The New Jersey Devils are off today.
A quick update from yesterday, the Devils hit the ice for morning skate with 16 skaters and two goaltenders. Missing from skate was Luke Hughes, Michael McLeod and Erik Haula. Lindy Ruff explained it was just standard maintenance days for all three players and he anticipates their return to practice on Monday before they head up to Canada to face the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
There was a heavy emphasis on close-quarter battles and defensive structure at yesterday’s skate. On multiple occassions, you could hear Ruff and Travis Green calling out, “Don’t let (the opposition) skate through you!” during drills. That’s certainly something that’s hindered the Devils so far this year. Clearly, they’re trying to nip it in the bud.
New Jersey also could improve in close quarter combat. Hence, the close quarter drills on Saturday. Ruff and Green, again, put a heavy emphasis on winning 50-50 battles and using the body to protect the puck. The Devils inabilty to win the physical battle has hindered them lately, too.
Let’s get to some links.
Alexander Holtz’s deployment has been less than ideal, Chris Tierney’s nickname backstory is awesome, and New York Islanders fans call for a new boss behind the bench. Plus, much more.
Let’s do that hockey.
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Hockey Now: There was speculation that Alexander Holtz might have been a healthy scratch on Friday. He wasn’t, but Lindy Ruff benched him in New Jersey’s 4-2 loss to Washington. Benching the 21-year-old seems more damaging than if he would have made him a healthy scratch.
NJ.com: There’s certainly some interesting nicknames for players via Hockey Reference. Chris Tierney’s nickname “Cobra” has an awesome backstory that involves “Jumbo” Joe Thornton and Kobe Bryant.
National Hockey Now
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Evgeni Malkin has scored a lot of goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins in his career, but not many like his piggybank deposit on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins’ leadership runs so deep that Charlie Coyle is proving to be a leader without a letter.
Colorado Hockey Now: Although the exact timeline is unclear, Artturi Lehkonen is expected to miss “weeks” after crashing into the boards against the Seattle Kraken.
New York Islanders
NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders hit a new low on Saturday in their 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. Amidst the loss, Isles fans voiced their opinions of their head coach, chanting “Fire Lambert.”
San Jose Sharks
San Jose Hockey Now: Only two physical players actually swapped sweaters in the trade that sent Calen Addison to San Jose. However, there are plenty of winners and losers between the two organizations days after the trade took place.