Going once again to Sam Kasan reporting for the “Inside the Devils Blog,” the Devils got three players back today from the COVID Protocol list: goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and forwards Mason Geertsen and Janne Kuokkanen.
With that, Kasan points out, the Devils are beginning to get a full roster of healthy players for the first time in about five weeks.
Kasan noted that the three players released from COVID Protocol “rejoined the club for practice on Monday afternoon at Prudential Center.”
It should be mentioned that, as per Kasan, these players did not have “particularly bad symptoms to their illness” and were “mostly dealing with boredom.”
The thing that really stands out is that the players were out of commission for a little over a week and could only condition through body-weight exercises. Kasan then relayed how being “tossed back into practice can be jolting” for the players who were out.
Blackwood said “It felt more like a training camp day for me, getting my wind back, my legs back. It didn’t get me like it did last time. I feel like I’ll be good to go.”
Blackwood had battled COVID in January of last year as well.
Geertsen added “I was a little bit stiff. I made sure to do a little extra in warmup to make sure I was bit limber and ready to go. I was breathing hard in the drills, but it felt good.” He continued, “I feel like I’m good to go. I was a little rusty (Monday). (Tuesday) will be another tune up and if they call me on Wednesday, I’ll be ready to rock.”
Kasan said that the Devils had 17 players on the NHL roster having tested positive for COVID throughout the season.