Last summer I put a short list together highlighting games coming up that I was excited for. Most of the games I picked were ones that turned out to be exciting and/or extremely important to the Devils season. So I figured I would do the same list again, picking 1 game per month that I am excited to watch.
October 11th - Pittsburgh @ NJ – Paul Martin returns to NJ very early on in his Penguins career. It will be interesting to see what kind of welcome he gets. I honestly could care less that he signed with another team. The Devils won without him during the season last year, so the value he added to this team in my mind wasn’t that much. I highlighted this game because I know a lot of people feel much differently than I do and his return to play against is former team is so early that I am sure those fans that feel betrayed will let him have it. We also owned Pitt last season and it will be interesting to see if we can own them again this season.
Novemver 27th – Flyers @ NJ – This is the first regular season game against the Flyers, the team that embarrassed us in the playoffs last season. Wait, not just the playoffs, the embarrassed us all season long. Philly had guys on their team that just pushed our defence around but with additions like Anton Volchenkov, I am interested to see if Philly can continue to push us around.
December 17th – Predators @ NJ – Decemember wasn’t a great month to pick from but Jason Arnott’s old team comes to town and I am sure they are going to want to bring it against their former captain. If this game doesn’t thrill you because of the East/West matchup that means very little, the Devils also visit Ottawa on the 10th which marks Volchenkov’s first return to Ottawa since signing out of town. That might be interesting as well!
January 9th – Lightning @ NJ – New GM Stevie Y has put together a decent team this summer. The Lightning haven’t really been a threat in recent years but with St. Louis, Lecavalier, Stankos and new addition and Devil killer, Simon Gagne, the Lightning have become one of the more interesting teams. This will be our first look at them and its late enough where TB should have gotten used to all the changes.
February 18th – Rangers @ NJ – You can’t have a Devils schedule highlighted without picking out a Rangers/Devils game. This one is in the dead of winter, which last year at this time gave us quite a showdown between Marty and Lundqvist. These matchups always seem to matter in Atlantic Division standings.
March 18th – Capitals @ NJ – The Capitals were the best regular season team last season and have the ability to repeat that. This late season matchup might mean something in the standings as we get closer to the playoffs.
April 5th – NJ @ Penguins – The last 4 seasons have come down to NJ and Pittsburgh battling it out for the division so with 4 games to go in the Devils schedule, why would we think this game wouldn’t mean everything?
So which games are you looking forward to?