The Devils, along with the entire National Hockey League, revealed their 2019-20 regular season schedule today. It includes some interesting notes, so let’s dive in, shall we?
As mentioned, the team opens at home on Friday, October 4 against the Winnipeg Jets. This marks about the fourth or fifth straight season that they kick off against a Western Conference team. (Remember, they started last year in Sweden against Edmonton, even though their home opener proper was against Washington.) They then take off the very next day for a game at Buffalo on the fifth.
Wednesday, October 9 sees our first divisional game and it is against a rival. The Devils head down to Philly to take on the Flyers at 7:30 that night (going out on a limb, but assuming that this might be an NBCSN Wednesday Night Hockey game, given the start time and day of the week). They then return home the next night (October 10) to face the Oilers.
Saturday, October 12 has them in Boston to take on the defending Eastern Conference champs. That Monday, October 14, the Devils will play a Columbus Day matinee at 1 PM against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center.
Circle your calendars for Thursday, October 17, as the Devils host the Rangers for the first time in the new season. It will also be Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko’s first regular season meeting as members of their rival NHL clubs. Like adding fuel to a fire, this one should get every Devils and Rangers fan going for the young season.
No rest for the weary, though, as Hughes will face his older brother, Quinn, and the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, October 19 at Prudential Center. The Devils then have almost a week off as their next game comes on Friday, October 25 at home against the Coyotes. They then take on last year’s President’s Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, October 30. New Jersey finishes off this homestand on Friday, November 1 against the Flyers.
The following night, Saturday, November 2, they travel to Raleigh to take on the Hurricanes. From there, it’s off to Winnipeg on Tuesday, November 5 as this year’s Western Canada trip kickoff in the Manitoba capital. Thursday, November 7 takes the team to Calgary, Friday November 8 to Edmonton and Sunday, November 10 to Vancouver.
They return home to face the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, November 13 and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, November 15. They then take a quick road trip to Montreal to take on the Habs on Saturday, November 16 before returning home on Tuesday, November 19 to face Boston.
On Friday, November 22, it’s another quick one-game road trip, this time to Pittsburgh before they return home to face the Red Wings on Saturday, November 23 and the Wild on Tuesday, November 26.
One nationally televised game that is confirmed is Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving Day here in the States) when the Devils travel back to Montreal to take on the Canadiens in a game that should end up on NBC.
The Devils return home on Saturday, November 30 to face the Rangers again in the first home Saturday matinee of the season (a 1 PM puck drop). Monday, December 2 takes them back on the road, this time to Buffalo before returning to Newark for a quick two-game homestand. Tuesday, December 3, the Vegas Golden Knights come to town and Friday, December 6, the Chicago Blackhawks visit.
Another big one is Saturday, December 7 as the Devils travel to Nashville. It will be PK Subban’s first trip back to visit the Predators and he should get a good reaction as he was beloved in that city.
From there, they travel to Dallas on Tuesday, December 10, Colorado on Friday, December 13 and Arizona on Saturday, December 14.
Coming back from that road trip, the Devils will face the Ducks on Wednesday, December 18 and the Capitals on Friday, December 20. Saturday, December 21 takes them to Columbus for the first time in 2019-20. They then finish off the schedule before the Christmas break on Monday, December 23 at Chicago.
Coming out of the Christmas break will see Toronto visit The Rock on Friday, December 27. They then travel up to the Canadian capital on Sunday, December 29 to take on the Senators before returning home on New Year’s Eve to face the Boston Bruins in a 1 PM start.
The new year kicks off on Thursday, January 2 as the Devils meet the Islanders for the first time. This game will be at Barclays Center as the Isles will again be splitting time between Brooklyn and the Nassau Coliseum.
The Avalanche come to Prudential Center on Saturday, January 4 followed by the Islanders on Tuesday, January 7. Thursday, January 9 kicks off two road games versus divisional rivals. That night, they play at MSG against the Rangers. Saturday, January 11, they travel to Washington to take on the Caps. From there, it’s back home for the Lightning on Sunday, January 12 and then to Toronto for Tuesday, January 14.
The road trip continues back in Washington on Thursday, January 16 and Columbus on Saturday, January 18. Following these games is the bye week and (I believe) the All-Star Game at St. Louis. Coming back, the road trip wraps up in Ottawa on Monday, January 27.
Coming back home, the team faces a pair of Western Conference foes first on Thursday, January 30 against Nashville and then on Saturday, February 1 against the Stars. This homestand finishes against the Canadiens on Tuesday, February 4.
Two days later, on Thursday, February 6, the team travels to Philadelphia, then it’s back home for Los Angeles (Saturday, February 8), Florida (Tuesday, February 11) and Detroit (Thursday, February 13).
Home games and away games alternate for a few as they travel to Carolina on St. Valentine’s Day (a Friday), then come home for the Blue Jackets on Sunday, February 16, then to St. Louis to visit the Stanley Cup champs on Tuesday, February 18, then home for the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, February 20. That turns into a quick homestand as the Capitals come to town on Saturday, February 22.
Following that, it’s off to Detroit on Tuesday, February 25 and then the California trip. That begins in San Jose on Thursday, February 27, then heads south to LA on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29 and Anaheim on Sunday, March 1. They then finish the western swing against the Golden Knights in Vegas on Tuesday, March 3.
They return to Newark on Friday, March 6 against the Blues. Saturday, March 7 takes them to Manhattan to face the Rangers for the final time. Then it’s back to Prudential Center for the Pens on Tuesday, March 10 and the Hurricanes on Thursday, March 12.
New Jersey then does a Florida trip as they are at the Panthers on Saturday, March 14 and at the Lightning on Sunday, March 15.
If you are a betting person, put money on the Maple Leafs wearing their Toronto St. Pats throwback jerseys on Tuesday, March 17 when the Devils are up there.
They return home for three games at The Rock. The Flames visit on Thursday, March 19, the Isles visit on Saturday, March 21 and the Blue Jackets on Monday, March 23.
It’s then back on the road, to Minnesota this time on Thursday, March 26 before they come back home to face the Flyers on Saturday, March 28 and the Hurricanes on Sunday, March 29.
It’s then time for the home stretch as they travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, March 31. On Thursday, April 2, the team finishes their home schedule versus Buffalo and then, on Saturday, April 4, the season concludes against the Islanders, this time at the Nassau Coliseum.
Not bad. According to NHL Network’s NHL Tonight schedule preview, the Devils will log the least travel miles in the NHL at just 31,758 miles traveled. Not a bad deal, but a perk all of the NYC metro area teams get to partake in, generally.
Hopefully for us, the season extends far beyond that game against the Isles on April 4, but for now, this is a good indication that the 2019-20 season will be here before we know it. Is it October yet?