To be clear, there is not one player or coach on this team that is even remotely pleased about what went down last night in Boston, but there is only one thing to do…Move Forward.
"We know we didn't play well enough to win that game last night," said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. "Everyone knows that and we're not fooling ourselves in this room. We need to be better in a bunch of different areas and we're going to try to do that for tomorrow night.
The focus today in practice was about developing good habits and dictating how they want to play no matter what the opposition throws at them. It's not a matter of working harder, but working smarter.
"Our work ethic is always going to be there," Lovejoy continued. "We're a team that goes out and works hard every night and last night we didn't work smart enough. We didn't maintain the puck. We didn't make smart decisions and that caused our hard work to go for nothing. We didn't put ourselves in a position to benefit from our hard work."
Head coach John Hynes tinkered with the lines last night hoping to spark some chemistry 5-on-5 and he tinkered some more in practice today putting Blake Speers on a line with Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique. Whether we see that tomorrow night against Minnesota is still questionable, but Hynes wants to reward consistent effort and he's getting that from Speers and fellow rookie Pavel Zacha, who saw some top line minutes last night.
"Some days this line is going, but then the next game they've got nothing," Hynes said. "We need to find lines that will work every night."
Cory Schneider had a day off from the ice as he prepares to start his fifth game of the season tomorrow, which means 51-year-old goalie coach Chris Terreri, who retired 15 years ago, suited up today for practice. He wasn't told about it when he got to the rink, which was after he already went on an uncharacteristic run this morning. Pretty sure he earned a cheat day meal today.
I've been in the locker room nearly every day for the past month and I've only ever heard music in there once (the player's lounge, next door, is a different story). Typically, once the locker room is open to the media, a team staff member turns any music off to make the atmosphere more conducive for interviews. It is their job, after all. Today, Sergey Kalinin, who has been skating with the team the past few days, decided to take matters into his own hands and plugged his iPhone into the speaker system and cranked up the tunes while we were in there.
It was loud and, I'll admit, pretty hard to hear. The players loved it. The PR staff didn't, and quickly put the kibosh on it, much to the players' chagrin. Back to the lounge…
The Devils host the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night and we will have a full roster of game day goodies for you, including full coverage of Martin Brodeur's statue dedication. If you can make it, be here at 6 p.m. for the ceremony. If not, we'll have it live streaming at NewJerseyDevils.com.