The midway point of the week marked the midway point between the Devils’ last game – a 3-2 loss to the Panthers at Prudential Center on Monday night – and their next game at Colorado on Friday night. So, with the team coming off its stretch of seven games in 12 days, this day and Tuesday have been about rest and recovery for the Devils. There was no practice on Tuesday and, on Wednesday, there was an optional skate for nine players plus backup goalie Keith Kinkaid while the rest of the team had off-ice workouts. Coach John Hynes said the division was based on players who either hadn’t been in the lineup or logged huge minutes or were coming off injuries on the ice, players who were logging more minutes off the ice. So Marcus Johansson, who has missed 13 games with a concussion suffered on Nov. 1 but was cleared to play on Monday, was among the players participating in the optional skate. Johansson said after the skate he is starting to feel “normal” and that Thursday’s full team practice will be a “good test” for him. “He had another good practice today and then another full skate tomorrow,” Hynes said. “It seems as if he’s progressing in the right direction. By how he responds tomorrow in practice and then after practice, we’ll see where he’s at. It looks as if it’s going to be one of those situations where you’ve got to get the practice and then it’s how many practices do you give before the guy has to play? Especially a guy like that that knows the game, that knows the league, they know they’re body and themselves. We’ll get through tomorrow and re-evaluate where he’s at.” Johansson was acquired from the Capitals in the offseason to be a top-six forward and Hynes said, when Johansson returns to the lineup, it will be as a left wing. On which line, and with which linemates, Hynes said has yet to be decided.
Devils Marcus Johansson making progress
North Jersey | Nov 29