The New Jersey Devils will try to get back to the Stanley Cup after a disappointing loss last season; their first game to make it happen is against their division rival, New York Islanders on Saturday at 7 PM ET.
Defenseman Bryce Salvador has been named the captain of the New Jersey Devils, but they will miss Ilya Kovalchuk, who still in Russia, and Zach Parise, who signed with Minnesota as a free agent after last season.
“I’m happy I’m back,” said Kovalchuk, who played in Russia during the lockout. “I got some family reasons [why] I stayed, and I decided to play in the All-Star game there. I asked Lou, and we just had a good talk. Everybody understands each other.”
“I think there will be a little advantage for the guys that were playing,” said Kovalchuk, who flew into New Jersey on Tuesday night. “But it’s going to take a couple days with the time difference and then I’ll just feel normal, like I always do.”
The Islanders are now in Brooklyn trying to restore the Isles pride. “It’s a great day for our city,” New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said back when they announced the move. “Who said the rivalry between the Rangers and the Islanders couldn’t get any bigger? It just did.”
New Jersey is 8-2 SU in their last 10 games when playing NY Islanders. The total has gone UNDER in 16 of the NY Islanders last 23 games when playing at home against the Devils.