March 20, 2024

Bryce Salvador

Hey, everyone! 

It had been a while since NJD put on a full team, 60-minute, dominant, fast-paced performance with contributions from both their PP & PK, but, that’s exactly the showing they had on Tuesday night vs. PIT. And, well, Devils Fans, it was awesome to finally see this brand of Devils hockey back on display. The big question tonight is, "Can they follow it up?!"

Now, for whatever reason, whether it’s stylistic, or just by coincidence, the Devils have had the Pens’ number for a long time now, winning 7 consecutive games since the start of last season. I give lots of credit to Dawson Mercer for his 5 goals (!) in his last 2 home games vs. PIT, but for me, what’s most mesmerizing to look at is the Devils’ special teams trends against the Pens in this span. The Devils have, quite literally, out-scored PIT on their own PP (3 NJD SHG vs 2 PIT PPG), and now have 8 PPG of their own over these 7 games while conceding 0 SHG. 

Although I won’t be on air for the Pens’ last trip to the Rock, due to my son’s National Tournament for Youth hockey, I’m eager to see how this storyline develops and if NJD can complete back-to-back season-series sweeps over the Pens on April 2. For now, though, all eyes are on tonight’s game vs. WPG and if the Devils can repeat this effort against a top team. From my perspective, there’s no reason to watch the standings or keep tabs on other teams; it’s up to the Devils to get to 90 PTS themselves and control their own fate if they want to make the playoffs.

Well, Devils Fans, it’s safe to say Timo’s injuries, slumps, and goalless droughts this season are becoming a thing of the past. Timo’s game-leading 11 SATs, 6 slot shots, and 5 scoring chances off the cycle saw him get rewarded with 2 PPGs, boosting him to 10 goals in his last 10 games, along with 16 total PTS in his last 13 GP. Captain Nico said it best, he just “looks like Timo” again!

Speaking of his 2 PPGs, Timo now owns each of the Devils’ last 3 PPGs dating back to the game vs. STL on March 7, the Devils’ first game without Toffoli — who happens to be playing in his 800th game tonight at the Rock! — on PP1. For me, it’s the little things he’s doing before he scores that are making the Devils’ PP so much smoother and leading to an overall better process.

Here are some video examples from the PPGs vs. PIT:

I’ll have a chance to chat with Timo tonight during pregame skate as he gets set for a massive follow-up game and opportunity against a dominant WPG team with Toffoli and Colin Miller returning to NJ, so, tune in at 6:30 PM for our pregame show on MSGSN!

Also, Devils Fans, I’m running a fundraising raffle to help the NJ Rockets 14U Championship team raise money for our trip to the National Tournament — with prizes of 4 tickets to an upcoming Devils game, my signed jersey, and autographed Devils photos as prizes — click this link to check it out and enter. Best of luck!



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