The Devils defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1, tonight in their home opener for their first win of the season thanks to two power play goals by Taylor Hall. Here's what we learned:
1) This is an incredibly coachable team. Anything head coach John Hynes has asked this team to improve, they've worked on it in practice and properly implemented it the very next game. Too many undisciplined penalties - fixed. Not enough shots on goal - fixed. Inconsistent effort - fixed. Lazy transition game - fixed. Unorganized power play - fixed. Really shows that the players have completely bought into what Hynes is preaching and they're all in.
2) The power play is looking good. Only 2-7 tonight with 12 shots, but they dominated in terms of offensive pressure with the man advantage and didn't waste their opportunities. At the very least, they were able to wear the Ducks down as the game wore on. Another example of their coachability, Hynes wanted them to keep things simple, not look for the highlight play and get shots to the net, and that's exactly what they did tonight and the improvement showed. As Andy Greene said, it doesn't need to be a fancy shot, just an effective one.
3) The fans crushed it tonight and everyone on the bench noticed.
Taylor Hall: "The fans were great. Hopefully they keep cheering like that as long as we give them reason to."
Cory Schneider: "They got up when they needed to get up and they got on the refs when they needed to do that too. It was great."
Andy Greene: "They started right at warmups and continued right through the game. Fortunately, we started well and didn't put them to sleep. So that was good too!"
John Hynes: "The fans were fantastic. The atmosphere was electric. The players really fed off it and we definitely appreciate the support and the energy. That goes a long way to making this a difficult place to play in."
The Devils will practice tomorrow before flying to Boston for a one-game road trip. You can catch that game on Thursday at 7 p.m. on MSG+.