It was a very different way to enter Prudential Center for John Hynes. The former New Jersey Devils coach went a completely different way to get to his coaches' office than what had become second nature to him.
Thursday was Hynes' first game back in New Jersey since he and the Devils parted ways in December.
"Yeah, it was," Hynes said of it being weird to come in as a visitor.
"It was really the first time I'd been back since everything happened. I haven't been on this side of the building, but there are also good memories to see the security guards, coming in. That starts your journey to coming back in here. So, exciting night for sure."
Hynes coached the Devils since 2015-16, making the playoffs once. It will be an emotional night for some involved on both benches tonight. Hynes served as a mentor for Devils Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine.
"I try not to think about it, to be honest. It's going to be a special night and a lot of emotions to start but once the puck drops we'll be okay," Nasreddine said.