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BLOG: Special Teams Become Focus Ahead of Season Opener

As the Devils wrap up camp and finish out practices before their home opener on Thursday night, the team is focusing on their power play and penalty kill units

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

With training camp wrapped up and the roster narrowed down, the Devils turned their focus to Thursday and their season opener. The top item on the agenda: special teams.

"Special teams is momentum inside a game, if you're killing well, if you're scoring a power play goal. We just want to make sure we try to get everybody on the same page and our focus was going to be for these next few days to make sure that we got reps on the power play, we got reps on the [penalty] kill," said Ruff about his focus for Tuesday and Wednesday's practices ahead of the season opener. "We've gone pretty deep into every other area of the game."

Full Coverage from Tuesday's Practice

Devils Right Wing Kyle Palmieri, who has practiced on a power play unit during training camp, has found the review beneficial after an extended off-season.

"There's a lot of different situations that come about and it's been so long over these 10 months of the offseason that kind of do some refreshers and make sure that we're prepared for any situation. There's a lot to go over," said Palmieri. "These last couple days of camp we've worked on some stuff video wise but at the end of the day, the units you put out there, it's up to us to be creative and find different looks and be a team that's unpredictable."

Video: PRACTICE RAW | Kyle Palmieri 01.12.21

The team has had various power play and penalty kill meetings, film sessions, and on-ice reviews with the coaching staff, particularly Assistant Coach Mark Recchi.

"I think that's one of the things that you see with power plays. Every power play is going to go through its ups and downs but as long as we're focused on maintaining the concepts that we've gone over in video as we move forward into the season," said Palmieri. "Being able to have different looks and different concepts that we can fall back upon if things don't work right away is something that Coach Recchi's been great with."

"He wants us to go out there and be creative and be unpredictable to our opponents, but at the same time I think the ability to read off each other and be confident no matter where you are…obviously the goal of the power play is to put the puck in the net so finding different ways to be dangerous in that way is what we're focused on."

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