Connect with us

Devils Notebook

Devils Notebook: New-Look Lines Amidst Injuries

As a result of mounting injuries, the Devils lines will look quite different tonight agains the Lightning.



New Jersey Devils

The good news is that the New Jersey Devils still have enough talent in the lineup to stay afloat amidst all the injuries. The bad news is that the Devils are certainly looking at a tough string of games on their three-game road trip against some formidable opponents.

The Devils are in Tampa Bay to face the Lightning tonight at Amalie Arena. They remain without the likes of Jack Hughes (upper-body), Jonas Siegenthaler (broken foot), and Timo Meier (mid-body injury, seemingly day-to-day). However, the latter of the three is the closest to returning.

According to head coach Lindy Ruff, Ondrej Palat (lower-body) isn’t close to returning. Meanwhile, Dougie Hamilton (torn pectoral) and Tomas Nosek (foot surgery) remain out long-term.

MUST READ: Head Coach Lindy Ruff Provides Injury Updates on Hughes, Siegenthaler, & More

As a result, Ruff is piecing together a lineup using the best of what he’s got. That includes a couple of recalls from the Utica Comets. It seems like Shane Bowers is primed to make his Devils debut. Cal Foote, however, appears to be the seventh defenseman with Brendan Smith sliding back to the blue line.

Thankfully, Michael McLeod is having a fantastic season. He slides into the top six in Hughes’ absence. Dawson Mercer, also playing well lately, is seeing first-line duties with Nico Hischier and Erik Haula. There’s been a few other things shuffled up as well.

As a result of so many injuries, Ruff explains this combination of forwards and defensemen gives the Devils their best chance to secure two points.

“We just feel that those pairs will probably give us the best we can get,” Ruff explained.”It can always change. If somebody struggles, we can always move the pieces around. I think when you look at the lines, we’re thinking the same thing. We have to find out what works here short-term and move forward.”

Here’s how the Devils stack up at Thursday’s morning skate.

Thursday’s Devils Lines at Morning Skate


Erik Haula – Nico Hischier – Dawson Mercer

Tyler Toffoli – Michael McLeod – Jesper Bratt

Chris Tierney – Curtis Lazar – Alexander Holtz

Max Willman – Shane Bowers – Nathan Bastian


Brendan Smith – Simon Nemec

Luke Hughes – John Marino

Kevin Bahl – Colin Miller


Vitek Vanecek (Projected Starter)

Nico Daws

Vanecek worked in the starters crease this morning. He’s the Devils’ projected starter against the Lightning. The same goes for Andrei Vasilevskiy on the other end of the ice.

Devils Power Play Units

The Devils are forced to look a bit different on the power play, too. Jack’s absence slides Mercer up to the first power play unit. Chris Tierney takes Mercer’s place on the second power-play unit as a result.

PP1: Luke Hughes, Dawson Mercer, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Tyler Toffoli

PP2: Simon Nemec, Nathan Bastian, Erik Haula, Alexander Holtz, Chris Tierney

Travis Greene was out on the ice early on Wednesday morning working with the new-look special teams units. Part of that includes the penalty kill which Bowers is now part of. Down in the AHL with the Utica Comets, Bowers has been strong in the faceoff dot and part of an effective penalty kill unit. The former first-round selection will test his luck at the NHL level.

For more Devils news, visit New Jersey Hockey Now and like our Facebook page.
Follow us on 𝕏:


And on Threads:


Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now LLC. NJ Hockey Now is in no way affiliated with the New Jersey Devils or the National Hockey League.