The NHL released the schedules for all 31 teams today. Let’s take a look at the Devils’ 2017-18 slate.
The season kicks off on Saturday, October 7 when the Avalanche visit Prudential Center. This will be the debut of the new home uniforms and the first overall pick (who will be wearing said uniform). The Devils then debut their new road uniforms when they shuffle off to Buffalo to take on the Sabres Monday, October 9 in the first road game of the season.
Following the Buffalo game, the Devils make their first trip to Toronto on Wednesday, October 11. October 13 – a Friday – sees the Devils return home to take on the defending President’s Trophy winners, the Washington Capitals.
The rivalry continues (sooner this year than last) when the Devils head to Madison Square Garden on Saturday, October 14 to take on the Rangers. They then return home on Tuesday, October 17 when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. Later that week, on Thursday, October 19, the Devils go to the Canadian capital to take on the Senators. That kicks off the Devils’ first back-to-back of the season, as Friday, October 20, the Devils host the San Jose Sharks at Prudential Center. They then do not play for an entire week, waiting until Friday, October 27 to host Ottawa. That is the beginning of the second back-to-back of the season, since they host Arizona on Saturday, October 28.
A new month sees a Western Canadian road trip. Wednesday, November 1, the team plays at Vancouver, at Edmonton on Friday, November 3 and at Calgary on Sunday, November 5.
New Jersey returns home to take on the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, November 7 and continues that homestand with the Oilers on Thursday, November 9 and the Panthers on Saturday, November 11.
The team then heads off on a week-long midwestern road swing. They go to Chicago on Sunday, November 12; then come back east to take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Thursday, November 16. The Devils then go back west on Saturday, November 18 when they are at Winnipeg. They finish up that road trip on Monday, November 20 at Minnesota.
Two days later, on Wednesday, November 22, the Devils return home to see the Boston Bruins for the first time this year. They finish this brief homestand on Friday, November 24 against the Vancouver Canucks.
On Saturday, November 25, the Devils get their first look at the brand new Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, taking on the Red Wings after helping to close down the Joe Louis Arena at the end of last season.
On Monday, November 27, they return home for a single game against the Florida Panthers before heading west again. A short western swing takes them to Colorado on Friday, December 1 (finishing up that season series) and then to Arizona on Saturday, December 2 – also closing out that season series.
The first home-and-home of the year takes place beginning on Tuesday, December 5 when the Devils travel to Columbus. The Blue Jackets then come to Prudential Center on Friday, December 8.
Saturday, December 9 sees the Devils faceoff with the Rangers at MSG again in the rivals’ second meeting of the season. Tuesday, December 12 sees the Los Angeles Kings come to Newark and then the Devils take off for Montreal on Thursday, December 14.
The Devils then return home for a long homestand that will see them host Dallas on Friday, December 15, Anaheim on Monday, December 18, the Rangers on Thursday, December 21, the Blackhawks on Saturday, December 23, then the Christmas break. The homestand continues after Christmas on Wednesday, December 27 when the Red Wings come to town and Friday, December 29 when the Buffalo Sabres are in.
The Devils close out the 2017 calendar year at Washington on Saturday, December 30. That road trip then takes them to St. Louis on Tuesday, January 2 (their first game of 2018), Dallas on Thursday, January 4 and the Islanders on Sunday, January 7. The Devils then head into their bye week.
Circle Saturday, January 13 on your calendars. Not only is it the first home game of 2018 and their first meeting of the year with the Philadelphia Flyers, it will also be the first meeting between Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick. The two are expected to go one-two tomorrow’s NHL Draft. The Devils have the first pick and the Flyers have the second overall pick.
Following that big game, the Devils return to Brooklyn to take on the Isles on Tuesday, January 16. They are home on Thursday, January 18 against the Capitals, then travel to Philly on Saturday, January 20 for Hischier versus Patrick, round two.
On Monday, January 22, they are home agaisnt the Red Wings then travel to Boston on Tuesday, January 23. On Thursday, January 25, the defending Western Conference champion Nashville Predators will be in town and then the Devils go up to Western New York to take on the Sabres on Tuesday, January 30.
February begins on Thursday, the first at home against the Flyers. On Saturday, February 3, the Devils finally get their first look at the defending Stanley Cup champs as they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to town.
Tuesday, February 6 takes the Devils to Ottawa and then they return home on Thursday, Febraruy 8 against the Calgary Flames.
The back-and-forth nature of the Devils schedule at this point continues as they are on the raod again to take on the Blue Jackets on Saturday, February 10 and then home against the Bruins on Sunday, February 11, then back on the road at Philly on Tuesday, February 13. They then return home to get their first look at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, February 15.
A truncated road trip takes them to Tampa on Saturday, February 17 and Carolina on Sunday, February 18. They then return to Newark for a three game homestand as Columbus (Tuesday, February 20), Minnesota (Thursday, February 22) and the Islanders (Saturday, February 24) come in.
New Jersey then alternates that homestand with a three game road trip where they go to Pittsburgh (Tuesday, February 27), Florida (Thursday, March 1) and Carolina (Friday, March 2).
Another historic night to put into your “must see” column: Sunday, March 4, the Devils play their first game against the Vegas Golden Knights in a 5 PM matinee at Prudential Center. They then host Montreal on Tuesday, March 6 and Winnipeg on Thursday, March 8.
The Devils then become road warriors when they start a crazy western road trip. It begins in Nashville on Saturday, March 10. They then travel half way across the continent to take on the Golden Knights in the two teams first meeting in Las Vegas. Then the Devils travel further west, making their California trip which begins on Saturday, March 17 in Los Angeles, moves to Anaheim on Sunday, March 18 and concludes in San Jose on Tuesday, March 20. The road trip itself then concludes when the Devils fly back east to take on the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Friday, March 23.
After enduring that trip, the Devils then return home for a four game homestand: Tampa Bay on Saturday, March 24, Carolina on Tuesday, March 27, Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 29 and the Islanders on Saturday, March 31.
The final part of the schedule begins on Sunday, April 1 at Montreal. The Devils then come home for the last two home games of the season on Tuesday, April 3 against the Rangers and Thursday, April 5 against the Maple Leafs. The season ends on Saturday, April 7 in Washington.
That is a lot to digest, but the New Jersey Devils’ 35th season is all set and is just awaiting to get going. As the marketing slogan goes: is it October yet?