March 01, 2024

Bryce Salvador

Hey, Devils Fans!

Getting right into it, Tuesday night’s 7-2 win in SJS was exactly what this team needed. I love the fact that so many guys could get on the scoresheet, feel good about themselves, and pick up the 2 PTS at the end of the night as a group. What this did, is it gave everyone a chance to relax and take a full mental reset over the 2 days between games, rather than leaving everyone haunted by a loss in a game they needed to have.

Now that we're back to work, it’s all about building upon this win. Too often this season, the Devils have gotten that galvanizing win they've desperately needed (the Stadium Series, most recently), and then they fail to carry the momentum into the next one. Tonight is your opportunity to put this narrative behind you and kick off March with your 3rd W in the last 4 games. Keep it rolling tonight!

Before I continue, Devils Fans, I have to say that I love the trade the Devils made this evening, as it’s no secret that Kurtis MacDermid is being brought in by Tom Fitzgerald to add a layer of toughness to the Devils’ lineup. As the Devils go down the stretch here, they’re going to have to literally fight their way into the playoffs in the now heaviest & toughest division in the NHL — the Metro. The Flyers & Deslauriers, Capitals & Wilson (been quiet lately), Islanders & Martin, Rangers now with Rempe — and the Devils now with MacDemid. Again, this is a move I love from Fitzy; it adds that protection and sandpaper the Devils desperately need as the season transitions into playoff hockey!

When it comes to the SJS game, I’m pointing to Nico Daws, and the Devils' performance in the 2nd period, as not only game-saving – but, potentially season-saving material. If the Sharks were able to continue piling on goals after taking a 1-0 lead in the 1st period, it, quite frankly, would have put the dagger in the Devils' season. 

Now, this graphic doesn't tell the full story. For me, it would be criminal if the save Dawsy made on Barabonov flew under the radar here. If Barabonov converts on his Grade-A chance at the net front, the Sharks go up 2-0 and leave the Devils in a huge hole, completely deflated and searching for answers with their season on the line.

Instead, Dawsy stays composed — comes up huge with the left pad — and Bratter + Timo go the other way to inject new life and 7 unanswered goals into this Devils team. If the Devils find a way to make the playoffs in April, I'm going to look back at this specific save, because it was THAT important!!! 

It feels like a trend now that I find myself talking about "the Nicos" willing the Devils to a win. Captain Nico coming away with a goal and 3 assists in a game his team could not afford to lose, that being Tuesday night in SJS, should come as no surprise. What just continues to be exemplified here is that, when his team needs 2 PTS, Nico consistently leads his team and gets the job done.

With everything being said, the points aren't getting any less important tonight in ANA. So, it’s back to business as we get set for puck drop.Be sure to join Erika and me as we discuss the Nicos and the task ahead, live from Honda Center at 9:30 PM!


Subscribe to my newsletter

Subscribe for the latest highlights and content