NEWARK, New Jersey The New Jersey Devils have a 21-14-2 record through 37 games, good for 44 points. The team currently holds the first wild card spot and is fourth in the Metropolitan Division as of this writing.
With Timo Meier going on injured reserve on Saturday and Tomas Nosek going into long-term injured reserve (LTIR) on Sunday, injuries are starting to pile up once more. On January 5, Jack Hughes suffered an upper-body injury; on January 6, defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler broke his foot.
Seven Devils players are sidelined by injuries as of right now. There is no set timeline for Meier or Hughes, but some, like defenseman Dougie Hamilton and Siegenthaler, will be sidelined for an extended period of time.
The team will begin a challenging three-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Boston Bruins after a few practices in Newark.
It will be New Jersey’s third meeting with Boston and its first encounters with Tampa and Florida this season.
As of this writing, the Lightning are out of a wild card spot and trail the Devils in the standings with 43 points. They will play one game before hosting New Jersey on Thursday night. They have a 5-5-0 record over their last ten games.
The Panthers, who go into this week’s games possibly as the hottest team in the league, are the team the Devils lost to 1–0 last season. They are 8-2-0 in their previous ten games and have won their last seven. Before playing New Jersey on Saturday, Florida will play the LA Kings and St. Louis Blues.
In one week, the Devils take on the Bruins. A lot can happen in terms of lineups, injuries, and building a winning streak in the next seven days. The Bruins will host the Devils on January 15 before starting a four-game road trip tonight.
It should be noted that the Devils do not currently have an additional healthy defenseman on their roster.
Following his team’s defeat by the Vancouver Canucks, head coach Lindy Ruff discussed the impact Siegenthaler’s injury has on his defense.
“As you can see, we returned Brendan Smith there at the conclusion of the match. I believe you’re considering that near term,” he remarked. “Max Willman is up here and he’ll go ahead. We will take a brief break to discuss the roster and our plans moving forward. That’s essentially how it appears in the short term.”
Although the Devils have encountered hardships throughout the season, it won’t be simple. The team has managed to hang on long enough to be in the running for the playoffs, despite their ugly moments.
On Tuesday, January 9, the Devils will practice at the RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House in Newark. At that point, the media ought to be updated on Hughes’ condition and whether or not Ondrej Palat—who is injured in his lower body—can travel with the team.