What to watch for in the New Jersey Devils preseason openers
The Devils open their exhibition schedule with a pair of games on Monday night. Let's dig into some players, and storylines, worth following.
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The New Jersey Devils open their preseason schedule with a pair of games tonight – one in New Jersey and one in Montreal.
Let’s take a closer look at lineups and some things to watch – or follow from afar – in each contest.
Philadelphia at New Jersey
We didn’t get rushes this morning but, based on rosters, I assume Holtz will remain with Meier and Hischier and be given a chance to skate with them in a real game setting. That would be extremely valuable experience as they’d likely see plenty of Sean Couturier. He is a very good two-way pivot and a strong play driver who will be taking this game seriously after missing so much time with injury. It’ll be good to get reps going up against that level of competition.
I like that Holtz will skate on the top power play and be used as a trigger man. I see him taking that role on the 2nd unit if he can play his way onto the team.
I’m interested to see how Josh Filmon looks against pro hockey players. One of the knocks on him at the draft is that he was extremely lean and has a long way to go physically before handling himself against grown men. He is still early in his development path but this’ll be a good measuring stick to see just how far he has come – and how far he still has to go.
Kevin Bahl might not play on the top pairing – the Devils may opt to spread he and Hamilton out for balance purposes – but he is certainly LD1 on the roster the Devils are icing. Philadelphia is dressing a really good top-6 for a preseason opener so Bahl will spend plenty of time against legitimately solid NHL players; at even-strength and on the PK. Let’s see how he handles it.
New Jersey at Montreal
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