The New Jersey Devils are back.
Per ESPN, the Devils returned to the practice ice on Monday ahead of Tuesday's game at the New York Rangers after being on a coronavirus-related pause since earning a victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 31. In total, 19 Devils players landed on the NHL's COVID-19 list amid the reported outbreak that resulted in the postponements of seven games.
"It's kind of unfortunate and it's kind of crazy how fast it spreads," Devils forward Miles Wood told reporters on Monday. "I think that's the scariest part. You know, it took down a team within a matter of three days, so it's very serious."
Winger Kyle Palmieri added that Devils players have followed the league's health and safety protocols such as wearing proper face coverings and avoiding social gatherings.
"We're spending an hour or two hours, however, over the course of a game next to each other on a bench breathing heavily and I mean, playing hockey is a tough sport," Palmieri said. "You're coming back and you're pretty gassed and you're trying to catch your breath. So that's a lot of close contact, heavy breathing. You read enough about this virus, that's probably one of the worst things you can do is long extended times of heavy breathing among people without masks."
The Devils have completed an East-division low nine games on the season and have earned 10 points. New Jersey is the only team not yet in double-digits as it pertains to games played.