Devils head coach John Hynes met with the media on Monday prior to players heading their separate ways for the summer. One of the questions he was asked surrounded his thoughts on the team this year.
"You want to be able to look at certain components of how you played. Defensively it cost us. It's something we have to improve," said Hynes as the club allowed 31 more goals this season (275) versus last (244).
"We do have to get harder, more detailed, more physical in the harder areas of the game defensively. Those are things that can be improved upon in the summer."
Hynes also talked about the team's record on the road which was a real strength in the playoff season of 2017-18 at 21-15-5 but at 11-27-3 this year it posed some issues.
"When you look at our road record this year, being better defensively, being better on the road. We need guys who can impose their will on opponents. We didn't impose our will enough. Can we develop that with players we have and can we get that with players that we bring in," he continued, adding an implication that the loss of Hall resulted in some power play struggles. "When you look at the power play, we had lots of moving parts on that. With offense, it's hard to produce. Eventually, tell me a top-five power play that doesn't have elite players on it."
Hynes also talked about the injury situation which resulted in a lot of young players in the lineup, often at the same time.
"We had a lot of guys learning on the job this year. When you look at the opportunities players had this year to come in, we had a really good feel of our young guys who had to come in and play."