January 02, 2024

Bryce Salvador

Happy New Year, everyone!

After a 3-day rest period following the Devils' 5-2 loss in Boston, we are back in action tonight in Washington to kick off 2024!The importance of the Devils coming ready to play from the opening puck drop tonight cannot be understated.

Yes, the Devils have found a way to come back and win games 13 times this season (T-#1 NHL), but, it's a veteran team like the Caps (10-0-0 when leading after the 1st period this season) that will really make you pay, and, essentially win games in the opening 20 minutes if they catch you sleeping.

That is exactly what has happened in the Devils’ 2 regulation Ls to WSH at the Rock this season, despite a pushback from NJD in both contests.
2 PTS behind the Capitals in the Metro division and for the WC2 spot, this is what we call a huge “4-point game" with the standings swing on the line.

WSH is entering tonight on the 2nd game of their divisional back-to-back, following a 4-3 regulation W in PIT last night. So, the Devils have the opportunity to take advantage of their opponent in the 2nd half of a back-to-back, just like the Bruins did to the Devils with their 3 days off prior to Saturday's game.

The rested Devils need to come out energized tonight and dictate play right from the onset!

Beginning with tonight's game in WSH, the Devils are slated with 12 games (11 different opponents) in January leading up to the All-Star break. It won't be an easy month, by any means, as 8 of their 11 opponents are either currently in a playoff spot or made the playoffs last season.

The Devils are going to have to play .600 or better hockey to not lose any ground in the standings.

As we start the new calendar year of 2024, here is a look back at my New Year's Resolutions from last Wednesday’s pregame show. 

Timo is out tonight, so, yes, some potential for a bad start with my first one there. Hopefully, though, nothing serious comes of the "mid-body injury" NJD#28 suffered in Boston. The last thing he or the team needs is less "Timo Time" this season, especially after finally finding his stride at the end of December!

The good news is that Curtis Lazar will be back in the Devils' lineup tonight after missing the last 3 games due to his lower-body injury. Additionally, Graeme Clarke has officially been recalled from Utica and might make his NHL debut tonight in WSH! Coach Ruff indicated this morning that the team may go 11F / 7D depending on forward availability.

We'll chat about it all during our pregame show at 7:00 PM!

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