New Jersey Devils Announce Kyle Palmieri On COVID Protocol List

Kyle Palmieri

Prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday afternoon, the New Jersey Devils announced forward Kyle Palmieri was a scratch. Just minutes before puck drop, the team his absence from today’s game was a COVID-related absence.

Kyle Palmieri Scratched Prior To Game Time

There was not much information given prior to the start of the game against the Sabres. Many thought this was a message by head coach Lindy Ruff to give the veteran forward a day off. Considering the Devils are playing three games in four days, a night off is not such a bad thing. There were other thoughts it was performance-related. Palmieri has not scored a goal yet this season. He led the Devils in goals with 25 goals. But he has been snake bitten to start the season. However, right as the game began the Devils announced Palmieri was the latest player to join the COVID protocol list.

Already on the list for the Devils are Mackenzie Blackwood, Aaron Dell, Travis Zajac (who was just put on the list Friday), Palmieri, and Sami Vatanen. Dell and Vatanen are in quarantine coming from Canada and Finland respectively. So once they clear the quarantine time and have negative COVID tests, the Devils will have a couple of bodies returning to the lineup.

What The Future Holds

This young Devils team is holding on with a 3-3-2 record with major losses in the lineup. The Devils made a lot of changes to their lineup with the additions of Mikhail Maltsev and Jesper Boqvist to the lineup. But with Palmieri out of the lineup, Maltsev is playing on the second line with Nikita Gusev and Pavel Zacha. While Boqvist will slot in on the third line with Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen. The loss of Palmieri is big despite him not scoring a goal. He is second on the team with 41 shot attempts. But with these veterans out of the lineup, the Devils are getting a glimpse of what the future might hold when and if players like Palmieri and Zajac move on.

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