Earlier today, the New Jersey Devils announced their preseason schedule for the upcoming season. While these games will not count for anything, they will mark the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign. In other words, you can start counting down to when the New Jersey Devils will play a game of hockey that is not in a prospect tourney or development camp. September 16 is when it will begin again.
The New Jersey Devils will play seven games on six dates. The first game is a split-squad game, where the majority of the training camp roster will play in one place or another. The other five games just have one team. Here is the full schedule, all times are ET:
- Monday, September 16 vs. Boston (Split-Squad), 7 PM.
- Monday, September 16 at Montreal (Split-Squad), 7 PM
- Wednesday, September 18 at Our Hated Rivals, 7 PM
- Friday, September 20 vs. Our Hated Rivals, 7 PM
- Saturday, September 21 vs. New York Islanders, 7 PM
- Wednesday, September 25 at Boston, 7 PM
- Friday, September 27 at Columbus, 7 PM
The Devils will play at the Rock or in the respective home arenas of their road opponents. There will be no neutral site games or games against European teams as the Devils are not heading across the Atlantic like they did last year.
I appreciate this preseason schedule. Last year, the Devils had only one home game in the preseason and it was their very first one. This year, they will have three and the back-to-back set against both New York City squads will all but guarantee that just about everyone with at least a chance to make the roster will be playing in Newark at least once. I would expect that back-to-back to be a crucial one for roster cuts, too. With the schedule ending with two road games, I would expect the Devils to carry a near-complete opening night roster for them with a few late decisions to be made. On top of that, the back-to-back is on a Friday and a Saturday night, which should make it easier for some to check it out. The combination of local rivalries, meaningful-for-preseason, and games at the end of a week should make for two fun nights if nothing else.
I also appreciate that the last two preseason games are in Boston and in Columbus. While it would be preseason, both of those teams should be close to the end of their preseason on those nights and they should have strong rosters too. Boston and Columbus are good teams and they should test the Devils. Further, the Devils were hammered on the road last season. Any additional insight or practice playing away from the Rock is a plus. The results may not matter, but performances do and so that will be the focus.
I have no idea what will or will not be broadcast. I would hope information about that will be released closer to the start of the team’s preseason.
The full NHL schedule will be released next week according to CapFriendly’s offseason calendar. Still, it will not be too long after September 27 before some real games are played. From the 2019 Global Series games announcement back in March, we know that the regular season will likely start on Friday, October 4. With that game taking place at the end of a workweek, I would hope that the Devils (and the rest of the NHL) will begin their 82-game season on that night or on the weekend. Nonetheless, we can begin counting down for the team’s first preseason game. It is only 90 days away.
What do you think of the preseason schedule? Do you like it more than last year’s? Are you looking forward to any of the games - or any Devils games at all? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the preseason schedule in the comments. Thank you for reading.