Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com tweeted today that New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerard said that head coach Lindy Ruff is still the right coach for the Devils. It’s no surprise that Fitzgerard would speak of Ruff so highly as the veteran coach just led New Jersey to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and their first playoff series win since the club lost in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. The Devils improved dramatically this season under Ruff as they went from 14th in the Eastern Conference to 3rd this season and won 52 games this year nearly doubling their 27 wins from 2021-22.
There was speculation around the future of the 63-year-old Ruff, but Fitzgerard put those whispers to bed today saying, “”He’s still the right coach. We deserve that, we deserve him.” In his three seasons with New Jersey Ruff has compiled a 98-98-24 record with just the one playoff appearance. While that record isn’t great, it’s hard to argue with this year’s results. The Devils look to be at the beginning of what could be a very special run of hockey these next few years and it appears from the outside as though the Devils stars enjoy playing for Lindy. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of rope Ruff gets next season if the Devils were to stutter out of the gate.
In other afternoon notes:
- Carolina Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff tweeted today that head coach Rod Brind’Amour commented on the status of injured forward Teuvo Teräväinen saying that he is hopeful that the forward will be able to dress tomorrow night for game 1. Brind’Amour added that Carolina will likely decide on the 28-year-old after the team’s morning skate tomorrow. Teräväinen has been pointless in two games in these playoffs but would provide a jolt to an already strong Hurricanes forward group.
- Tyler Madarasz of NHL Morning Skate tweeted that he sat down with Carolina general manager Don Waddell today and the long-time NHL executive discussed Ondrej Kase. Waddell said that Kase is still dealing with issues from concussions and to this day doesn’t feel right. He mentioned that Kase may be forced to call it a career, which would be a real shame for a young player with so much career left in him. Kase dressed in just one game for Carolina this season but is just a year removed from putting up 14 goals and 13 assists in 50 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He showed the potential to be a perennial 20-goal scorer in Anaheim just a few seasons ago, but sadly it looks as though his career could be coming to an end.