The New Jersey Devils have 14 regular season games left before the playoffs begin, can you believe it? The club has earned 95 points, and their 44 wins after 68 games played from the start of a season are the second most in franchise history (45 wins 2008-09 season).
New Jersey is still eyeing first place in the Metropolitan Division as they are one point back on the Carolina Hurricanes, who suffered a massive blow by losing Andrei Svechnikov for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Right now, it is all about balance as the Devils continue to prioritize rest as the playoffs draw near.
A Tough Schedule
The Devils are playing 16 games in the month of March, which marks the most contests that the team plays in a single month this season. Their opponents include seven teams, who are locked into playoff position and a three-game mini-series versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Related: 4 Takeaways Devils’ 4-3 Shootout Loss to the Lightning
Latest News & Highlights
On Feb. 21, head coach Lindy Ruff addressed the media and said, “we have to treat rest as a weapon. …we have to be smart about when we practice. Even more importantly we have to make sure that the minds are ready and if you’re constantly at the rink, that takes a toll too.”
Practices have been scarce for Ruff’s squad since late February. Timo Meier has only participated in two practices since joining the team, while Curtis Lazar experienced his first earlier this week when the team took the ice for 25 minutes at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House.
Lazar has appeared in 24 postseason games throughout his career and understands how important rest at this point of the year is as the regular season winds down.
“This time of year practice is short and sweet, but it is valuable,” he said. “Some guys like to take that full day (of rest) and other guys want to get out there and do a little bit of something. I’m of the mindset that less is more this time of year, but you kind of go day-by-day and listen to your body. … you use the rest as you can.”
Foote Joins Team in Florida
On March 17, the organization announced they recalled forward Nolan Foote from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League. The 22-year-old was previously with the Devils during their California road trip, where he suited up for three games versus the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks. He averaged a little under seven minutes of ice time and in his…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Hockey Writers…