12 Games in 23 Day For Devils


The regular season is usually seen as a marathon, but the Devils need to prepare for the short sprint they have scheduled starting tonight. Tonight’s match-up against the Dallas Stars marks the 1st game in a period where New Jersey plays 12 games over 23 days.

Upcoming Schedule From Oct 24 til Nov 15 
Oct 24 – Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils
Oct 25 – New Jersey Devils at Ottawa Senators
Oct 28 – New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins
Oct 30 – Winnipeg Jets at New Jersey Devils
Nov 1 –  Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils
Nov 4 – St. Louis Blues at New Jersey Devils
Nov 6 – New Jersey Devils at St. Louis Blues
Nov 7 – New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings
Nov 10 – New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins
Nov 11 – Minnesota Wild at New Jersey Devils
Nov 14 – New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals
Nov 15 – Colorado Avalanche at New Jersey Devils

This would be a tough stretch even if these games were more spaced out. Out of the next 12 games, 9 of them are against former playoff teams (8 playoff teams, playing Blues twice). This is especially scary since in this 12 game stretch, there is a 6 game streak against these former playoff teams.

Also worth noting is the amount of back to back games on slate for New Jersey. In this 23 day period, the Devils are scheduled to play back to back games 4 times. 3 of those 4 times are in a row, starting November 6 to November 15. That will be 6 games in 10 days.

Another tough break is the traveling plans. All 4 of these back to back games will force the Devils to travel on game-day. New Jersey will go from home to Ottawa this weekend. Starting on November 6, the Devils must travel from St. Louis to Detroit after playing the Blues. Two days later, after playing the Bruins in Boston, the Devils travel home to face the Minnesota Wild. Then another 2 days later, New Jersey will venture down to Washington, only to later head back after the game with the Capitals to face the Avalanche in New Jersey. If the tough scheduling was tiresome enough, the traveling will.

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These back to back match-up would make you think, if New Jersey must suffer through the hard schedule, so must their opponents right? Wrong. Out of all twelve games scheduled, only twice will the Devils be playing a team who played the night before. The Columbus Blue Jackets will be match-up in New Jersey the night after playing home against Toronto. Also their first games against the Blues will be the night after St. Louis faces the Rangers at MSG.

This Upcoming Schedule keeps getting tougher and tougher the closer you look at it. So what should we expect to see from New Jersey?

Scott Clemmensen – The Devils’ back-up has only seen less than a period of action so far this season. Now with 4 back-to-back games ahead, expect to see him get a healthy amount of starts over the next 23 days. DeBoer mentioned their was a chance Cory Schneider plays tonight and tomorrow. It is not likely, and does not seem likely for any back-to-back match-up during the span, so Clemmensen should see a minimum of 4 starts. Also, due to their upcoming opponents, at the very least, 2 of those starts he will face a former playoff teams.

Injuries – Expect for New Jersey to be very cautious on this front. Tonight is a prime example with Martin Havlat. The Devils will sit him after playing Tuesday. If he played banged up, the chances increase of his injury worsening and lose him for an extended amount of time. If any other player gets hurt, expect to see them treated very cautiously. Hopefully however, New Jersey will avoid the “injury-bug” as they will need to be at their best over the tough span.

7th Defender – A lot of action may lead to a lot of change in the Devils blue line. Adam Larsson looks to back to healthy scratch tonight, but with the 4 back-to-back match-up and little rest in between, expect this title to be a rotating door among Devils’ defenders in order to give guys some much needed rest during the span.

Devils’ fans should be excited! Lots of New Jersey hockey in store for the next few weeks. The schedule calls for an extremely tough stint, but should be fun to watch our Devils on almost a nightly basis. If New Jersey can manage 14 points in this span, it will place New Jersey at a nice spot early in this season!

Let Go Devils!

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