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, NJ.com, 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, newjerseydevils.com, 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, NJ.com



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, NJ.com



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, newjerseydevils.com



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, NewJerseyDevils.com



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, newjerseydevils.com



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, newjerseydevils.com



  1. RAW | Hynes 10.29.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com



  1. RAW | Hall 10.29.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com



  1. RAW | Greene 10.29.19

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com









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