In an effort not to sound too “glass half empty,” the Devils took on the Rangers for their first preseason game. Truth be told, it looked like a typical mid-season grind away type game with relatively low score, not great offense on either team’s part, and on the plus side for the Devils, low shot count for the Rangers.
Overall I’d rate the team at a B. They did not show any form of dominance, which is to be expected in the first game of the preseason. But in the same vein, I was hoping to see more from the team as a whole. Energy was their from guys like Zach Parise and second time Devil Petr Sykora, but I still find myself wanting more from players like Ilya Kovalchuk.
Again, this was the first game of the preseason, so I will not harp on this.
My thoughts on the new coach – for the first time since… Pat Burns? the Devils have a new coach to the organization that has actual NHL coaching experience. Truth be told, I’m hopeful that this works out for the team. The Devils dearly need consistency behind the bench, and lord knows we haven’t seen that in a very long time. With consistency comes familiarity and a level of comfort that will hopefully make the players think less and play better.
The team last year had one of their worst first halves to a season in franchise history, and it could be chalked up to over thinking and gripping their sticks too tight.
We’ll see what the next game will bring, which will take place on Friday night at the Prudential Center. That game will also be televised on MSG with new Devils Play by Play guy Steve Cangelosi behind the mic.