With the Stanley Cup and all of the individual awards having been given out and the Draft taking place over the next two days, we now officially turn our attention to next year.
Today, the Devils, along with the 30 other NHL clubs revealed their 2018-19 regular season schedules. As is tradition around here, we will break down the schedule and take a look at the Devils tour of duty between the months of October 2018 and April 2019.
The team will open the season, as previously announced, in Gothenburg, Sweden at the Scandinavium against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, October 6. This will be considered a home game for the Devils as part of the 2018 NHL Global Series. That game takes place at 1 PM ET and gets the ball rolling on 2018-19.
The Devils return stateside on October 11 for their proper home opener at the Prudential Center. That game is against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals and kicks off a four game homestand.
That homestand continues with the Devils taking on the San Jose Sharks in a 1 PM matinee on Sunday, October 14. Tuesday, October 16 sees a visit from the Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche round out the homestand on Thursday, October 18.
The Devils will play their first game in their road whites on Saturday, October 20 when they visit Philadelphia. That game is at 1 PM at Wells Fargo Center.
New Jersey then immediately returns home for two more games at The Rock. Thursday, October 25 sees them take on the Nashville Predators and in a 1 PM matinee on Saturday, October 27 they will take on the Florida Panthers. The team will then finish up October on the 30th at Tampa Bay. That game is at 7:30 PM.
That game kicks off a lengthy road trip. On November 1, they travel to Detroit for a 7:30 PM tilt. On November 3, they go to Brooklyn to take on the Islanders at Barclays Center (the Isles will be playing 20 games at the renovated Nassau Coliseum this year as well as Barclays). November 5 and 6 sees the Devils’ first back-to-back of the year. On November 5 they go to Pittsburgh and then on the 6th they go to Ottawa for a 7:30 PM game. The road trip then wraps up at Toronto on the 9th and then Winnipeg on the 11th.
The Devils then return home for a game when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 13. Then it is right off to the road again, albeit just down the Turnpike. On the 15th they are in Philly again for their second trip there of the year. Another back-to-back sees the Devils play the Red Wings at The Rock at 1 PM on the 17th and then travel to Raleigh to play the Hurricanes the next night at 5 PM.
A quick two game homestand then follows as the Devils take on the Canadiens on the 21st and the Islanders on the 23rd (this is a rare Friday 4 PM start – as it is the day after Thanksgiving).
Following that comes another road trip. November 24 at Tampa comes before a game the next night in Sunrise against the Panthers. With that Florida back-to-back out of the way, the Devils get three days off before traveling to Washington to close out November on the 30th.
That is also part of a back-to-back as they return home to take on the Winnipeg Jets on December 1. That is followed by a game December 3 at home against the Lightning at home.
From there, we move on to the California road trip. Los Angeles on the 6th, Anaheim on the 9th and San Jose on the 10th. The team gets a three day layoff before returning east to take on the defending Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights at home on the 14th. That is the start of another back-to-back, with the Devils going to Nashville the following night.
The Maple Leafs invade Prudential Center on December 18 which leads to another back-to-back on December 20 and 21st. On the 20th, the Devils go to Columbus and return home the next night to take on the Senators on the 21st. They then have a return engagement against the Blue Jackets on December 23 in a 1 PM matinee at The Rock. And that takes us up to the Christmas break.
Coming out of the break, the Devils are in Boston on December 27. They then close out 2018 at home with a pair of matinees. On December 29, they take on the Hurricanes at 1 PM and on New Year’s Eve, they are home against the Canucks with a 1 PM puck drop.
The new year will see the Devils on a western road swing to kick it off. January 2, the Devils do Dallas, on the 4th, they are in Arizona and on the 6th, a 4 PM ET matinee in Vegas. Returning east, they shuffle off to Buffalo on the 8th.
The 10th of January kicks off a three game homestand. On the 10th, the Leafs come in, followed by the Flyers on Saturday, January 12 (a 1 PM matinee) and the Blackhawks make their visit on Monday, January 14. The next night, on the 15th, they are back at Columbus for a divisional matchup and travel to Long Island on the 17th for a game against the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. A home 1 PM matinee follows against the Ducks on the 19th.
Following is a week long layoff from January 20 to the 27th that includes the Devils’ bye week and the All-Star Game. Coming out of that, the Devils are in Pittsburgh. Then, to close out January, the first meeting of the year with the archrival Rangers at home.
February is a more home-heavy schedule but begins with a road game, a 2 PM matinee on Saturday, February 2 at Montreal. The Devils then return home for a week with the Kings coming in on the 5th, the Islanders on the 7th, the Wild for a 1 PM matinee on the 9th and the Hurricanes for a 3 PM matinee on the 10th.
A quick midwest trip follows to St. Louis on the 12th, Chicago on the 14th and their second game with the Wild in less than a week on the 15th.
Three games then follow at home with Buffalo coming in for a 6 PM Sunday night game on the 17th, the Penguins come in on the 19th and the Senators on the 21st. A single road game to Madison Square Garden cuts in the middle of the homestand on the 23rd. That game against the Rangers is a 1 PM puck drop. The Devils then finish up February against the Canadiens on the 25th at home and the Flames on the 27th also at home. That will be Geoff Ward’s return to The Rock as a new assistant coach with Calgary.
The homestand concludes on Friday, March 1 against the Flyers before the Devils take off for Boston on the 2nd. They then return home for a single homegame against the Blue Jackets before heading off on a long road trip. That trip takes them to Washington on the 8th, Manhattan on the 9th and then off to Western Canada. Calgary on the 12th, Edmonton on the 13th (Taylor Hall’s return to his old team as the reigning NHL MVP), Vancouver on the 15th and winds up in Denver on the 17th (a 3 PM ET start).
Returning home to Newark, the Devils will play the Caps on the 19th, the Bruins on the 21st, the Coyotes on the 23rd and the Sabres on the 25th. They then go to Detroit on the 29th and come home to take on the Blues the following night. That will round out March.
April Fool’s Day will see the Devils finish off their season series with the Rangers at Prudential Center and that is their final home game of the year. Thursday April 4 sees them head off to North Carolina against the Canes and they finish off the season in Florida against the Panthers on Saturday, April 6.
The Devils 2018-19 campaign is now set. Here’s hoping it is a good one to build upon last season. #IsItOctoberYet?