I've got a beefy post for you today because there is so much to share!
Last night, the players attended a concert at Prudential Center featuring Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato. Mike McLeod was a big fan of the show, especially Lovato's song Heart Attack, but if you follow him on social media, you'll notice a serious lack of photos. That's because his phone died right before the concert. His Social Media Manager Nate Bastian is not to blame
Steve Santini missed that part because he values sleep too much: "We had been at the arena since 7am for physical testing and I watched Mark Ponser - he was really good - but by then I had been here for 13 hours and I was ready to leave. I'm big on sleep and nutrition. The guys make fun of me for it, but I don't care. I like sleep and I'm okay with that."
This morning, Taylor Hall's new jersey number was released. There was a special geofilter available on snapchat for anyone at Prudential Center, so if you were here for the 3-on-3 competition, hope you found it!
Many of you have asked if his jersey (and t-shirt) are available during camp. Turns out, the fans who came to Prudential Center today scooped them all up!! They're working on getting more for Saturday's scrimmage, but for now, go online and order from shop.nhl.com/devils!
Speaking of the 3-on-3 competition…Team Stevens won with a sudden death shootout goal from Mike McLeod to beat Team Brodeur, which was undefeated until then.
The players were divided into four teams and played three games, round robin style. The top two teams played in the championship game with the bottom two teams playing in the consolation game.
After seven minutes of regulation in the championship game, the teams were tied at one, which prompted a seven-round shootout (every skater took a shot) that ended in a 2-2 tie. That prompted a sudden death shootout, which McLeod won on Team Stevens' first attempt.
That said…I think Team Brodeur would have benefited from video replay. With the clock winding down, John Quennville had a questionable non-goal that apparently hit the post and came out, but I - and the people I was watching with - disagreed.
Speaking of Queenville, he tried the same between-the-legs move he used to score for the Brandon Wheat Kings during the Memorial Cup this May towards the end of regulation, but missed the net!
Watch: Wednesday's 3-on-3 Championship Game
Miles Wood (who is funny enough to have more twitter followers...you should get on that!) spoke about it during the Facebook Live Q&A we did this afternoon, but the players are earning points throughout the week for winning various activities. Currently, Chris Shero is atop the leader board with nine points after earning six yesterday - three for a shootout goal after practice and three more for the "sweetest move." Wood is right behind him with seven points, having earned all of them through fitness testing.
There's another opportunity for the guys to add to their point total tonight when they judge the results of their cooking class!
During the 3-on-3 competition, I tweeted a photo of the program the training staff uses to monitor the players’ heart rates on the ice.
I spoke with Joe Lorincz, the Devils' strength and conditioning coach, to find out what they do with all that information. He said it shows how hard players are working, how long they are sustaining that pace and how quickly they can recover. It gives the training staff insight on each players' conditioning and how they can best help them improve for peak performance. It's all very high-tech.
Later this week, I'll give you a little more detail on what exactly the players focus on during their training, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Mike Cammalleri was also in town today for a meet-and-greet with Season Ticket Members after the 3-on-3 competition. It was LOL funny as he shared some great stories from the locker room throughout the years. One fan asked who was the resident DJ in the locker room and he replied that it was typically Adam Henrique, but that he's pretty sure all he's playing right now is Portugal's national anthem over and over and over again, and even thinks he spotted him running around Toronto half naked with the flag of Portugal waving behind him after they won the Euro Cup.
Afterward, I asked Cammy how his rehab was going and all signs are pointing in the right direction. He's been following the protocol for treatment and recovery, and feels he's finally over the hump and can simply focus on his preparation for the start of the season. He's doing a lot to get his reflexes and instincts back into game-form so he doesn't have to waste any time during training camp knocking the rust off. Right now, he's chomping at the bit to get on the ice and in a game. He said it's been a long seven months and wants to use the next eight weeks before camp starts to be 100% ready.
I asked him if he liked the way the team was shaping up this off season and he said, "You hate to see Adam [Larsson] go, but everyone seems to love what Ray Shero is doing here and I am no different. I think we're going to be a great team and I can't wait to get started."
The players spent the afternoon doing various community service activities and I'll have some photos to share with you later on.