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New Jersey Devils 2017-18 Season Schedule Breakdown

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Earlier this afternoon, the NHL released the New Jersey Devils’ 2017-18 schedule along with the other 30 teams. We take a closer look at it now.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With all of the chatter surrounding yesterday’s Awards/Expansion Draft and tomorrow’s Entry Draft, it was almost easy to miss today’s announcement of the full schedules for each NHL team’s upcoming 2017-18 campaign. As usual, our New Jersey Devils full schedule can be found on their website while full details of the designing of each team’s schedule can be found at NHL.com. As the Eastern Conference contains an even number of teams, our sechedule is much simpler than those playing out in the Western Conference; the Devils will play each divisional opponent 4 times (2 at home, 2 away), each Atlantic Division team 3 times (2 home, 1 away against 4 teams and vice-versa for the other 4) and twice (1 home, 1 away) against all non-conference opponents. Total it up and it’s the same as ever: 41 home game, 41 on the road.

This year, New Jersey will open the season at home against the Colorado Avalanche on October 7th; they won’t have to wait long for a road game either as their next context is on the 9th against in Buffalo for a 3 PM matinee against the Sabres. The break/bye week introduced last season returns, but almost a full month earlier for New Jersey; there will be no Devils hockey from January 8-12 this season, book-ended by a road game prior against the Islanders and a return to action an home against the Second Rate Rivals. The Devils final regular season home game will be April 5th against the Toronto Maple Leafs and their final regular season game will be April 7th on the road against the Washington Capitals. Let’s go a bit more in-depth now with the Devils schedule.

Schedule by Month

Month Total GP Home GP Away GP Vs. Metro Vs. Atl Vs. West Back to Back
Month Total GP Home GP Away GP Vs. Metro Vs. Atl Vs. West Back to Back
October 10 6 4 2 5 3 3
November 14 6 8 0 5 9 2
December 14 8 6 5 3 6 4
January 11 4 7 5 3 3 1
February 14 8 6 9 3 2 2
March 15 7 8 5 3 7 4*
April 4 2 2 2 2 0 0
* = Back to Back spans from last day of given month into first day of next month

Looking at the month by month, there isn’t really an overwhelming home/road game imbalance as there was last season; February looks like it could be a make or break month in Jersey’s schedule this year, as they have a whopping 9 of their 14 games against Metropolitan Division opponents in what is already a short month. If the Devils hope to be competitive this season, they will need to have an excellent February. Also of note is the total number of back to back that the team will play this year; while they had 18 last year, they will be looking at slightly less with 16 this season, yet they will still have one in each month if you count the March into April back to back.

Other Match-ups of Note:

Our Hated Rivals: In NJ on 12/21/17 & 4/3/18; at OHR 10/14/17 & 12/9/17

Second Rate Rivals: In NJ on 1/13/18 & 2/1/18; at SRR 1/20/18 & 2/13/18

March 4, 2018: First ever game between the New Jersey Devils & Las Vegas Golden Knights

Next, let’s look at the day by day:

Day by Day

Month Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Month Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
October 1 A 1 H 1 A 1 A 3 H 2 H, 1 A
November 2 A 1 H, 1 A 1 H 1 H, 1 A 1 H, 1 A 1 H, 1 A 1 H, 2 A
December 1 H 1 H, 1 A 1 H 1 H, 1 A 3 H, 1 A 1 H, 3 A
January 1 A 1 H 4 A 2 H, 1 A 1 H, 1 A
February 1 H, 1 A 1 H, 3 A 4 H 2 H, 2 A
March 1 H, 1 A 2 H, 1 A 1 A 2 H, 1 A 2 A 2 H, 2 A
April 1 A 1 H 1 H 1 A
Total 2 H, 6 A 3 H, 2 A 7 H, 9 A 2 H, 3 A 11 H, 5 A 7 H, 4 A 9 H, 12 A

There are some weird gaps in this schedule as you look into it: the Devils only have 5 Monday and 5 Wednesday games all season; comparatively, they will be booked on Saturdays, playing 21 times. For a team that doesn’t necessarily have the strongest TV ratings, having that many Saturday games could make bad numbers look even worse; at the same time, it could make the in person attendance look better. The sheer volume of Tuesday and Thursday games could be difficult for filling The Rock, but hopefully we will see a better on-ice product this year and more fans will come out.

In another weird twist, once the calendar turns over to 2018, the team only plays one Monday game, one Wednesday game and two Friday games. Remember folks, make your plans in 2018 on Friday and stay in on Saturday to support our team!

Last but not least, let’s take a quick look at the Devils back to backs this season; bolded are games against Metropolitan division opponents:

Back to Backs

B2B B2B G1 Team B2B G1 Date B2B G1 Day B2B G2 Team B2B G2 Date B2B G2 Day
B2B B2B G1 Team B2B G1 Date B2B G1 Day B2B G2 Team B2B G2 Date B2B G2 Day
1 Vs. Washington 10/13/17 Friday @ NYR 10/14/17 Saturday
2 @ Ottawa 10/19/17 Thursday Vs. San Jose 10/20/17 Friday
3 Vs. Ottawa 10/27/17 Friday Vs. Arizona 10/28/17 Saturday
4 Vs. Florida 11/11/17 Saturday @ Chicago 11/12/17 Sunday
5 Vs. Vancouver 11/24/17 Friday @ Detroit 11/25/17 Saturday
6 @ Colorado 12/1/17 Friday @ Arizona 12/2/17 Saturday
7 Vs. Columbus 12/8/17 Friday @ NYR 12/9/17 Saturday
8 @ Montreal 12/14/17 Thursday Vs. Dallas 12/15/17 Friday
9 Vs. Buffalo 12/29/30 Friday @ Washington 12/30/17 Saturday
10 Vs. Detroit 1/22/18 Monday @ Boston 1/23/18 Tuesday
11 @ Columbus 2/10/18 Saturday Vs. Boston 2/11/18 Sunday
12 @ Tampa Bay 2/17/18 Saturday @ Carolina 2/18/18 Sunday
13 @ Florida 3/1/18 Thursday @ Carolina 3/2/18 Friday
14 @ Los Angeles 3/17/18 Saturday @ Anaheim 3/18/18 Sunday
15 @ Pittsburgh 3/23/18 Friday Vs. Tampa Bay 3/24/18 Saturday
16 Vs. NYI 3/31/17 Saturday @ Montreal 4/1/17 Sunday

The team will see 32 of their 82 games on back to back nights, or roughly 39% of their schedule; while it’s a slight decline from last year’s 44%, it’s not an earth shattering difference. 18 of the 32 games are on the road, with 11 games on the back half being road games. For a team that was as poor as New Jersey on the road last season, an under-performing road team going into an opposing arena fatigued 11 times could be disastrous.

Only 10 games are against Metro opponents, but both back to backs involving OHR see them on the back end and another Metro opponent the day prior. The Devils will need to be sharp if they hope to get the better of the rivalry this year.

Your Take

I’d like to hear what you think about New Jersey’s schedule for 2017-18; do you see it as easier or more difficult than last season? Are there any stretches that you are concerned about? Are you happy that the home and road games are more balanced than last season? Leave any and all comments below and thank you as always for reading!