Devils @ Bruins: 3 Things To Know
The Devils will face the Bruins tonight at TD Garden in Boston's home opener. Here's what you need to know:
1) There has been a lot of attention given to the Devils' power play, but the effectiveness of the penalty kill is equally important and isn't getting any love even though it's been clicking at 90%. The Devils have given up only one power play goal (ANA) in ten opportunities over these first three games of the season.
2) The centers have been working on winning faceoffs every day after practice because the Devils have been just okay there - 46%, 48% and 48% the first three games - and they need to be better in order to give themselves a chance of winning the possession game. It's a key ingredient in head coach John Hynes' high-paced offensive system and defensive structure. The opposition can't score if they don't have the puck.
3) As noted before, the Devils have been showing immediate improvement in whatever they've been focusing on in practice these past two weeks, so look for better defensive zone coverage, zone breakouts and an improved transition game tonight because that was the emphasis in practice yesterday. Also, they say you play as you practice and after the win on Tuesday the players were not quite as sharp as they could or should be, and Hynes called them out for it. So it might seem like a given, but I would expect a full 60 minute effort tonight. It will be necessary to win against a team pumped up to play in front of their fans for the first time this season.
Tonight's game will air live on MSG+ and WFAN starting at 7 p.m.