The New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers are participating in the 2018 NHL Global Series. The Devils will play a preseason game against SC Bern at PostFinance Arena in Switzerland on Monday (1:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, MSG+), and will open the regular season against the Oilers at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday. (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, MSG+).
Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller, born in Winterthur, Switzerland, will detail his experiences on the trip in his own NHL.com blog. Here is Mueller's second entry:
Hello from Switzerland!
I must say, it's odd being home as a tourist in my home country, so to speak. Driving on the highways is strange because I know every exit and every road. Staying at the hotel and speaking the language has been a nice change, though.
The plane ride Friday was eventful. I think I was able to sleep for about an hour during the eight-hour flight. It's tough when it's an early flight (6 p.m. ET) because it takes a little longer to get tired, we were able to sleep a little bit. The guys were talking it up at the start of the flight and then it kind of died down in the middle of it. Everyone started to wake up again once we hit daylight.
Once we arrived into Zurich, and having a bit of an advantage being from Switzerland and having made this trip a few times before, I had an idea of how to get over the jet lag. It helped that a couple of us went to the NHL Global Fan Fest. One tip to beat jet lag is not to lay horizontal but continue to move around because as soon as you lay down, you're probably going to nap. We just wanted to keep moving around or take a shower to feel better.
After getting picked up by the driver at the airport, we went right to PostFinance Arena and had some lunch, pizza and sandwiches. After gathering our luggage and getting to the hotel, me and John Quenneville went to the fan fest. That was a lot of fun. Ever since I played in the 2018 IIHF World Championship in the spring, I noticed a lot of people were recognizing me a little more. They interviewed me in German at the fan fest and that was cool. They just asked what it was like to be back home and what teammates think of Switzerland.
It was great to get a group shot with the fans. There were a lot of people there and that was great to see. It was good that they scheduled the fan fest on the weekend since no one had to worry about work and it was a nice turnout. People here are excited about hockey. It's always tough to watch the NHL because of the time change but a lot of people like the highlights and keep updated with what the Swiss guys are doing. To finally see a few players in person is a big thing for a lot of the kids and fans here.
The team went to watch SC Bern play against EHC Biel in a regular-season National League game at PostFinance Arena on Saturday and it was great. I think some players were stunned and surprised, and a lot of them had fun talking about the top scorer uniform, but I grew up with that. It's a bigger ice and lot more skating and passing, so it'll be interesting when we play Bern on Monday. There are a lot of hardcore fans in Bern, and they remain standing and cheering the entire game.
I saw my parents (Roland and Christina) on Sunday after practice and it was nice. My parents will probably see a lot more Devils games this year too, since my sister (Alina) will be a freshman at Northeastern University this year and will be playing hockey. So they'll see both of us on the East Coast.
We had fresh legs at practice Sunday after getting the day off Saturday. It was on the big ice so passing the puck was different because guys were farther away than you'd expect, so sometimes it takes a few skates. We adjusted, though, and will have another skate Monday morning and then be ready to go that night.
That's it for now. Check back in a couple of days.