New Jersey Devils: March 2017 Preview

The New Jersey Devils will play 15 games this month: seven at home, eight on the road. Nine of those games will be against Metropolitan division opponents (three of those are against the Columbus Blue Jackets), and all but four of those 15 total games will be against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Devils will have three sets of back-to-back games this month. They will play Boston (away) and Columbus (home) on March 4th and 5th, Philadelphia (home) and Pittsburgh (away) on the 16th and 17th, and Carolina and Dallas (both home) on the 25th and 26th.

Those nine games against Metropolitan division teams include one against Washington (March 2nd), three against Columbus (March 5th, 7th, and 19th), one against Philadelphia (March 16th), one against Pittsburgh (March 17th), one against New York (Rangers) (March 21st), one against Carolina (March 25th), and one against New York (Islanders) (March 31st) to finish out the month. Only three of these divisional games will be away from The Rock (Washington, Pittsburgh, and New York (Isles)). All three Columbus games will be at home.

The Devils will also play the Eastern Conference twice in addition to those division games: one against Boston (March 4th) and one against Toronto (March 23rd). The remaining four games will at Colorado (March 9th), at Arizona (March 11th), versus Winnipeg (March 14th), and versus Dallas (March 26th).

The Devils finished the month of February with a 4-4-3 record and are on a four-game losing streak (their last three games have been at home). They were 1-1-0 on the road but 3-3-3 at home. Playing on home ice is usually an advantage but wasn’t for the Devils this month and hasn’t been for a while.

If the Devils had any shot at making the playoffs, this month would have been crucial (and still is, even if the possibility of a wild card spot is almost gone). I would love to see the younger guys get more playing time just so we can get a chance to see what they can do. Rookies Miles Wood (21), Steven Santini (21), and Pavel Zacha (19) are all getting valuable playing time and experience; Zacha (concussion) is on injured reserve and there is no timetable for his return. But all three of them are going to be important pieces of the team going forward. If you keep guys like forwards Joseph Blandisi and Stefan Noesen, and defensemen Damon Severson and Jon Merrill, along with a few veterans, this team is in good hands for the future.

The Albany Devils (AHL) have also had a good season thus far; they are 31-24-1 in 57 games played, good for second in the North division. They are two points behind the Syracuse Crunch for first place. As of right now, they are in a playoff spot and will play Friday and Saturday this weekend, at Providence and at Utica.

The trade deadline is also at 3PM today and there will be another post about the Devils’ moves (or lack thereof). The team will look slightly different against Washington tomorrow night.

And if you haven’t already come down to The Rock for a game this season, this would be a good time to do so.

March Schedule: 
3/2 – @ Washington
3/4 – @ Boston
3/5 – vs Columbus
3/7 – @ Columbus
3/9 – @ Colorado
3/11 – @ Arizona
3/14 – vs Winnipeg
3/16 – vs Philadelphia
3/17 – @ Pittsburgh
3/19 – vs Columbus
3/21 – vs New York (Rangers)
3/23 – @ Toronto
3/25 – vs Carolina
3/26 – vs Dallas
3/31 – @ New York (Islanders)

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