The New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers are participating in the 2018 NHL Global Series. The Devils defeated SC Bern 3-2 in overtime at PostFinance Arena in Switzerland on Monday, and will open the regular season against the Oilers at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, MSG+, NHL.TV). Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller, born in Winterthur, Switzerland, has been detailing his experiences on the trip in his own NHL.com blog. Here is Mueller's third entry, which comes after the team's first practice in Sweden:
We arrived in Sweden on Wednesday night after a great four days in Bern.
I wasn't at all anxious for the game against Bern on Monday, but definitely was a little nervous. It was obviously a different game for myself and Nico [Hischier]. We didn't really know what to expect, but it was cool. It was a bit surprising when the fans chanted my last name after the announcer said "Mirco," because I'm not really from [Bern]. To hear the ovation Nico received was awesome. It was nice to see the fans appreciated us so much, and I thought it was a good game.
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On our off day Tuesday, a bunch of us went to Pilatus, a big mountain that overlooks Lucerne in central Switzerland. It's one of the nicer places in Switzerland, and it was one of the easier trips to arrange because it was close by and the guys wanted to see the Alps on the off day. I enjoyed that very much; it was very good weather and we had a very good view. It was a quiet but very nice day, and we really had a blast.
For dinner, we had some fondue in Lucerne at a place on the water, and that was very nice. We headed back to the hotel at around 6 o'clock because we had to get up to go to practice at PostFinance Arena the next morning at around 9 a.m.
I think everyone really enjoyed Switzerland -- and for me and Nico, it was certainly extra special. We had a good time with the team, hung out a lot, played hockey and got to know each other a little better, and that was nice. I didn't really go shopping for watches with any of the players. They were all really just interested in the culture, food and restaurants.
We had our first practice in Sweden on Thursday morning at the Scandinavium. I think coming back to the smaller ice surface definitely helped a little bit with the timing and general stuff that goes on with practice. It was a very long and hard training camp; really exhausting. You're always happy when the season really starts and it's about points. That's just a completely different feeling and a completely different game.
I thought we had a good practice and we're all excited for Saturday's game against the Oilers. To finally get the season going is important. Coming out of here with a win is our goal.
I'll post again in a few days. Thanks for reading.