New Jersey Devils News & Clips: Dec. 12, 2018

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The Devils will face-off with the Golden Knights on Friday, December 14th, at Prudential Center (7 pm, MSG+, ATTSN-RM) in their first of two matchups of the 2018-19 regular season.

Four New Jersey Devils prospects have been invited to national team selection camps for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship starting later this month in Vancouver and Victoria. The four prospects invited are: Ty Smith (Canada), Fabian Zetterlund (Sweden), Aarne Talvitie (Finald) and Akira Schmid (Switzerland).

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1. Four Devils prospects invited to selection camps for IIHF World Juniors

By Julie Robenhymer, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/four-devils-prospects-invited-to-selection-camps-for-iihf-world-juniors/c-302824364

Four New Jersey Devils prospects have been invited to national team selection camps for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship starting later this month in Vancouver and Victoria.

Ty Smith, the Devils’ first round selection this past June, will report for Canada. Fabian Zetterlund, who won a silver medal in last year’s event, will report for Sweden. Aarne Talivite, who captained his team at the World Junior Summer Showcase, will report for Finland and Akira Schmid, who served as the third goalie as a 17-year-old last year, will be one of three goalies for Team Switzerland. Training camps start this week and exhibition games get under way next week before final rosters are submitted on December 24th. The tournament starts the 26th.

Smith was captain of Canada’s U18 squad this past spring and was mentioned by most – if not all – of his teammates as the player they’d want to bring back to play for their club team. He brings international experience, leadership qualities (he’s also captain of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League), smooth skating, a great first pass to support the transition game, creative vision from the blueline and a high hockey IQ to know when to jump into the play and when to stay back.

He is currently 2nd on his team with 39 points (3G, 36A) in 28 games, which puts him in the Top 15 for scoring in the WHL. Beyond the regular season with their respective clubs, Hockey Canada also utilizes the summer showcase in early August, where he scored two goals in four games, and the CIBC Canada Russia Series in November, where he notched a goal in two games. He is expected to play a big role as Canada looks to defend last year’s gold medal while on home ice.

Zetterlund suffered an injury in late October and his availability for the WJC was in doubt, but when the doctors told him it wasn’t torn and that his recovery would be about six weeks, he did the math and knowing world juniors was still a possibility, he got to work.

He was back on the ice practicing with the team exactly six weeks later and earned a spot in the line up in Farjestad’s next game. Being back in the line up and playing well was reward enough for all the hard work he put into his return, but the goal he scored to help his team erase a two-goal deficit to win the game was the cherry on top. It was his second goal of the season for a total of three points in 13 games thus far.

Last year, Zetterlund was an unexpected addition to Sweden’s WJC roster, but immediately made an impact with his gritty net front presence, especially on the power play, with two goals and a silver medal to show for it. He also participated in the summer showcase and notched two more goals there. He’s expected to fill a similar role this season and, with his extensive international experience, should step into a leadership position for Team Sweden as well.

Talivite was left off last year’s Finnish squad and it’s unlikely they’ll be making that mistake again. He’s got five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 17 games so far in his freshman season with Penn State. He’s a mucker, grinder and loose puck finder with a heck of a wrist shot, who’s already adjusted to the smaller NHL-sized sheet of ice and the quicker pace and physical nature of the North American game.

He was captain of Finland’s U18 team two years ago and, as mentioned earlier, was their captain at the showcase in August. He brings a tremendous work ethic to the ice and a magnetic personality to the locker room. According to Penn State head coach, Guy Gadowsky, Talvitie is like the Pied Piper. He leads by example on and off the ice and his teammates step in line right behind him and could very well find himself wearing the C for Suomi in a few weeks.

Schmid had a rough start to the season after being waived by Lethbridge (too many imports), but found a home with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. He was on last year’s WJC team (no games played) and participated in the U18s twice. All three Swiss goalies named to the team are 18 years old and, although Schmid was the only one on last year’s squad, the starting position is still very much up for grabs.

He’ll have to shake off some tough performances this season and step into his potential to earn time between the pipes for Switzerland, but nothing beats the experience of representing your country on an international stage.

Reilly Walsh was one of the last players cut from Team USA before last year’s tournament and many expected him to earn the invitation to USA’s selection camp this year and potentially play a big role on their blueline, especially on the power play. Despite a stellar start to his sophomore season at Harvard (5G, 7A for 12 points in 11 games), he was ultimately not invited to their selection camp.

Rosters will be trimmed before the exhibition games start next week, but the final rosters are not due until the 24th. The tournament starts on the 26th with select games available on NHL Network.

2. Can Islanders, Devils & Rangers cash in on Golden Knights trend?

By Jeff Fogle, New York Post

https://nypost.com/2018/12/11/can-islanders-devils-rangers-cash-in-on-golden-knights-trend/

Did last year’s historic hockey run from the Vegas Golden Knights annoy the rest of the country so much that now everyone is their hated rival?

VSiN had a lot of fun covering the expansion miracle on our Vegas-based broadcasts last season. But we could see why hockey fans in other sports-crazed cities were less enthused. That must get old after a while — watching the national media gush about a new team making a deep playoff run when your team didn’t make the playoffs or hasn’t made them in a long time.

The magic was slow to start in VGK’s second season. Vegas dropped four of its first five games in October, and was still below .500 at Thanksgiving. Though wins have been more frequent lately, the following interesting dynamic might still be in play:

Vegas has a horrible 4-10 record this season when its “first look” against a team in the 2018-19 season is in hostile territory. Its only first-look road victories have come against Chicago, Arizona, Edmonton and Minnesota. The 10 “first-look” road losses were in Los Angeles, Calgary, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, St. Louis, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg and Buffalo (those gaudy opening ceremonies during last season’s playoffs could be viewed — and despised — in all time zones).

Vegas is 13-4-1 in all other games, reminiscent of last season’s dominance.

That could be an important backdrop for New York-area hockey fans this week. Vegas will be playing first-look road games against the Islanders (Wednesday), Devils (Friday), and Rangers (Sunday). Can the metro area sustain intense anger about the Elvis-ization of hockey over five days? Is “the rest of the NHL” still trying to send a message to the Vegas franchise?

The Islanders are up first, off a 2-1 shootout loss Monday night to Pittsburgh. New York (+115 on the money line) lost faceoffs 30-22 and giveaways 21-15 despite being at home in a quick-turnaround revenge spot off a 6-2 loss in Pittsburgh last Thursday. The Isles are 2-5 their last seven games, but with two of those losses coming in shootouts.

Once all the first-looks are out of the way (and possibly sooner), Vegas might offer sustained betting value similar to last season.

That strong home-ice edge still appears to be in play (10-3-1 thus far, including eight wins in the last nine tries … a 39-13-3 record in Vegas since inception).

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is still a magician (Knights are 17-10-1 in his starts, 0-4 with Malcolm Subban).

Depth of talent is still a big plus, not some sort of one-year magic wish that was granted.

If Vegas outshines the neon lights this weekend, it may be ready to surge back toward first place in the Pacific Division. Even if first looks on the road continue to be a hazard, there aren’t many more. Second-half investment potential looks very promising for last season’s profit powerhouse.

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New Jersey Devils News & Clips: Dec. 11, 2018

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The Devils fell to the Sharks, 5-2, in their second and final head-to-head contest of the 2018-19 campaign last night at SAP Center. Last nights contest concluded the Devils fourth set of back-to-back games. New Jersey is 0-3-1 in second games.

The Devils will face-off with the Golden Knights on Friday, December 14th, at Prudential Center (7 pm, MSG+, ATTSN-RM).

Abbey Mastracco, The Record, spoke to Devils captain Andy Greene about the teams struggle to close games and what needs to be fixed.

“We came out really well but it’s been the same thing we’ve had throughout the season,” captain Andy Greene said. “We have really good spurts and then all of the sudden one thing and two things happen and we wilt. I don’t know why. I don’t understand it. That’s something we need to fix and fix very fast.”

Mastracco also spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about why he believes the team needs to have more effective puck management.

“When you look at what it is and what we’re going to continue to work with these guys on is understanding that when there’s no time and space and the other team has numbers on defense, the puck needs to be put behind them,” Hynes said. “That’s how you can maintain your momentum.”

“We’re getting to the hard areas on the ice,” Hynes said. “We’ve had opportunities for tip goals, rebound goals and ones where it’s difficult to defend the net area. That’s how you have to score.”

Chris Ryan, NJ.com, wrote his newest edition of NHL power rankings.

Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com, wrote her 10 takeaways following the Devils 5-2 loss to the Sharks last night in San Jose.

Mike Morreale, NHL.com, spoke to Devils general manager Ray Shero in NHL.com’s weekly edition of
“Five Questions With.”

2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB

 

1. NJ Devils keep ‘wilting,’ and other takeaways from their California trip

By Abbey Mastracco, Fire and Ice

https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/fireandice/2018/12/11/nj-devils-keep-wilting-and-other-takeaways-california-trip/2274197002/

SAN JOSE, California — A few years ago, hockey’s West Coast swing was often referred to as the “Bermuda Triangle” trip or “Death Valley.” The Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks were among the best, not only in the west but in the league itself.

The timezone, weather and entertainment options meant teams would come in looking like one version and come out looking like another.

But times have changed in the Western Conference, and the trip isn’t what it used to be. The Devils used their three-game California swing to gain confidence in some areas and earn some much-needed points, though not as many as they had hoped to come away with. They went 1-1-1, defeating the Kings, losing in a shootout to the Ducks, and dropping the Golden State finale 5-2 to the Sharks on Monday night.

The frustrating part is the Devils couldn’t sustain any success. They made too many small mistakes that added up to bigger mistakes of the game-changing variety.

Here are three things we learned about the Devils in California:

They ‘wilt’

Just when the Devils thought they’d be able to string together a point streak, they let a bad 10 minutes derail them in San Jose. They kept the Sharks in their own end for the first 10 minutes of the game and outshot them 7-0. New Jersey went up 1-0 on a fluky shot by Drew Stafford but then suddenly the ice tilted, and the Sharks were up 2-1 by the end of the period.

“We came out really well but it’s been the same thing we’ve had throughout the season,” captain Andy Greene said. “We have really good spurts and then all of the sudden one thing and two things happen and we wilt. I don’t know why. I don’t understand it. That’s something we need to fix and fix very fast.”

It’s not that resiliency is an issue. The Devils showed it one night prior in Anaheim when they came back from scoring three times into their own net to tie the game and send it to overtime.

The problem is the resiliency isn’t showing up on a nightly basis.

They’re not maintaining momentum

All three west coast games were characterized by wild momentum swings. Coach John Hynes wants to see more effective puck management in the neutral zone in order to combat this.

“When you look at what it is and what we’re going to continue to work with these guys on is understanding that when there’s no time and space and the other team has numbers on defense, the puck needs to be put behind them,” Hynes said. “That’s how you can maintain your momentum.”

Scoring chances are coming

This trip saw the Devils going to the net and being rewarded. Greene’s goal against San Jose was a rebound he cleaned up from right in front. Marcus Johansson’s game-tying goal in Anaheim was a 6-on-5 goal from nearly the same spot.

“We’re getting to the hard areas on the ice,” Hynes said. “We’ve had opportunities for tip goals, rebound goals and ones where it’s difficult to defend the net area. That’s how you have to score.”

When the Devils are in the offensive zone, they’re doing the right things. The problem seems to be getting into the offensive zone and staying there.

2. NJ Devils finish California swing with 5-2 loss to Sharks

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2018/12/10/nj-devils-finish-california-swing-5-2-loss-sharks/2273498002/

SAN JOSE, California — The good news is that the Devils scored two goals into the correct net.

The bad news is that the San Jose Sharks scored three more than them to hand them a 5-2 loss on Monday night at SAP Center. One night after a shootout loss in which they scored five goals and three into the wrong net, the offense was sparse.

The Devils, the owners of the fewest road wins in the NHL, were aiming to finish their three-game California swing with five points but they finished with just three as their road record slipped to 3-11-2.

“We didn’t reach our goal,” Devils’ alternate captain Travis Zajac said. “That’s for sure.”

It was a frustrating game that saw New Jersey (10-13-6, 26 points) looking like the best team in the league through the first 10 minutes of the period to a team all out of sorts the rest of the way through. The Sharks (16-11-5, 37 points) were without a shot on goal for the first 10:33 of play and the Devils went up 1-0 less than two minutes later when Drew Stafford, who re-entered the lineup after being scratched 14 of the last 15 games, beat Martin Jones from a sharp angle.

But the Devils seemed to wilt shortly thereafter and they went into the first intermission down 2-1. It was the seventh time this season New Jersey has given up multiple goals in the first period of a road game.

“I think that’s pretty accurate, unfortunately,” Devils’ captain Andy Greene said. “We had a really good start, a really good first 10 minutes or so and then we got one and we were a little unsure of ourselves for whatever reason.”

Timo Meier scored twice for San Jose and Jones made 22 saves.

Keith Kinkaid made 29 saves for New Jersey.

Meier tied the game for the Sharks at 15:51 in the first period and Joe Pavelski made it 2-1 when he tipped in a rebound from a Brendan Dillon shot past Kinkaid with just under two minutes left in the period. It was the Sharks’ captain’s 20th score on the year.

Radim Simek scored his first NHL goal 7:19 into the second period when he put a point shot through traffic. Kinkaid may not have even seen the puck. The Devils knew what was coming but they couldn’t stop it.

“It’s exactly what we anticipated,” Greene said. “We’ve got to have better coverage there and get more traffic down on their end too.”

There was new life breathed into the Devils when Greene cleaned up a rebound for his first goal of the season at 8:59 in the second, cutting the lead to 3-2. If there was a chance to tie, it came at 12:35 in the same period when Sami Vatanen drew an interference penalty on Joonas Donskoi. But the power play went nowhere and right after time expired Meier came down and banked one off the crossbar off the rush to make it 4-2.

A broken stick somehow led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at 14:14, giving the Sharks a late power play. There was some confusion over the penalty, which was initially called a delay of game penalty on Vatanen, and coach John Hynes was visibly upset with the officials. Miles Wood served the penalty but he wasn’t in the box for long.

It took Tomas Hertl all of nine seconds to capitalize.

“It’s the wrong call,” Zajac said. “But we obviously couldn’t change his mind. We needed a kill there and we couldn’t do it.”

While there’s no doubt the effort was there on the part of New Jersey, breakouts were bad, decisions were questionable and the goaltending was shaky once again. The Devils came up north after going 1-0-1 against Los Angeles and Anaheim confident that they were trending in the right direction. But it seems as though every time they start to gain some ground they get stuck in neutral, unable to string wins together consistently.

“It’s been a challenge,” Hynes said. “That’s something that we’ll continue to dig in and work with this team on and eventually it will click.”

Notes

The Sharks saluted Devils’ assistant coach Mike Grier during the second period. Grier played three seasons in San Jose. … The Devils finished the season series with San Jose 1-1-0. … Kyle Palmieri extended his point streak to three games and has six points in his last five. … New Jersey scratched former Sharks’ defenseman Mirco Mueller as well as Steven Santini and forward Stefan Noesen.

3. What GM Ray Shero said about Devils’ start to season and where team stands in rebuild

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2018/12/what-gm-ray-shero-said-about-devils-start-to-season-and-where-team-stands-in-rebuild.html

The Devils’ 10-13-6 start is a far cry from the team that finished with 97 points en route to a playoff berth in 2017-18, and even if the Devils weren’t ready to take the next big step toward being a contender this season, they aren’t getting similar results that led to a wild-card spot last season.

Since taking over as general manager in 2015, Ray Shero has preached rebuilding the Devils the right way, without any shortcuts. The Devils made a huge leap in 2017-18, going from last in the Eastern Conference the prior season to making the playoffs. Now they’re facing adversity.

Here’s what Shero told NHL.com about the Devils’ results this season and where the team stands in its rebuild:

“Last year gave both hope and optimism. There was light at the end of the tunnel. Our fan base finally saw the vision we talked about my first two years through drafting, developing, and making proper trades; you could see it start to come together. We established something where you could see more talent, more belief and a commitment to hold each other accountable, whether they were younger players or veterans.

“I know we have a ways to go, not just to get to Game 82 (this season), but over the course of the next two or three years. It’s all really the start (of our build) I envisioned when I came here. I said last November (2017), that I felt like this is turning. I know it, I’ve been through this before with Nashville and Ottawa (as assistant GM). With Josh (Harris) and David (Blitzer), we have stayed true to our plan, no shortcuts. There will be speed bumps along the way, but this is the right way to do it.”

Shero continued to say he wants to build the Devils into a team that competes for a playoff spot every season, and the team will continue to look for ways to make that happen in the short and long term.

4. NHL power rankings: Steven Stamkos’ Tampa Bay Lightning or Auston Matthews’ Toronto Maple Leafs No. 1? Predators, Capitals, Sabres falling

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/12/3411b74dd41545/nhl-power-rankings-jack-eichel.html

December hockey is in full swing, and if the 2018-19 NHL season has proved anything so far, the Atlantic Division is going to be a battle until the very end.

Following a 10-game winning streak, the Buffalo Sabres came back down to earth with a five-game losing streak that did include defeats against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Lightning have surged to a big lead atop the NHL standings with their own six-game winning streak, while the Leafs are at full strength with Auston Matthews and William Nylander in the fold. The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have also played well in pursuit of the top three teams.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks continued their plummet to the bottom of the standings, while the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks have also struggled.

Here are NJ Advance Media’s NHL power rankings entering the week of Dec. 10. Last week’s rankings can be found here. Records reflect games played through Sunday, Dec. 9.

31-Chicago Blackhawks

Record: 9-17-5 (23 points)

Last week: 29

The Blackhawks have lost seven straight games, all in regulation. Chicago was 6-6-3 when it fired Joel Quenneville, and they’re 3-11-2 since.

30-Los Angeles Kings

Record: 11-18-1 (23 points)

Last week: 31

The Kings dropped game to the Devils and Coyotes, but they ended the week with a 5-1 win over the Golden Knights.

29-St. Louis Blues

Record: 10-14-4 (24 points)

Last week: 30

Despite grabbing a 1-0 road win over a good Jets team, the Blues ended the week with a 6-1 home loss to the Canucks. A coaching change hasn’t helped much here, either.

28-Ottawa Senators

Record: 13-14-4 (30 points)

Last week: 27

Following two losses in a home-and-home against the Montreal Canadiens, the Senators won in overtime over the Penguins before losing in extra time to the Bruins.

27-Vancouver Canucks

Record: 13-16-3 (29 points)

Last week: 26

The win over the Blues gave the Canucks their first two-game winning streak since Nov. 2, and it helped them bounce out of a stretch where they lost 12 of 13 games.

26-Arizona Coyotes

Record: 13-13-2 (28 points)

Last week: 28

A win overt the Kings to start the week pushed the Coyotes’ winning streak to four games, but they dropped home games against the Capitals and Sharks to end it.

25-New Jersey Devils

Record: 10-12-6 (26 points)

Last week: 25

A win over the Kings snapped a six-game losing streak before the Devils dropped a wild 6-5 shootout to the Ducks on Sunday. The Devils have lost seven of eight, but they have picked up six points in that stretch, going 1-3-4. They’re winless in six games that have gone past regulation this season.

24-Philadelphia Flyers

Record: 12-13-3 (27 points)

Last week: 24

After hiring Chuck Fletcher as the team’s new GM early in the week, the Flyers rallied for a 6-2 win over the Sabres on Saturday. They were then lit up in a 7-1 road loss to the Jets on Sunday.

23-Florida Panthers

Record: 11-11-6 (28 points)

Last week: 23

A 5-0 win over the Bruins marked a strong start to the week, but the Avalanche and Rangers beat the Panthers to knock them back down to .500.

22-Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: 12-10-6 (30 points)

Last week: 22

The Penguins had their best week since early in the season by going 2-0-1, which included convincing home wins over the Avalanche and Islanders.

21-Detroit Red Wings

Record: 13-13-4 (30 points)

Last week: 20

The Red Wings grabbed an overtime win over the Maple Leafs, but Detroit lost three of four overall last week.

20-Carolina Hurricanes

Record: 13-11-4 (30 points)

Last week: 20

A win over the Ducks snapped a three-game losing streak for Carolina and salvaged two points on the team’s California road trip.

19-New York Rangers

Record: 14-12-3 (31 points)

Last week: 17

The Rangers played only one game last week, taking 5-4 shootout win over the Panthers on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.

18-Montreal Canadiens

Record: 15-10-5 (35 points)

Last week: 18

Since a five-game losing streak, the Habs have won four of five games, including all three they played last week.

17-New York Islanders

Record: 14-11-3 (31 points)

Last week: 14

The Islanders topped the Red Wings, 3-2, to snap a two-game slide after losses to the Penguins and Jets earlier in the week.

16-Minnesota Wild

Record: 15-12-2 (32 points)

Last week: 11

A 7-2 loss to the Oilers gave the Wild their fifth loss in six games. Since moving to 11-4-2, the Wild are just 4-8-0.

15-Edmonton Oilers

Record: 16-12-2 (34 points)

Last week: 21

Here’s a look at a coaching change that appears to be working. The Oilers have won six of their past seven games, including three straight. Under Ken Hitchcock, the Oilers are 7-2-1.

14-San Jose Sharks

Record: 15-11-5 (35 points)

Last week: 13

The Sharks snapped out of a four-game losing streak by winning three of four games. For a team many expected to contend for a Stanley Cup, the Sharks have been very up and down this season. They still have plenty of time to piece things together.

13-Dallas Stars

Record: 16-11-3 (35 points)

Last week: 12

The Stars had a four-game winning streak snapped with a loss to the Golden Knights on Sunday.

12-Vegas Golden Knights

Record: 17-14-1 (35 points)

Last week: 16

Winning three of four games last week helped the Golden Knights’ continued surge up the standings. They’ve won eight of 10 games overall.

11-Anaheim Ducks

Record: 16-11-5 (37 points)

Last week: 15

Outside of a loss to the Hurricanes on Friday, the Ducks have been rolling, winning six of seven overall.

10-Columbus Blue Jackets

Record: 16-11-2 (34 points)

Last week: 10

The Blue Jackets had a big chance for a statement win over the Capitals, but the Stanley Cup champions won emphatically, 4-0.

9-Boston Bruins

Record: 16-10-4 (36 points)

Last week: 9

Wins over the Leafs and Senators ended a three-game slide for the Bruins. Sitting at 36 points would be enough for a divisional playoff spot in three other divisions, but they’re in fourth in the Atlantic.

8-Buffalo Sabres

Record: 17-9-4 (38 points)

Last week: 4

The hottest team in hockey cooled off very quickly. Following a 10-game winning streak, the Sabres lost their next five games, though they did take the Leafs to overtime.

7-Calgary Flames

Record: 19-10-2 (40 points)

Last week: 8

A 1-0 loss to the Oilers snapped a five-game winning streak. Outside that, the Flames have established themselves as one of the top teams to beat in the Pacific.

6-Washington Capitals

Record: 17-9-3 (37 points)

Last week: 7

Back-to-back losses to the Ducks and Golden Knights ended a seven-game winning streak, but the Caps rebounded to beat the Coyotes and Blue Jackets to end the week.

5-Colorado Avalanche

Record: 16-6-5 (37 points)

Last week: 6

The Avs went 2-2-0 on a four-game Eastern Conference road trip that included stops to play the Penguins and Lightning.

4-Winnipeg Jets

Record: 18-9-2 (38 points)

Last week: 5

The Jets appear to be rounding into championship form. Despite a 1-0 loss to the Blues, they

have won five of their past six games.

3-Nashville Predators

Record: 19-10-1 (39 points)

Last week: 2

Injuries have caught up with the Preds a bit, and they have quietly lost four of six games.

2-Toronto Maple Leafs

Record: 20-9-1 (41 points)

Last week: 3

With Auston Matthews and William Nylander now in the lineup, the Leafs are finally at full strength. They’re going to stay near the top of the standings all season.

1-Tampa Bay Lightning

Record: 23-7-1 (47 points)

Last week: 1

The Lightning ended the Sabres’ 10-game winning streak, and that sparked their own six-game winning streak. The Lightning have, as expected, established themselves as the NHL’s elite.

5. Devils can’t contain Sharks in loss to end road trip | Rapid reaction

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2018/12/devils-cant-contain-sharks-in-loss-to-end-road-trip-rapid-reaction.html

Leaving Timo Meier open on two rushes turned out to be a bad idea.

Meier scored both of his goals when he kept the puck for himself on pushes down the ice, and the Devils let a first-period lead go to waste as the San Jose Sharks cruised to a 5-2 victory on Monday at SAP Center in San Jose, California.

That 1-0 lead on a first-period Drew Stafford goal was flipped into a 2-1 deficit before the first intermission, and Keith Kinkaid ended up allowing five goals on 34 shots.

The Devils ended their three-game California swing at 1-1-1 and moved to 10-13-6 on the season.

Scoring plays

Stafford gave the Devils a lead with his first goal of the season 12:05 into the first period. He sent an innocent shot toward net from the right wall and it managed to sneak past Sharks goalie Martin Jones.

The Devils built a sizable shot advantage over the first half of the first period, but the Sharks managed to flip the ice and the scoreboard with two goals before intermission.

Meier tied the game with his first goal off a Sami Vatanen turnover at the offensive blue line. That led to a rush the other way, where Meier kept the puck and snapped a shot past Kinkaid at 15:51. Joe Pavelski then made it 2-1 when he popped in a rebound for his 20th goal of the season 2:12 later.

Radim Simek pushed the Sharks’ lead to 3-1 at 7:19 of the second period when his shot from the point weaved through traffic to beat Kinkaid for his first NHL goal.

Defenseman Andy Greene jammed in his first goal of the season to pull the Devils within 3-2 at 8:59, but Meier’s second goal off another rush at 14:52 served as a tough blow.

Tomas Hertl put the game away for the Sharks with a power-play goal at 14:23 of the third period.

Next up

The Devils return home for two of their next three games, though the schedule doesn’t get any easier. They will host the defending Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights at 7 p.m. on Friday at Prudential Center in Newark before finishing a back-to-back on the road against the Nashville Predators.

They will return home again to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

6. Devils defeated by Sharks

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/devils-defeated-by-sharks/c-302808706

SAN JOSE, CA – Two goals in quick succession by the San Jose Sharks in the first period put the New Jersey Devils playing catch-up on Monday night. Despite an early 1-0 lead on the Sharks, the Devils gave up two goals in a span of 2:12 that forced New Jersey to play from behind the rest of the game. Unable to capitalize on power play chances, the Devils closed out their three-game road trip with a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Here are 10 takeaways from the game:

1. As a fun note, both San Jose and New Jersey have players who go by the nickname ‘Pickles’. Of course, for New Jersey that honor goes to forward Blake Coleman – who has a habit of drinking pickle juice – while in San Jose, defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic goes by the nickname ‘Pickles’ after his last name, which is of the famous pickle variety.

2. Drew Stafford was back in the lineup for just the seventh time this season. The Devils veteran took the place of Stefan Noesen on the fourth line with Brian Boyle and Brett Seney. Stafford has had a knack for playing against the Sharks in his career. Heading into Monday night’s game, Stafford had 14 points (3-11-14) in 17 career games against San Jose.

Stafford would add to those numbers Monday night. On his third shift of the game, Stafford lightly tossed a puck towards Sharks netminder Martin Jones from the right wall that squeezed through Jones’ skate and the goal post. The goal was Stafford’s first of the season, on which the Devils took a 1-0 lead at 12:05 of the first.

3. Damon Severson and Andy Greene were credited with the assists on Stafford’s opening goal. For Severson, the assist was his 14th of the season as well as his 18th point. In 76 games last season, Severson had 15 total assists and 24 points. The 24-year-old defenseman is on his way to surpassing his numbers from last season.

4. New Jersey held the San Jose Sharks to 11 shots on goal in the first period. It really was a tale of two halves for the Devils in the shots on goal department in the first period. New Jersey outshot the Sharks 7-1 through the first 10:35 of the first, while the latter half of the period, the Sharks outshot the Devils 10-2.

5. Greene had his first two-point night of the season, after he scored the Devils second goal of the night. Greene cleaned up a rebound in front of Jones, off a shot from Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri used his size and strength to fight off a Sharks defender and skate the puck low for a sharp angle shot. The rebound went directly to Greene in the low slot where he tapped it home for his first of the year at 8:59 of the second period.

6. Greene’s goal was also his first tally since January 18, 2018, and his first road goal since November 12, 2017. (Credit: Craig Seiden, NJD Radio Statistician)

7. Greene had quite an eventful night for himself to go along with his two points. Midway through the third period, Greene got in the way of a Brent Burns point shot – and those carry some major velocity! The puck struck Greene in the skate so forcefully that his skate blade dislodged from his skate and went flying across the ice surface.

Greene remained on the ice with the Sharks in the offensive zone, though he wasn’t able to move. The Devils captain waited until Kinkaid gloved the puck for a stoppage in play to have his skate fixed on the bench.

8. Palmieri and Nico Hischier assisted the Greene goal. For Palmieri, it was his fifth point (four goals, one assist) on this current three-game road trip, and for Hischier it was his sixth point in his past six games.

9. Keith Kinkaid was back in net, with Schneider playing the night before in Anaheim. Kinkaid’s 24th game played did not go as he would have hoped, giving up 5 goals on 34 shots. His season record drops to 10-8-5.

Making his first start at San Jose since November 21, 2016, Kinkaid record on the road against the Sharks is now 1-2-0.

10. The Devils completed their three-game California road trip with a record of 1-1-1, worth three points in the standings.

 

 

3) TV/VIDEO LINKS

 

1. WATCH: NJ Devils’ Travis Zajac breaks down loss to Sharks

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/videos/sports/nhl/devils/2018/12/11/watch-nj-devils-travis-zajac-breaks-down-loss-sharks/2274146002/

2. 12/10/18 Postgame: Andy Greene

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/121018-postgame-andy-greene/t-277437418/c-63842703

3. 12/10/18 Postgame: Travis Zajac

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/121018-postgame-travis-zajac/t-277437418/c-63842603

4. 12/10/18 Postgame: John Hynes

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/121018-postgame-john-hynes/t-277437418/c-63842803

5. 12/10/18 Pregame: John Hynes

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/121018-pregame-john-hynes/t-277437418/c-63834803

6. 12/10/18 Players to Watch

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/121018-players-to-watch/t-277437418/c-63834603

7. GREENE: WE HAVE TO TURN THIS AROUND, IT’S EMBARRASSING

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/greene-we-have-to-turn-this-around-its-embarrassing/

8. HYNES PINPOINTS WHAT DEVILS NEED TO WORK ON

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/hynes-pinpoints-what-devils-need-to-work-on/

9. STAFFORD, GREENE NET THEIR FIRSTS IN LOSS TO SHARKS: HIGHLIGHTS & ANALYSIS

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/stafford-greene-net-their-firsts-in-loss-to-sharks/

10. DANO’S DIARIES: JIM MCKENZIE & THE DUMB-OFF

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/danos-diaries-jim-mckenzie-the-dumb-off/

4) RADIO LINKS – N/A

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

 

1. Meier scores twice for Sharks in win against Devils

By Eric Gilmour, NHL.com

https://www.nhl.com/news/new-jersey-devils-san-jose-sharks-game-recap/c-302797420

SAN JOSE — Timo Meier scored two goals for the San Jose Sharks in a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils at SAP Center on Monday.

Meier has seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games since returning to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury. The Sharks went 1-2-0 with him out of the lineup and are 3-1-0 since he returned.

“He’s a critical guy,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “He’s on pace for probably 40 goals right now. Critical piece for us. Gives us power and speed and energy and possession. You take that type of player out of anyone’s lineup and you’re going to feel the effects. It’s nice to have him back.”

Radim Simek scored his first NHL goal, Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl each had a goal and an assist, and Martin Jones made 22 saves for San Jose (16-11-5), which has won four of its past five games.

Drew Stafford and Andy Greene each scored his first goal of the season, and Keith Kinkaid made 29 saves for New Jersey (10-13-6), which has allowed at least four goals in eight of its past nine games (1-4-4).

The Devils, who lost 6-5 in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, completed their California road trip 1-1-1.

“It’s tough to win when you keep finding ways to beat yourselves,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “We just miss consistency in some areas of the game and that hurt us tonight. We keep finding ways to hurt our game. We can’t consistently string together any momentum.”

Stafford gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 12:05 of the first period on a wrist shot from along the right wall.

Meier tied it 1-1 at 15:51, scoring blocker side from the right circle on a rush.

“It’s always a shot that I like, coming down that wing,” Meier said. “It’s one of my strengths. It’s been working for me. It’s part of confidence, too. But it’s definitely something I try to work on, finishing some plays off, and it’s been working out.”

Pavelski gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 18:03 with his 20th goal of the season, getting the rebound off Brenden Dillon’s point shot at the left post. Pavelski has seven goals in his past eight games and 15 in his past 19.

“I think I said right from Day One here, I don’t think he’s dropped off at all,” DeBoer said of the 34-year-old Pavelski. “I think age is just a number for a guy like him. He works so hard. His game isn’t about speed, it’s about all the other things, and you don’t lose those things as you get older.”

The Devils had the game’s first seven shots but were outshot 11-2 the rest of the first period.

“We had a really good start for the first 10 minutes or so,” Greene said. “They got one and then they started to push us, and we didn’t push back and they got the second one. … We know [San Jose] is very good at home (10-3-2), they have quick starts. We came out pretty well. We had really good spurts and all of sudden things begin to happen and we wilt.”

Simek extended the lead to 3-1 at 7:19 of the second period on a slap shot from the point, but Greene cut it to 3-2 at 8:59.

Meier scored his second goal at 14:52 on a snap shot from the left circle that caught Kinkaid leaning the wrong way to make it 4-2.

Hertl scored a power-play goal at 14:23 of the third period to make it 5-2.

They said it

“We had the game totally in control and then we had the turnover at the offensive blue line. That gave them the first one and that gave a little bit of momentum. Puck management is something we keep talking about. The challenge with this group is getting them to understand the important parts of those situations. Early in the game we were breaking out and eventually they took over. It comes down to execution, moving the puck quicker, to accept the pass, and there are times in the game when we do a really good job of it and then there are times it’s like a grenade.” — Devils coach John Hynes

“I feel like we’re playing better. Tough stretch in that Dallas game aside (3-2 loss), I think we’re on a good streak right now.” — Sharks center Logan Couture

Need to know

Meier has 16 goals this season, five shy of his career high he set last year in 81 games. … Pavelski has scored at least 20 goals in a season 10 times, including in each of the past six. … Stafford was in the lineup after being scratched the previous three games and replaced Stefan Noesen on the fourth line. … New Jersey is 3-11-2 on the road. … Sharks forward Lukas Radil had his first NHL assist on Simek’s goal.

What’s next

Devils: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, NBCSCA, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

2. Five Questions with Ray Shero

By Mike Morreale, NHL.com

https://www.nhl.com/news/five-questions-with-new-jersey-devils-gm-ray-shero/c-302796080

A little adversity to begin the season isn’t going to force Ray Shero from deviating from the plan he laid out when named general manager of the New Jersey Devils on May 4, 2015.

The Devils made a 27-point improvement in the Eastern Conference last season and earned their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2012, but have struggled with consistency out of the gate this season (10-13-6) and are last in the conference with 26 points.

While the start may not be what the fan base expected, Shero remains confident that a little patience will go a long way.

“I’ve said all along, with the support of managing partners, Josh (Harris) and David (Blitzer), that you don’t build a team that’s rebuilding through free agent signings that would handcuff you in 3-to-4 years,” Shero said. “Doing something for the sake of getting a little bit better, or to just say you’re doing something, is patchwork and not a plan. There’s only one way to do this. The idea is to build something that once you do build it, you’re in a good position each year to have a chance to make the playoffs and at a certain point you’re considered a Cup contender.

“We talked about being a fast, attacking and supportive team and we knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, but you have to come in with a mentality and a direction. You have to have something you believe in, a vision.”

In three-plus seasons on the job, Shero has taken a club that averaged 30.5 years in age in 2014-15 to 26.5 years this season. He acquired forwards Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Marcus Johansson and defensemen Sami Vatanen and Will Butcher for a total of five draft picks (none in the first round), defenseman Adam Larsson and forwards Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi. Even with the movement of picks, the team still had 20 at their disposal. The once bare prospect pool has been replenished, they have salary cap flexibility and a new identity and culture is present under coach John Hynes.

Now in his fourth season as GM, Shero spoke on several key issues in a Q&A with NHL.com on Monday.

Here are Five Questions with … Ray Shero:

What do you say to those emotionally invested fans who want to see improvement over last season?

“Last year gave both hope and optimism. There was light at the end of the tunnel. Our fan base finally saw the vision we talked about my first two years through drafting, developing, and making proper trades; you could see it start to come together. We established something where you could see more talent, more belief and a commitment to hold each other accountable, whether they were younger players or veterans.

“I know we have a ways to go, not just to get to Game 82 (this season), but over the course of the next two or three years. It’s all really the start (of our build) I envisioned when I came here. I said last November (2017), that I felt like this is turning. I know it, I’ve been through this before with Nashville and Ottawa (as assistant GM). With Josh and David, we have stayed true to our plan, no shortcuts. There will be speed bumps along the way, but this is the right way to do it.

“Rebuilds are not for the weak. (New York Islanders GM) Lou Lamoriello once said, ‘I have a five-year plan and it’s changing every day’ so you have to be prepared and have an idea what you want to do for the short- and long-term. We want to be a team that competes for a playoff spot every year and not just by chance or luck, and then from there become more of a contender.

“Our fans have shown their passion. We all felt the excitement last year, as we had a great run at the end of the season and witnessed how electric the building was when we clinched the playoffs at home. We built this the right way and our fans, other teams and the League noticed. We were selected to do the first-ever behind the scenes all-access training camp series, and obviously picked as one of the teams to go to Europe (for the NHL Global Series). That is on- and off-ice progress which we should be proud of.”

Your thoughts on Taylor Hall in his third season with the Devils, and how do you think he handled his recent benching by coach John Hynes?

“I once told Taylor that he can’t expect to be on his game all the time, but it’s how he helps the team win when he’s not on. I sent a text to coach Hynes after he benched Hall for the final seven minutes of the second period in our loss to Tampa Bay (on Dec. 3) and asked how Hall was doing.

“[Hynes] said he was fine. He said Hall apologized for putting him in a situation to sit him. He respected what [Hynes] did, and he still played him 16:17 and [Hall] said that was more than enough for him to get his game back. [Hall] appreciated the way we treated him and how we held him accountable and knows he has to be better and wants to be better. [Hynes and Hall] have a healthy respect for each other and Hynes was confident Hall would be OK. Hynes told me it was really a reset for him and Taylor’s response was great.

“That’s the kind of player and person Taylor is. He wants accountability for himself and those around him. What does he do after that conversation with John? He goes out the next day and is the best player in practice, he leads by example. These are the kind of things that prove how driven he is, how much he cares.”

Hall, who won the 2018 Hart Trophy as NHL MVP, has one season remaining after this one on his seven-year contract he initially signed with the Edmonton Oilers. The earliest you could sign Hall to an extension is July 1, 2019. How soon will you begin talks on a new contract?

“Taylor and I had dinner at the end of the 2016-17 season, and it ended up turning into this enlightening four-hour conversation covering so many different topics. Taylor was determined after that season. I met with all the veterans at the end of the season and it was clear they all shared their disappointment.

“Based on what his response was, the conversation could have lasted just five minutes. But he said to me this was the right fit. I told him that his legacy is important to me and that I cared about it. When I asked him about Hynes, he told me he was the best coach he’s ever had. Once you hear those things, you know you have something together. Taylor came in and transformed this franchise.

“We will definitely talk after the season, and he is a priority, but an announcement, if any, won’t come until after (July 1), per league rules. Our feelings haven’t changed about Taylor. He’s an incredible addition to our team and franchise. Like I said before, he has come in, bought in and transformed this franchise. This is a faster, younger and more exciting team in part because of Taylor. We made a trade for a player that became the MVP which is only the second time NHL history that has happened (Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks). I think we have a lot of unfinished business and it’s been a great fit for both sides.”

Why does John Hynes remain the clear choice as coach moving forward?

“The three areas important to me in a coach are an ability to teach, inspire and discipline. There’s a fine line between being a friend and establishing a relationship and John has done that with his players. You’ve got to hold everyone accountable and can’t defer to veterans. In three seasons he’s shown great growth in how he’s dealt with our veterans and young players. John’s growth path has mirrored that of our team, and I like to see that. He’s taken hard-working teams and helped them accomplish more. He coaches to his players’ strengths and helps them find a gear or aspect to their game and brings it to the forefront. He’s coached an immensely talented player to become an MVP. Everyone had a great inside glimpse into John with the Behind the Glass all-access series as a communicator, motivator, and his direction as a coach. You have to be honest with yourself as a coach, and sometimes that’s not comfortable, but John has matured in that regard, too.”

Can you offer your assessment of goalies Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid?

“Cory has worked really hard and he’s physically fine. There are things we can help him with, but at the end of the day if Cory wants the net back he needs to be the best goalie in practice and that will help him become sharper when he gets into the game. He’s got to push Keith and continue to be supportive, too, just as he was for Keith during his run last year. He’s been great in that regard. Sometimes it comes down to the player and the player needs to make a difference.

“I tried to hire (goalie coach Roland Melanson) when I was in Pittsburgh (as GM) because I knew of his reputation. Rollie has worked hard with both Cory and Keith. He’s helped Keith develop and take the next step and continues to work with Cory, day-in and day-out.”

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New Jersey Devils News & Clips: Dec. 10

1. SUMMARY
2. LOCAL PRINT/WEB
3. TV/VIDEO LINKS
4. RADIO LINKS
5. NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

1) SUMMARY

The Devils fell to the Ducks, 6-5, in a shootout, in their first head-to-head contest of the 2018-19 campaign. The Devils will face-off with the Ducks in their final matchup of the season on January 19th at Prudential Center.

New Jersey will face-off against the San Jose Sharks tonight at SAP Center (10:30 pm, SN, NBCSCA, MSG+). Tonight’s game is the second and final contest between New Jersey and San Jose, and the second game of the Devils fifth of 14 sets back-to-back contests. New Jersey is 0-2-2 in second games so far. The Devils are 4-2-3 against Western Conference teams this season.

Abbey Mastracco, The Record, spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about how he has seen improvement in goaltender Cory Schneider’s game.

“The fact that we put three in our net was a little bit of a different situation for sure,” Hynes said. “He got the start tonight and he made some strong saves. That’s what you’re looking for. I think you can see his game coming.”

“He’s a true pro,” Hynes said. “He continues to work at it and maintain the right attitude and you can see his game is coming around. It was just unfortunate tonight that there were some odd bounces that didn’t help him.”

Chris Ryan, NJ.com, spoke to Schneider about his performance in last night’s game.

“I mean, that first period was a little helter-skelter. I think both sides, (played) a little looser,” he said. “Not as many saves as we wanted, but you come out of it 3-3 and it is basically a 0-0 hockey game. You just have that mentality of starting over and I thought we did a good job in the second. I thought we took control of the game there and got the go ahead goal, and they [Ducks] made a push in the third.”

Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com, wrote her 10 takeaways following the Devils 6-5 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks last night.

Mike Morreale, NHL.com, spoke to Devils center Brian Boyle about what he has seen from rookie Brett Seney since he got the call up to play in the NHL.

“He wants to not only be here, but stay here,” Devils forward Brian Boyle said. “He’s a mature kid, and I can see leadership qualities in him as a first-year guy. He’s an honest player who just goes about his work.

“Teams today are built around speed, but in a fast league, Brett’s still one of the fastest guys. The other element that separates him is the way he competes. I saw it right in the beginning of training camp; he’s really a tenacious player and competes hard. He wants to get his nose in there and make a difference.”

Morreale also spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about how Seney has been able to persevere in the NHL even though he may not be the biggest body on the ice.

“Maybe he doesn’t have the biggest body or size, but he has that explosive quickness, strength on his skates,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “He’s tenacious and not afraid of confrontation. He plays the game in the hard areas, and that’s why he’s been able to come in and have success.

“Every player in our locker room has some sort of NHL element to their game, but how do you impact and how do you push the needle in a more productive way? For us, we feel Brett is one of those guys.”

2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB

1. Why NJ Devils’ Cory Schneider is confident his luck will turn

By Abbey Mastracco, Fire and Ice

https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/fireandice/2018/12/09/why-nj-devils-cory-schneider-confident-his-luck-turn/2262010002/

ANAHEIM — Cory Schneider is having a tough year.

The Devils have scored on Schneider, their own goalie, in each of his last two starts. There was a start before that where he shut out a team for 59:30 but couldn’t get any offensive support.

It’s no secret the 32-year-old goalie is struggling to re-establish his game after a few years of hip injuries. The injuries are now past him after an offseason surgery but numbers show that he hasn’t quite found his game yet: 0-5-1 with a 4.29 GAA and a 0.863 save percentage.

So a trio of own-goals was the last thing he needed but it’s exactly what he got in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night at Honda Center.

“Bad bounces going into the net,” Schneider said. “I’m not sure how you view that in the prism of defending a league or playing in the third. But we didn’t quit.”

New Jersey didn’t quit, with Marcus Johansson working his 6-on-5 magic yet again and tying the game at 5-5 with 58 seconds left in regulation. The Devils are still searching for their first overtime win but getting the game into a shootout was a step in the right direction.

However, they don’t think they should have been in that position in the first place because Schneider gave New Jersey enough of a chance to win. It was the three goals put past Schneider by Stefan Noesen, Ben Lovejoy and Andy Greene that made the difference.

“You can’t do much about bad bounces and pucks getting deflected and not being able to see pucks,” Devils’ forward Kyle Palmieri said. “But for us, he’s battling in there and we’re trying to battle in front of him but pucks seem to just find their way off different things and end up in the back of the net.”

Devils’ coach John Hynes has never seen three own-goals like that at the NHL level. Maybe it speaks to just how bad Schneider’s luck has been or maybe it was just a strange night. Regardless, he doesn’t think Schneider’s performance was as bad as it the scoresheet would indicate.

“The fact that we put three in our net was a little bit of a different situation for sure,” Hynes said. “He got the start tonight and he made some strong saves. That’s what you’re looking for. I think you can see his game coming.”

Luck is a funny thing. Sometimes you have it and sometimes it’s out of your control. When things are going well, it might seem like a team gets a few more lucky bounces here and there. But when things are a struggle, as they have been for the Devils, those bad bounces seem to happen a little more often.

“My teammates step in front of a lot of pucks and block a lot of shots for me so obviously they’re not trying to do it on purpose,” Schneider said. “That’s hockey. When you’re going great and winning games everything seems to stay out but when you’re in a stretch like I am they all seem to go in.

“But it will turn, it won’t happen forever.”

Schneider is still taking ownership of the loss, as he has after every one of them and he’s had quite a few this year. He hasn’t won a regular season game since December 27, 2017.

Call it snakebitten or call it unlucky, he’s still not letting it get him down.

“He’s a true pro,” Hynes said. “He continues to work at it and maintain the right attitude and you can see his game is coming around. It was just unfortunate tonight that there were some odd bounces that didn’t help him.”

2. NJ Devils score 3 times on own net in 6-5 shootout loss to Ducks

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2018/12/09/nj-devils-score-3-times-own-net-6-5-shootout-loss-ducks/2260463002/

ANAHEIM — Both goalies on the ice on Sunday night at Honda Center were chasing milestones of sorts.

Anaheim Ducks’ backup goalie Ryan Miller was one win shy of surpassing John Vanbiesbrouck’s mark of 374 wins, the most for an American-born goalie.

The other American-born goalie in the game was chasing a more dubious honor: His first regular-season win in a calendar year.

Neither goalie would reach those milestones.

Miller was injured in the third period and John Gibson became the goalie of record. The Devils, somewhat unbelievably, scored three times on their own goalie, Cory Schneider.

Perhaps more unbelievably, Marcus Johansson tied it up with 58 seconds left and the Devils made it to a shootout for the first time this season. But Ryan Getzlaf and Daniel Sprong scored for the Ducks in a shootout to give Anaheim (16-11-5) a 6-5 win. The Devils (10-12-6) lost their seventh game in eight tries.

“That’s the first time in my experiences where we had three that got in,” coach John Hynes said. “Sometimes something gets deflected in or hits someone else and goes in but those were a little bit odd tonight.”

Schneider made 35 saves and one in the shootout. Gibson denied the Devils’ two shooters, Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall.

Two of the three own-goal offenders, Stefan Noesen and Ben Lovejoy used to play for the Ducks. Andy Greene, the Devils’ captain, had the third offensive transgression.

“It was just a couple of bad bounces for us once again,” Schneider said. “That’s kind of been a recurring theme.”

Brett Seney put the Devils ahead 4-3 at the 9-minute mark of the second period when he cleaned up a rebound by Jesper Bratt. But at at 8:35 in the third, a Pontus Aberg shot took an errant bounce off the glove of Lovejoy and the game was knotted once again.

A wild scramble in front of the net resulted in a power play goal for the Ducks at 13:58. Greene batted in a shot by Ondrej Kase from midair.

An eventful first period resulted in six combined goals and a 3-3 score at the end of it. Both teams looked equal parts awesome and awful. Palmieri, who came to the Devils in a draft-day trade from Anaheim in 2015, scored twice for his fifth two-goal game of the season and his second straight.

Palmieri opened the scoring 1:38 into the game but it didn’t take long for Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg to net the equalizer. Noesen, one of four former Ducks now playing for New Jersey, then pinged a pass by Kiefer Sherwood into his own net to give the Ducks a lead at 2:47.

The momentum continued to swing wildly in each direction. Damon Severson finished off a tic-tac-toe passing sequence on the power play to put the Devils up 3-2 at 13:08 but the offender who gave the visitors a power play, Brandon Montour, scored 31 seconds later to tie the game at 3-3.

“The first was tough for both goalies but my guys kept coming back and putting them in,” Schneider said. “You try to shake that off and treat it like a 0-0 game and I thought I did a pretty good job of trying to shut it down and hold the fort there.”

It’s almost unbelievable the luck that Schneider has had — or maybe hasn’t had — over the last year. Schneider remains searching for his first win since December 27, 2017.

“Cory did a great job battling for us,” Palmieri said. “He’s a warrior and he’s going to keep battling and giving us a chance to win hockey games.”

Notes

Miller left the game with 12:47 left to play after a collision in the net and his win total remains at 374. … The Devils have scored an own-goal in each of Schneider’s last two starts with Sami Vatanen, another former Duck, scoring one in a loss in Tampa Bay on Nov. 25. … Noesen didn’t take a shift in the second period and logged just 5:17 on the ice. … The Devils scratched Drew Stafford, Mirco Mueller and Steven Santini. … Keith Kinkaid will get the start in net for the Devils on Monday night in San Jose.

3. Devils’s own goals lead to another loss for Cory Schneider against Ducks

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2018/12/devilss-own-goals-lead-to-another-loss-for-cory-schneider-against-ducks.html#incart_river_index

One own goal can be chalked up to a bad bounce. Two could be considered rotten luck.

But three own goals in one game? That type of misfortune seems almost comical.

Yet the Devils managed to put three pucks into their own net on Sunday, making life even tougher on goalie Cory Schneider, who was searching for his first win in his sixth start of the season.

Devils coach John Hynes had never seen anything like it during his career behind the bench.

“Those were a little bit odd tonight. It’s situations where you have to find a way to overcome,” Hynes told reporters in Anaheim. “It’s not something that you can let deflate you. You have to continue to play, continue to push and we felt as though we did that for the most part tonight.”

Despite all that, the Devils still had opportunities to win, but they managed to salvage just one point in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The Ducks, trailing 4-3 entering the third period, made their predictable push to get back in the game. Schneider made seven saves on shots actually taken by Ducks in the final 20 minutes, but two pucks went in off his own defensemen after forward Stefan Noesen had already poked in one own goal in the first period.

The tying goal in the third period came off an innocently chipped puck toward net, where the Ducks seemed to be happy just to get the it down the ice for a line change. Instead, when Ben Lovejoy went to catch it, the puck bounced off his wrist and floated over Schneider, into the back of the net.

Then as the Devils killed off a Ducks power play, a mad scramble in front of net led to a puck bouncing in the air above the crease. Andy Greene attempted to whack it over the crossbar and behind the net. Instead, the puck went straight into the netting behind Schneider.

Again, despite all that, the Devils managed to tie the game on a Marcus Johansson 6-on-5 goal in the final minute, sending the game to overtime.

Schneider ended up with 33 saves on 38 shots, and he stopped all six shots he saw in overtime.

“He made a big save on (Adam) Henrique’s breakaway late in the game there,” Devils forward Kyle Palmieri said. “I mean, he is battling for us. It’s hard to see him go through the bad bounces and not finding a way to win games, but he is a warrior and he is going to keep battling, giving us a chance to win hockey games.”

Schneider did allow two early goals around the Noesen own goal, but he settled in to stop every actual Ducks shot the rest of the way.

“I mean, that first period was a little helter-skelter. I think both sides, (played) a little looser,” he said. “Not as many saves as we wanted, but you come out of it 3-3 and it is basically a 0-0 hockey game. You just have that mentality of starting over and I thought we did a good job in the second. I thought we took control of the game there and got the go ahead goal, and they [Ducks] made a push in the third.”

4. Devils lose to Ducks in shootout after 3 own goals in regulation | Rapid reaction

By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

https://www.nj.com/devils/2018/12/devils-lose-to-ducks-in-shootout-after-3-own-goals-in-regulation-rapid-reaction.html#incart_river_index

Goals by Daniel Sprong and Ryan Getzlaf gave the Anaheim Ducks a 6-5 shootout victory over the Devils on Sunday at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall both failed to score on their respective attempts. Hall hit the crossbar after Sprong beat goalie Cory Schneider for the first goal. Getzlaf then ended the game as the Ducks’ third shooter.

Overtime and the shootout came after 60 of the strangest minutes of hockey the Devils will play all season.

The Devils managed to score three — yes, three — own goals, including two in the third period that turned a 4-3 Devils lead into a 5-4 deficit. Those two odd deflections appeared to put the Devils in position for a devastating regulation defeat, but a Marcus Johansson 6-on-5 goal with Schneider on the bench tied the game at 5-5 with 58 seconds to play.

All of that came after the two teams combined for six goals in the first period, including the first own goal for the Devils.

Scoring plays

Schneider’s final stats don’t look terrific. He allowed five goals on 38 shots. But again, three of them came on some of the strangest bounces any goalie will see.

With the game tied 1-1 in the first period, a Kiefer Sherwood pass was poked past Schnedier by Devils forward Stefan Nosen, who was attempting to break up the play.

The Ducks tied the game at 4-4 in the third period when Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy attempted to catch a puck flipped toward the crease by Ducks forward Pontus Aberg. Instead, the puck hit Lovejoy’s glove and bounced softly over Schneider, who couldn’t do much to stop it.

Then after Schneider made a couple tough saves to kill off a Ducks power play, but defenseman Andy Greene batted a puck out of midair and into net for a 5-4 lead.

Johansson then tied the game at 5-5 when he scored on a scramble in front in the final minutes, allowing the Devils to salvage one point.

Before that madness, you probably missed a goal If you blinked in the first half of the first period.

The teams traded six goals over the opening 13:39, resulting in a 3-3 tie that lasted until the first intermission. Each team held a lead during that stretch.

Palmieri scored the first of his two goals 1:38 into play when he popped in a rebound near the right post. A Egor Yakovlev shot rattled off the boards behind the net and back to Palmieri, who netted his 15th of the season.

Just 69 seconds later, the Ducks had a 2-1 lead. They tied it at 2:12 when a Jakob Silfverberg weaved through traffic and past Schneider. Noesen’s own goal put the Ducks up 2-1 at 2:47.

Noesen played three more shifts in the first period before sitting for the entire second period. He returned to the ice early in the third.

That 2-1 deficit didn’t last long for the Devils, who answered with two more goals. Palmieri tied it at 2-2 on his 16th of the season by one-timing a Taylor Hall pass from the right circle at 10:49.

Damon Severson capitalized on the Devils’ first power play at 13:08 when he popped in a shot from the left circle off a Marcus Johansson feed.

Brandon Montour capped off the craziness with another tying goal 31 seconds later, bringing the Ducks even at 3-3.

Both sides settled down from there until Seney gave the Devils a 4-3 lead at 9:00 of the second. After dropping a pass to Jesper Bratt near the right wall, Seney raced to the slot and found a rebound, which he sent five-hole on Ducks goalie Ryan Miller for his second of the season.

Next up

The Devils will end their California road trip with a 10:30 p.m. Eastern face-off against the San Jose Sharks on Monday at SAP Center in San Jose.

They will return home to host the Vegas Golden Knights at 7 p.m. on Friday at Prudential Center in Newark.

5. Devils earn one point in shootout loss to Ducks

By Amanda Stein, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/devils-earn-one-point-in-shootout-loss-to-ducks/c-302777222

ANAHEIM, CA – Despite taking three separate leads against the Anaheim Ducks, and tying the game at five in the dying seconds on a goal by Marcus Johansson, the New Jersey Devils could not seal the deal against the Anaheim Ducks. The Devils dropped their Sunday matchup 6-5 in a shootout.

The Devils and Ducks traded six-goals in the first period alone in the high scoring affair, with the Devils going 1-0-1 so far on their California road trip. Their last stop is in San Jose Monday night.

Here are 10 takeaways from the game:

1. For the fifth time this season, Devils goaltender Cory Schneider was given the start in net. Schneider made 33 saves on 38 shots in regulation and overtime but went 1-for-3 in stopping Anaheim in the shootout.

2. The Devils boast four former Anaheim Ducks on their current roster. Stefan Noesen, Kyle Palmieri, Ben Lovejoy, and most recently, Sami Vatanen were all once members of the Ducks.

On Anaheim’s roster, forwards Adam Henrique and Brian Gibbons are former members of the New Jersey Devils.

3. While coach John Hynes elected to go with a lineup with the same skaters that won against the L.A. Kings earlier this week, he did make some adjustments on defense. The Devils defense lined up as follows:

Andy Greene – Damon Severson

Will Butcher – Sami Vatanen

Egor Yakovlev – Ben Lovejoy

Moving Butcher to the second pairing gave the second-year defenseman a chance at greater ice time. He played 25:01 for a season high in ice-time.

4. Kyle Palmieri began his two-point night by scoring the game’s opening goal just 1:38 after the opening puck drop. Palmieri cleaned up on an Egor Yakovlev shot that ricocheted off the end boards right onto Palmieri’s stick. The goal was Palmieri’s 15th of the season, as he continues to lead the Devils in the goal department.

Yakovlev earned the lone assist, the third assist and fourth point of his NHL career.

5. Though the Ducks would take a 2-1 lead after Palmieri’s opening goal, the former Duck and current Devil still wasn’t done scoring against his former team. At 10:49 of the first period, Palmieri – for a second consecutive game – scored his second goal of the night off a feed from Taylor Hall.

The two-goal effort in the first period, marked the fifth time this season Palmieri has scored two goals in a game. To date, the Devils are 4-0-1 when the New Jersey native registers two-goals in a game.

6. The Devils power play appears to have found a groove. For the third time in four games, New Jersey has scored a power play goal. The second unit connected at 13:08 of the opening 20-minutes where Marcus Johansson, from behind the Ducks net, found a streaking Damon Severson down the left side of the ice. Severson ripped a shot past Ducks netminder Ryan Miller for a 3-2 Devils lead.

7. With Hall’s assist on Palmieri’s second goal of the game, the dynamic forward now has 12 points his in past nine games. Hall has been wracking up the assists, with nine in his last nine games and adding three goals.

Hall is currently one goal shy of 200 in his NHL career.

8. After a six-goal output by both teams in the opening 20 minutes of play, just a single goal was scored in the second period. That goal went to Devils rookie Brett Seney, for his second career NHL goal.

Seney was opportunistic, driving to the net as Ducks Miller gave up a juicy rebound in the slot. The 22-year-old was in the right place at the right time to tap the puck in. The goal gave the Devils their third lead of the night at 9:00 of the second period.

9. New Jersey went nearly the entire game without taking a penalty. It was Damon Severson who was called for the Devils only penalty of the game, a hook with 8:09 left in regulation. It is the fourth time this season New Jersey has taken just a single penalty in a game.

10. Marcus Johansson had the Devils 6-on-5 goal to tie the game with under a minute to play. The forward tied the game at five after the Ducks had taken a one-goal lead at the 13:58 mark of the third period.

Johansson scored his second 6-on-5 goal of the season and his sixth overall goal to take the game into overtime. Nico Hischier and Brian Boyle were credited with the assists. Hischier now has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

3) TV/VIDEO LINKS

1. WATCH: NJ Devils’ Cory Schneider owns loss in game with three own-goals

By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

https://www.northjersey.com/videos/sports/nhl/devils/2018/12/10/watch-nj-devils-cory-schneider-owns-loss-game-three-own-goals/2261899002/

2. 12/9/18 Postgame: Cory Schneider

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/12918-postgame-cory-schneider/t-277437418/c-63819203

3. 12/9/18 Postgame: Kyle Palmieri

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/12918-postgame-kyle-palmieri/t-277437418/c-63819103

3. 12/9/18 Postgame: John Hynes

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/12918-postgame-john-hynes/t-277437418/c-63819003

4. 12/9/18 Players to Watch

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/12918-players-to-watch/t-277437418/c-63807103

5. 12/9/18 Pregame: John Hynes

By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/12918-pregame-john-hynes/t-277437418/c-63805903

6. DEVILS GET A POINT IN WILD ONE IN ANAHEIM: HIGHLIGHTS & ANALYSIS

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/devils-get-a-point-in-wild-one-in-anaheim-highlights-analysis/

7. ON THE ICE WITH DANO & SAL: SENEY & GAINING LEVERAGE VS. DEFENSEMEN

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/on-the-ice-with-dano-sal-seney-gaining-leverage-vs-defensemen/

8. SCHNEIDER TALKS SHOOTOUT LOSS TO DUCKS & HIS EFFORT

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/schneider-talks-shootout-loss-to-ducks-his-effort/

9. JOHN HYNES MIC’D UP AT DEVILS PRACTICE

By MSG Networks

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/john-hynes-micd-up-at-devils-practice/

4) RADIO LINKS – N/A

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

1. Ducks top Devils in shootout for sixth victory in seven games

By Dan Arritt, NHL.com

https://www.nhl.com/news/new-jersey-devils-anaheim-ducks-game-recap/c-302766104

ANAHEIM — Ondrej Kase had a goal and two assists and the Anaheim Ducks came from behind three times in a 6-5 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils at Honda Center on Sunday.

Brandon Montour had a goal and an assist, Ryan Getzlaf had two assists and scored the deciding goal in the shootout for Anaheim (16-11-5), which has won six of its past seven games.

Ryan Miller allowed four goals on 27 shots for Anaheim before leaving at 7:13 of the third period with an injury. John Gibson replaced him and made seven saves.

Kyle Palmieri scored two goals, Marcus Johansson had a goal and an assist, Jesper Bratt had two assists and Cory Schneider made six of his 32 saves in overtime for New Jersey (10-12-6), which scored into its own net three times.

“It was a bizarre game,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “It was one of those games that seemed like the last shot would win it.”

Johansson tied game at 5-5 with 58 seconds left in the third period and Schneider pulled for an extra skater.

“Three or four of the last times we have pulled the goalie we seem to have scored and tied it up,” Schneider said.

Kase was credited with the goal that gave the Ducks a 5-4 lead at 13:58 of the third period. New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene tried to slap the puck out of the air but he hit it into his own net.

Pontus Aberg tied the game 4-4 at 8:35 of the third period for the Ducks. He flipped the puck toward the New Jersey net from just inside the blue line. Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy tried to stop the puck with his glove, but it deflected off Schneider’s glove and into the net.

“We got a little bit lucky getting goals off their players but we stuck to it,” Aberg said.

Brett Seney gave the Devils a 4-3 lead at 9:00 of the second period. Miller made a save on Bratt’s shot from the right circle but the rebound came out to the slot and Seney was there to score on a one-timer.

Each team scored three times in the first period.

Palmieri, who has four goals in his past two games, gave the Devils a 1-0 lead at 1:38.

Egor Yakovlev shot wide and the puck went off the end boards and came out just to the left of Miller. Palmieri was in position to lift the puck over the outstretched left pad of Miller for a 1-0 lead.

Jakob Silfverberg scored for the third straight game to make it 1-1 at 2:12.

Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson stopped the puck just before it exited the New Jersey zone and passed it to Silfverberg, who made a stick move to turn around Devils forward Nico Hischier and scored from just above the left circle.

Kiefer Sherwood gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead at 2:47. He tried to center a pass to Carter Rowney but the puck hit the stick of New Jersey forward Stefan Noesen, went off his leg and across the goal line for a 2-1 lead at 2:47.

It was the fastest three goals by two teams to open a game this season.

Palmieri made it 2-2 at 10:49. Taylor Hall stole the puck behind the Anaheim net, fed Palmieri from below the goal line and he scored on a one-timer from the right circle.

New Jersey regained a 3-2 lead when Damon Severson scored on the power play at 13:08.

After Montour was called for hooking Travis Zajac at 11:46, Johansson received a pass just below the goal line and he made a diagonal pass through the crease to Severson, who scored on a one-timer.

Anaheim was headed for its first power play but Montour scored from the right circle before it could begin, tying the game 3-3 at 13:39.

“That first period was a little helter-skelter,” Schneider said.

They said it

“It was the first time in my experience where you had three [own goals] that went in. Something gets deflected in and hits someone else and goes in. Those were a little bit odd tonight.” — Devils coach John Hynes

“When you get a few of those bounces, it’s big. We didn’t get any in the first two months of the season. It’s nice to get a couple tonight.” — Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf

Need to know

Miller was trying for his 375th NHL win, which would have moved him past John Vanbiesbrouck as the winningest U.S.-born goalie in NHL history. Carlyle did not provide an update on his injury. … Getzlaf has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the past 11 games. He needs one point for 900 in his NHL career. … The shootout was the first this season for New Jersey. … Hall has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in the past nine games.

What’s next

Devils: At the San Jose Sharks on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSCA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Ducks: Host the Dallas Stars on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

2. Rookie watch: Hard work paying off for Seney with Devils

By Mike Morreale, NHL.com

https://www.nhl.com/news/rookie-center-brett-seney-impressing-new-jersey-devils/c-302768328

Brett Seney has impressed teammates and coaches with his speed and competitive nature in his first season with the New Jersey Devils.

Since making his NHL debut Nov. 3, the rookie center has two goals, three assists and 19 shots on goal in 18 games with the Devils. The 22-year-old scored his first NHL goal Nov. 11 at the Winnipeg Jets.

“He wants to not only be here, but stay here,” Devils forward Brian Boyle said. “He’s a mature kid, and I can see leadership qualities in him as a first-year guy. He’s an honest player who just goes about his work.

“Teams today are built around speed, but in a fast league, Brett’s still one of the fastest guys. The other element that separates him is the way he competes. I saw it right in the beginning of training camp; he’s really a tenacious player and competes hard. He wants to get his nose in there and make a difference.”

Seney, chosen by the Devils in the sixth round (No. 157) of the 2015 NHL Draft, has played center and wing in a third and fourth-line role with New Jersey, but he said he prefers center because his speed enables him to quickly find open areas. Seney (5-foot-9, 156 pounds) has shown he can be a responsible player in the defensive zone.

“Maybe he doesn’t have the biggest body or size, but he has that explosive quickness, strength on his skates,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “He’s tenacious and not afraid of confrontation. He plays the game in the hard areas, and that’s why he’s been able to come in and have success.

“Every player in our locker room has some sort of NHL element to their game, but how do you impact and how do you push the needle in a more productive way? For us, we feel Brett is one of those guys.”

Seney understands he needs to continue to play a hard and responsible game to remain a fixture in the lineup.

“It’s definitely in the back of your head, earning your role and sticking on the roster,” he said. “I think every day is a new opportunity to go out there and show what you could do and kind of move up that ladder. Being a smaller guy, maybe I have to take a couple more strides out there to keep up with some of the bigger guys with longer strides.

“I think for as long as I can remember, skating has always been my best asset and that was something from a young age that I knew, as a smaller guy, if I wanted to make it, I had to skate so that was a huge focus. I proved to myself I could play with these guys and getting it done in college was probably the point where I kind of had that thought that making it to the NHL was a possibility.”

Seney, born in London, Ontario, dreamed of playing in the Ontario Hockey League, but instead felt the Ontario Junior Hockey League and college route would be a better fit.

He wasn’t surprised to be passed over his first year of eligibility in the 2014 NHL Draft as a second-year player in the OJHL with Kingston.

“I put up a lot of points (69), but I think there were a lot of parts to my game that I needed to improve too,” Seney said.

Seney began opening some eyes as a freshman at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, in 2014-15. He scored 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 34 games and was drafted by the Devils.

Seney played four seasons at Merrimack and scored 115 points (42 goals, 73 assists) in 139 games before the Devils signed him to a two-year, entry-level contract March 16. He had 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) with Binghamton of the American Hockey League in 22 games the past two seasons before being promoted.

“I was quite a bit smaller when I was 16, so I started looking at some school routes (including University of Massachusetts, Clarkson, Providence), and watched college games and fell in love with the atmosphere,” Seney said. “Merrimack was a smaller school, a lesser-known school, but the staff there with head coach Mark Dennehy and assistants Curtis Carr and Bill Gilligan really helped me a lot.”

Dennehy was hired to coach Binghamton on Aug. 1, so he knew of Seney’s skating ability and opportunistic mindset in the offensive zone.

“What I’m proudest of with Brett is, No. 1, he’s an unbelievable competitor,” Dennehy said. “He plays his tail off, he wants to play fast. He’s incredibly dynamic, and he really worked on getting stronger.”

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New Jersey Devils News & Clips: Dec. 6, 2018

  1. SUMMARY
  2. LOCAL PRINT/WEB
  3. TV/VIDEO LINKS
  4. RADIO LINKS
  5. NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

    1) SUMMARY

     

    The Devils will face-off with the Los Angeles Kings tonight at Staples Center (10:30 pm, FS-W, MSG+). Tonight’s game is the first of two contests between New Jersey and Los Angeles. The Devils are 3-2-2 against Western Conference teams this season.

    Chris Ryan, NJ.com, spoke to Devils head coach John Hynes about prospect Michael McLeod and why he was sent back down to the AHL after appearing in one game in the NHL.

    “We think it was a great thing for his development, for the organization,” Hynes said. “Now you have a motivated player that’s self directed in the sense that he knows he’s got to improve and what he needs to work on in Binghamton.”

    “He’s had lots of success as a young player, but he’s not above playing in the American League and earning his stripes and understanding his game has to be better,” Hynes said. “It’s not just all about being in the NHL, living the NHL lifestyle. This kid wants to play hockey. He wants to get better. He’s appreciative of the opportunity. It was a great development experience for him, but it’s guys like that, that understand where they’re at in their careers and they have the right mindset, those are the guys that develop.”

    Ryan also spoke to Devils captain Andy Greene about what he believes the team needs to do in order to stop their losing streak and have success on their western roadtrip.

    “We have to sit there and pick each other up and battle and compete. Those things take zero skill,” defenseman Andy Greene said. “That’s just all about work ethic and how we want to play. You’re not talking about making highly skilled plays here. It’s defending hard at the puck, being in the right position and stuff like that. That’s just stuff where we need to be way better, way tougher, way harder.”

    2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB

     

    1. The change Devils’ Jesper Bratt credits with getting to the NHL

    By Abbey Mastracco, The Record

    https://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2018/12/04/change-nj-devils-jesper-bratt-credits-getting-nhl/2205982002/

The change Devils’ Jesper Bratt credits with getting to the NHL

www.northjersey.com

Jesper Bratt wasn’t enjoying hockey anymore so he sought out someone who would help him enjoy it again. It changed his career.

  1. NEWARK — There was a period of time where hockey didn’t feel the way it used to for Jesper Bratt.

    The Devils’ speedy scorer was splitting time between his junior team in Sweden and a second-tier professional team. Canada was on the horizon, as Bratt, then just a teenager, was planning to play in the Ontario Hockey League to be able to adjust to North American ice before taking the next step in his career with the Devils, who had drafted him in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

    But every time Bratt stepped out on the ice it felt as though the world was on his shoulders.

    “I felt a lot of pressure on myself before games,” Bratt said. “I didn’t really enjoy the games and have fun. I just felt like everything was a big pressure for me.”

    The feeling had crept up on him, building up throughout his last season in Sweden until he hit a breaking point. Bratt saw how close he was to the NHL and he owed it to himself to give a shot, but he knew a change was needed.

    So, he reached out to his agent and asked if he could connect him with Andy Sward, a renowned mental skills coach who works with several Swedish hockey players and golfers.

    “I just felt like I wanted to take the next step in my career,” the 20-year-old Bratt said. “My (mindset) was something that needed to be changed.”

    While Sward’s clients are mainly based in Sweden, his position is one on the rise in sports. Several professional teams employ mental skills coaches in addition to team psychologists.

    It’s especially popular in baseball and hockey, where the complexities of the game make it easy to overthink things. The Mets have employed a few of them, even having Will Lenzner travel with the team during the 2017 season before he went to the Los Angeles Angels last season. The Houston Astros have available to work with prospects remotely.

    The experience was exactly what Bratt was hoping for. Sward slowly helped reinvigorate him.

    Hockey became fun again.

    “That’s something he really helped me with, getting back to why I play,” he said. “Because it’s fun. It makes me more comfortable.”

    Sward honed in Bratt’s pregame preparation, helping him get into a calm headspace before games in order to ease the pressure he was feeling when games began.

    “He just helps me get ready, making sure my mind is where it should be and I feel calm and I feel comfortable with the situation and games and stuff,” Bratt said. “It helps me be calm and make me know what I should do out there in the games. I don’t get nervous.”

    Now, here’s where the work with Sward is being tested.

    Bratt is off to another fast start this season. In 12 games since returning from a broken jaw, Bratt has nine points (two goals, seven assists). One of his two goals, a power play goal scored Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets, not only snapped a 0-for-15 streak with the man-advantage, but it also helped the Devils rally for a third-period comeback. He’s part of a second power play unit that has been generating far more offense and momentum than the top unit and he’s made an impact on the forecheck by sparking a struggling second line.

    This is nothing new for Bratt. Last year, he got off to a hot start as well and he credited his near-daily sessions with Sward. They talked before every game and often after practices.

    But Bratt ran out of gas after the All-Star break last season. He took it in stride, understanding where he went wrong and why he was a healthy scratch throughout much of the final month of the season. He may not have been so levelheaded about it had it not been for Sward.

    Bratt is confident that this year will be different. He’s more sure of himself as an NHL player and more sure of his skill set. The sessions with Sward have decreased.

    “This year I kind of know a little bit more of what’s going on,” he said. “Maybe three times a month maybe, maybe a little bit more.”

    Bratt has to prove that he can produce for an entire season. But he already took one big step in his career with Sward and he’s confident he can take the next with his help as well.

    “It’s just so important,” the 20-year-old Bratt said. “Without that kind of mental support that I have from him, I probably would not be here at this point or even last year. That for sure changed my career.”

    2. Why Michael McLeod went back to AHL after 1 game with Devils

    By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

    https://www.nj.com/devils/2018/12/why-michael-mcleod-went-back-to-ahl-after-1-game-with-devils.html#incart_river_index

    The morning after making his NHL debut on Nov. 30, Michael McLeod met with Devils coaches in Newark. Later that day, the 2016 first-round pick went back to AHL Binghamton, capping a brief first stint in New Jersey.

    From that meeting, Devils coaches and management made the decision to return him to Binghamton based on their assessment, plus the one McLeod gave of his own game.

    “The words out of his mouth: ‘I have to get to get to another level. It’s bigger here. It’s stronger here. It’s faster here,’” Devils coach John Hynes said. “Now you have a real important part of your organization, he’s got a taste of the NHL, he’s gone down and done a good job in Binghamton. But he himself says, ‘My face-offs, my wall play, my speed, all those things are at a higher level.’”

    Hynes did say McLeod’s debut came in a game where he didn’t get many opportunities. McLeod played just 5:36 in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, where the Devils trailed for the majority of the night. The two teams combined for 19 minutes of power plays, and McLeod did not have a role on either of the two special teams units. Hynes also said McLeod was, understandably, nervous heading into his first career game.

    Hearing that out of McLeod might sound like a red flag, but Hynes pointed to it as an important step in McLeod’s evolution as a player.

    “We think it was a great thing for his development, for the organization,” Hynes said. “Now you have a motivated player that’s self directed in the sense that he knows he’s got to improve and what he needs to work on in Binghamton.”

    In 22 AHL games this season, McLeod has three goals and eight assists for 11 points. He’s still in the beginning of his first pro season at any level, so Hynes and Devils brass will let him continue to develop his game.

    “He’s had lots of success as a young player, but he’s not above playing in the American League and earning his stripes and understanding his game has to be better,” Hynes said. “It’s not just all about being in the NHL, living the NHL lifestyle. This kid wants to play hockey. He wants to get better. He’s appreciative of the opportunity. It was a great development experience for him, but it’s guys like that, that understand where they’re at in their careers and they have the right mindset, those are the guys that develop.”

    3. Devils practice report: Jesper Bratt returns, lines and pairings, more

    By Chris Ryan, NJ.com

    https://www.nj.com/devils/2018/12/jesper-bratt-returns-to-devils-practice.html#incart_river_index

    Forward Jesper Bratt returned to practice Wednesday at Prudential Center in Newark after he missed the Devils’ 5-1 home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday due to illness.

    Bratt jumped back into his usual spot in the top six during Wednesday’s drills, skating on the second line with Pavel Zacha and Marcus Johansson.

    All 22 other members of the active roster also skated on Wednesday prior to the team’s departure for California. The Devils start a three-game swing there with a 10:30 p.m. Eastern game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    The Devils will head west riding a six-game losing streak, which matches their longest skid from the 2017-18 season. They’re 0-3-3 during their current run.

    After games against three elite teams in the Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets and Lightning, the Devils will open their trip against a Kings team that sits last in the NHL.

    Regardless of their record, the Devils simply need to be a harder team to play against.

    “We have to sit there and pick each other up and battle and compete. Those things take zero skill,” defenseman Andy Greene said. “That’s just all about work ethic and how we want to play. You’re not talking about making highly skilled plays here. It’s defending hard at the puck, being in the right position and stuff like that. That’s just stuff where we need to be way better, way tougher, way harder.”

    Here’s how the Devils skated in Wednesday’s practice:

    FORWARDS

    Hall-Hischier-Palmieri

    Johansson-Zajac-Bratt

    Coleman-Zajac-Wood

    Boyle-Seney-Noesen/Stafford

    DEFENSEMEN

    Mirco Mueller-Sami Vatanen

    Andy Greene-Damon Severson

    Will Butcher-Ben Lovejoy

    Egor Yakovlev-Steven Santini

    GOALIES

    Cory Schneider/Keith Kinkaid

    4. Devils food drive in collaboration with GOYA exceeds 70,000 lbs of food

    By New Jersey Devils, newjerseydevils.com

    https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/devils-food-drive-in-collaboration-with-goya-exceeds-70000-lbs-of-food/c-302652966

Devils food drive in collaboration with GOYA exceeds 70,000 lbs of food | NHL.com

www.nhl.com

Newark, NJ (December 6, 2018) – The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, have given back to the community with a donation of over 70,000 pounds of food and over 2,000 meals to community …

Newark, NJ (December 6, 2018) – The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, have given back to the community with a donation of over 70,000 pounds of food and over 2,000 meals to community organizations around Newark and northern New Jersey thanks to Goya and New Jersey Devils fans. Each season the New Jersey Devils host an annual food drive, in partnership with Goya, where all fans and employees are encouraged to participate in giving back to those in need. Goya, the largest Hispanic food company owned in the United States, agreed to match up to 40,000 pounds of food collected through the Devils’ drives, which has been donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Beyond the great success of the annual drive, the Devils’ have formed an immediately impactful partnership with Transfernation, a food rescue service that collects cooked and unserved food, that is then distributed to organizations that serve homeless, low-income individuals and others in need, making Prudential Center the first arena to partner with the organization. Through Transfernation’s services, the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center have already donated over 1,881 pounds of food.

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New Jersey Devils News & Clips: Dec. 5, 2018

December 5, 2018 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

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The Devils will face-off with the Los Angeles Kings for the first time tomorrow night at Staples Center (10:30 pm, FS-W, MSG+).

 

Devils center, Brian Boyle, went on Sportsnets “31 Thoughts” podcast to join Jeff and Elliotte. They discuss coaches who have impacted his career, Boyle’s battle with leukaemia and his wife, Lauren’s, work with Hockey Fights Cancer, improving his skating, social media and the Devils this season.

Corey Masisak, The Athletic, examined what could happen to the Devils roster when the expansion draft happens in 2021 for the new team in Seattle.

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1. Dec. 3, 2018: Brian Boyle’s Journey

By Sportsnet.ca

https://www.sportsnet.ca/podcasts/31-thoughts-podcast/dec-3-2018-brian-boyles-journey/

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

 

1. How a Seattle expansion draft in 2021 might impact the Devils (version 1.0)

By Corey Masisak, The Athletic

https://theathletic.com/694500/2018/12/04/how-a-seattle-expansion-draft-in-2021-might-impact-the-devils-version-1-0/

The NHL officially welcomed the city of Seattle to the family Tuesday, announcing that an expansion team will begin play at the start of the 2021-22 season.

For the Original 30, that means another influx of cash and more importantly for the roster, another expansion draft to navigate. Many teams did not enjoy the expansion draft process in the summer of 2017 when the Vegas Golden Knights came into existence.

The Devils were among the teams that escaped it relatively unscathed. Jon Merrill was a pretty fungible asset to lose — a third-pairing defenseman — and New Jersey had enough depth last season for his absence to not be a problem.

The next expansion draft process, which Vegas gets to skip out on, might not be as painless.

We took a look at a potential 2020 expansion draft for the Devils over the summer, but the Totems/Sasquatch/Teen Spirits/TBD will not begin playing until the 2021-22 season. In a nice bit of good fortune, we also projected New Jersey’s 2021-22 roster in a separate exercise, and that will come in handy here.

Here’s the projected roster, from that story:

Three-and-a-half months later, there’s probably not a lot to change to that projected roster. Whether or not Jesper Boqvist will eventually be a center in the NHL is still in question. He’s playing on the wing for Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League. Fabian Zetterlund’s path to being an NHL regular might take a little longer than projected this past summer — he was getting fourth-line minutes in the SHL and is now injured.

Cory Schneider’s struggles to start this season are a huge concern, but his contract and his performance make it highly unlikely he’s going anywhere anytime soon. He’ll be given more opportunities to turn his season around.

It seems pretty obvious, especially given the slow start to this season, that the Devils will shake up the roster a little more between now and the start of the 2021-22 season, but here is the new projected forward group:

Three-and-a-half months later, there’s probably not a lot to change to that projected roster. Whether or not Jesper Boqvist will eventually be a center in the NHL is still in question. He’s playing on the wing for Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League. Fabian Zetterlund’s path to being an NHL regular might take a little longer than projected this past summer — he was getting fourth-line minutes in the SHL and is now injured.

Cory Schneider’s struggles to start this season are a huge concern, but his contract and his performance make it highly unlikely he’s going anywhere anytime soon. He’ll be given more opportunities to turn his season around.

It seems pretty obvious, especially given the slow start to this season, that the Devils will shake up the roster a little more between now and the start of the 2021-22 season, but here is the new projected forward group:

That projection includes new contracts for Hall, Palmieri, Coleman and Vatanen, plus the assortment of guys who will be restricted free agents between now and then.

Here’s a reminder of the expansion draft rules, which will be the same for Seattle as they were for Vegas.

Teams have the option of protecting seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie.

Players with no-movement clauses have to be protected. First- and second-year pros along with unsigned draft picks are exempt from the expansion draft.

Teams must make a defenseman and two forwards available who played 40 games the previous season or 70 combined in the previous two seasons.

One goalie must be made available.

The Devils’ exemptions

The Devils don’t have any players who have no-move clauses in their contracts. Anyone who is in college or playing for a junior team right now will be exempt, so scratch Boqvist, Ty Smith, Reilly Walsh and Jeremy Davies from the list (plus Zetterlund, Aarne Talvitie and Mikhail Maltsev, among the club’s top prospects).

Everyone who is playing in Binghamton this season, or splitting the year between there and New Jersey, will be eligible.

The Devils’ way-too-early protected list

We’re 30 months from the draft, but with this projected roster for 2021-22 it seems pretty obvious for the Devils to protect seven forwards and three defensemen.

F Taylor Hall

F Nico Hischier

F Kyle Palmieri

F Jesper Bratt

F Joey Anderson

At the moment, those five forwards look pretty easy to project. It’s the final two spots that are pretty tricky. There are seven forwards above (plus several more playing for Binghamton this season) who could be options, let alone a current forward like Stefan Noesen or Marcus Johansson sticking around for two more seasons or any additions from outside the organization.

F Pavel Zacha

F Blake Coleman

If Zacha is still the team’s No. 2 center 2.5 seasons from now, he’ll be protected. That’s still far from concrete though. Michael McLeod is a first-round pick and could easily make himself into a core player over the next 30 months, but right now Coleman looks like a jack-of-all-trades with staying power. He’ll also have just recently signed a new contract, according to this projection, while Miles Wood will be going into the final year of his current deal.

D Sami Vatanen

D Will Butcher

D Damon Severson

Nevertheless, there’s still one potential issue: The three defensemen are pretty obvious, but remember New Jersey needs to leave one who played 40 games in 2020-21 or 70 in the next two seasons combined exposed.

There are two potential solutions for this. One is either Walsh or Davies won’t actually be a regular in the 2020-21 season, which means Santini or someone else will have the opportunity to accrue the 40 games needed. The other would be the Devils make a trade for a defenseman before the expansion draft with the intent of exposing him.

G Mackenzie Blackwood

We have no idea where Schneider’s career is going to go from here. If he snaps out of his funk, it’s entirely possible that he’ll resume being a solid or better No. 1 goaltender over the next two seasons. If he doesn’t, it’s possible the Devils could pursue a buyout or a trade, but neither of those things are happening until there is less term left on his contract.

All of that said, Schneider will be 35 when the 2021-22 season starts and in the final year of his current deal. We also have no idea if Blackwood’s strong start to this season is a real step forward. If it is, he could be the No. 1 goalie 30 months from now, or at least primed to claim that job.

Regardless, the only thing clear about the future of the Devils’ goaltending situation is that it is most definitely unclear at the moment.

Who does that leave for Seattle?

Could Schneider ultimately end up in Seattle? The guy manning the crease in Vegas had a somewhat similar story — a nosedive in play (though Marc-Andre Fleury’s problems were limited mostly to the postseason), followed by a rebound to form and eventually a new start with an expansion franchise.

There are several intriguing forwards for the Kraken/Sockeyes/Black Hole Suns/TBD to choose from as well. Wood might still be a tantalizing player, and a new franchise might like to take its chance at harnessing his potential. McLeod or Quenneville could fit the Vegas model of a player with speed and potential who needed a chance at a bigger role elsewhere.

Conclusion

The Devils seem likely to have a lot more interesting options to offer Seattle than they did for Vegas. The future of the roster could also be in greater flux today than it was a few months ago after a bad stretch of 20 games

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