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Devils Notebook: Devils EBUG, Injured Defenseman ‘Real Close’

The Devils had an EBUG on the ice for an ill, injured Vitek Vanecek, Brendan Smith is “real close” to returning.



New Jersey Devils

When the New Jersey Devils took the ice this morning, goaltender Vitek Vanecek was not present.

Nico Daws worked the starters’ net and an EBUG (emergency backup goaltender) was present at the Devils’ practice.

It’s not what you think. Jacob Markstrom is starting in Manhattan against the New York Rangers tonight.

According to Devils head coach Lindy Ruff, explained Vanecek is the latest New Jersey player to deal with an illness bug. He added that Vanecek is also dealing with an injury, although nothing major.

“Vitek was sick yesterday and today,” Ruff explained. “(He’s got a) little bit of a lower-body (injury) from last game. Later today, we’ll have to bring somebody up.”

The Devils’ have options to recall. Obviously, Akira Schmid is waiver exempt. He seems like the most likely recall given New Jersey doesn’t have to worry about putting him on waivers. Otherwise, Erik Kallgren and Keith Kinkaid can be recalled as well.

Brendan Smith joined New Jersey for regular morning skate as well. He’s no longer taking reps with the injured group. Ruff disclosed his timeline to return

“(Smith is) real close,” Ruff explained. “We’ll see where he’s at. Not for today, but probably for tomorrow.”

The Devils host the Seattle Kraken tonight, however, it’s more likely that the New Jersey’s hybrid returns tomorrow.

Devils Pre-Game Workflow


Ondrej Palat – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt

Jack Hughes – Erik Haula – Tyler Toffoli

Timo Meier – Curtis Lazar – Dawson Mercer

Alexander Holtz – Tomas Nosek – Nathan Bastian

Chris Tierney


Kevin Bahl – Simon Nemec

Luke Hughes – John Marino

Santeri Hatakka – Colin Miller

Brendan Smith – Nick DeSimone


Nico Daws (projected starter)


How to Watch

Time: 07:00 PM

Watch/Stream: MSGSN/MSG+


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