January 05, 2024

Bryce Salvador

Hey Devils Fans,

Remarkable effort and win from the Devils on Wednesday night in Washington! For Nico, Dawson, and Motor Mike (we’re trying to make that nickname stick!) to all have 2-goal games is quite rare and impressive, especially when you see that a trio of players haven’t pulled off a multi-goal game in the same night for NJD since Mike Sislo, Devante Smith-Pelley, and Adam Henrique all potted a pair of goals vs. MIN back in 2016.

Whenever there are big-time individual performances like this, including an especially memorable one for Dawson in his 200th game, it’s always important that the team gets the W at the end of the night so that you can celebrate it and feel good about your game going into the next one.For the Devils, that next one is tonight back at home vs. CHI, where NJD has an opportunity to take advantage of another team in the 2nd half of a back-to-back set (CHI 4-1 L in NYR last night).

Now in a playoff spot 36 games in, the message in that Devils' room should be to not take your foot off the gas pedal!

For me, tonight’s game, being at home for the first time in 2024, sets the tone for the calendar year. One of my New Year’s Resolutions for the Devils was to dominate opponents at the Rock, and it all starts with a win tonight.

Yes, the Devils closed out the year with back-to-back one-goal wins at home vs. DET & CBJ, but the guys in that room need to recognize that the .500 hockey they're playing at home this season is not going to be good enough. For a reference point, among the top 16 home teams in the NHL, the average home PTS% is currently .685, and, as mentioned, the Devils are sitting on a .500 PTS% through their first 18 home games.

NJD has 22 games, 44 PTS remaining on the table at Prudential Center; I would like to see them establish the Rock as a much tougher building to play in and take about 70% of those points here in 2024!

Unfortunately, coach Ruff has confirmed that Timo and Pally will each miss their 2nd straight game tonight, and has no timetable for each of their respective injuries. Here are 5 FWDs that are currently in a groove, and hopefully, can continue trending in the right direction with two key wingers out of the lineup.

Additionally, I would love to see 5 guys who are currently in a bit of a drought start to chip in with potentially increased ice time:
While you can never take a team like CHI for granted, they are conceding the 2nd highest rate of goals per game (3.74 GA/GM), which has increased 11.6% over their last 5 contests (4.20 GA/GM IN L5 GP). Additionally, it is expected that a struggling Arvid Soderblom (4.07 GAA; 3 GA in 1 GP vs NJD this season) will get the start in front of his tired, banged-up Hawks team tonight with Mrazek playing last night in NYR. So, I'm one of these guys looking to snap a long goalless drought or cold streak tonight, I'm feeling galvanized with the opportunity to take advantage of these factors and get on the board tonight!

Be sure to join Erika and me at 6:30 PM for the pregame show as we chat about it all live from the Rock!

Subscribe to my newsletter

Subscribe for the latest highlights and content