They have power-play goals in three straight games, and Simmonds was robbed of a goal on a kick save and just missed the inside of the right post moments later in Friday’s loss to the Arizona Coyotes. When the Devils signed Simmonds, they praised his ability as a net-front presence on the power play, and with the special teams unit getting more pucks to the net, his chances have gone up.


“I think we were trying to be too pretty at the start,” Simmonds said. “Trying to find seams all the time, whereas now we’re getting pucks to the net, and if we’re getting pucks to the net, I think everything else is opening up.”


  1. Devils’ Connor Carrick has surgery on broken pinky | What it means, how long he’s out

By Chris Ryan,


The Devils are on the verge of getting Will Butcher back in their lineup following his injury, but they’re going to be without another defenseman for the near future.


Connor Carrick suffered a broken right pinky finger during last Thursday’s practice in Newark, and he underwent surgery to repair the injury on Friday.


Carrick is expected to miss four-to-six weeks while recovering from the injury, and the team will re-evaluate him in two or three weeks to get a clearer idea of when he’ll be able to return.


In the Devils’ first eight games of the season, Carrick appeared in four of them, serving as a healthy scratch in the other four. He was placed on injured reserve ahead of the team’s 5-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. He has one assist this season.


After being traded to the Devils from the Dallas Stars at the trade deadline last season, Carrick appeared in 20 games to finish the 2018-19 campaign. He then signed a two-year, $3 million deal with the Devils during the offseason as a restricted free agent.


With Carrick sidelined, the Devils will keep Matt Tennyson on the NHL roster going forward, keeping the team at seven defenseman. Tennyson was recalled earlier in October after Andy Greene missed time with his own finger injury, and he remained with Butcher going out for two games shortly after. Tennyson has played in four NHL games this season, posting three assists.


  1. BLOG: Carrick out 4-6 Weeks

By Chris Wescott,


NEWARK, NJ – The Devils announced today that defenseman Connor Carrick will miss a significant amount of time as he recovers from a broken pinky finger.


Carrick suffered the injury while blocking a shot in practice on Thursday. He had surgery and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.




  1. REPORT | Halloween Vs Hauntings

By New Jersey Devils,–halloween-vs-hauntings/t-277437418/c-4464762


  1. RAW | Hynes 10.28.19

By New Jersey Devils,–hynes-102819/t-277437418/c-4464725


  1. RAW | Schneider 10.28.19

By New Jersey Devils,–schneider-102819/t-277437418/c-4464699


  1. RAW | Palmieri 10.28.19

By New Jersey Devils,–palmieri-102819/t-277437418/c-4464691





  1. 1. Subban dresses as NJ Devil to help Vonn clap back at Gritty

By Pat Pickens,


Lindsey Vonn got the last laugh at Gritty, and NJ Devil got another big win against a division rival, and they both can thank P.K. Subban.


Subban dressed up as the New Jersey Devils mascot at the team’s Halloween party, which enabled his fiancee to clap back at Gritty on Monday.


Gritty shot his shot, holding a sign that said “Lindsey can do better” with arrows pointed at himself during warmups before the Flyers home game against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 9.


The Devils mascot, who pied Jimmy Fallon on TV to settle a bet last Sunday, also helped Subban exact some payback the Devils’ holiday gathering. Subban sported the NJ Devil costume, with a T-shirt that said “Where is Subbanator” while Vonn held a sign that said “Gritty, you’re right. I CAN do better.”


We’ll see if Gritty, who dressed up as Wonder Gritty over the weekend, has a response.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment