In his second season behind the bench for the New Jersey Devils, head coach John Hynes is looking to pick up the pace, writes Fire and Ice’s Andrew Gross. Hynes noted to Gross that the trend around the league is moving towards playing with speed and tempo and that the Devils will need to follow suit:
“We’d like to play a faster game, more of a territorial game this year where there’s more emphasis on spending more time in the offensive zone and playing a fast game, getting out of our zone quick and getting up ice and being able to be an attacking and aggressive team. We feel our team is trending that way with some speed and we believe our core main players can play that way so we’re trying to influx that into how we want to play and be more of an aggressive, attacking team over the course of a 60-minute game. “
The Devils were somewhat busy this offseason, highlighted by the trade of defenseman Adam Larsson to Edmonton in exchange for Taylor Hall to give them a legitimate top line winger. They also added forwards Beau Bennett and Vernon Fiddler as well as defenseman Ben Lovejoy, giving them several new faces in their lineup heading into the season.
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Other notes from New Jersey:
- In the same article, Hynes mentioned to Gross that right winger Kyle Palmieri and goaltender Cory Schneider, who represented Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey, are expected to return to practice either Wednesday or Thursday after receiving some time off to rest following the tournament.
- There is still no timetable for unrestricted free agent left winger Patrik Elias to decide whether he will return to the Devils this season but as Gross notes in a separate piece, the 40 year old is with the team and is taking part in team meetings. Elias is skating on his own as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. He is their all-time leading scorer with 1,025 points in 1,240 games and has only played for New Jersey in his career.