New Jersey Devils: 3 Takeaways From Schedule Release

Jesper Bratt - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Jesper Bratt - New Jersey Devils (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils Jack Hughes
Connor Carrick of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils schedule has been released. It’s the first time there are games with dates attached in more than nine months.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020. That is the last time the New Jersey Devils had a game scheduled that they actually played. They went up against the Pittsburgh Penguins coming off two-straight wins. The team was building some confidence going into the final stretch of the season. There was nothing to play for, but some important players were getting hot. Jesper Bratt had 16 points in the final 20 games of the season. Pavel Zacha had nine points in the final month of the season. New addition Janne Kuokkanen played his first NHL game with the Devils on March 10th. The Devils were putting together a semblance of a lineup.

Then, the world shut down. That caused the NHL to shut down with it. Everything just… stopped.

The NHL eventually restarted the season, but they went right towards a 24-team playoff. The Devils were the 26th ranked team in the league. This means they haven’t played a second of competitive hockey since March. Some of us has used other means of hockey to get by. We watch Tyce Thompson and Aarne Talvitie play in the NCAA. We’ve rooted for Shakir Mukhamadullin and Alexander Holtz as they play in men’s leagues overseas. Now, we’re getting World Juniors this week.

However, as of January 14th, the Devils are back. Not the Devils prospects, the actual New Jersey Devils will be back on the ice playing a meaningful hockey game. The league is skipping the preseason and going right into meaningful games. The Devils take on the Boston Bruins right off the bat. This is a 56-game schedule where the Devils will play the East Division opponents eight times a piece. It’s rivalry season all season. At least, that’s what the NHL wants you to think.

Still, we’re entirely grateful that hockey is back. These are our initial takeaways from the schedule release.