With 2021 now in the books, the old saying goes, “out with the old and in with the new.” Putting that quote into analysis from the old “fast, attacking, and supportive” system under John Hynes and Ray Shero, the old system wasn’t fast, it wasn’t good enough to attack and there was a lack of support. Yes, assistant coach Alain Nasreddine made it better after Hynes was let go from the organization. However, there’s a lot of hope and positivity that Devils fans should feel with the young core of players in place.
Having heard Lindy Ruff talk on media day, what people need to take into account is that Ruff and his staff are working on getting the new “up tempo” style of hockey implemented early and often before the season begins on Thursday night against the Bruins. One of the details Ruff also spoke about was that “there will be a fourth skater involved on the rush.”
To touch on this, it means to me (i.e.) if you have a Jesper Bratt, Jack Hughes and Andreas Johnsson on a line together, as forwards, you could have Ryan Murray and P.K. Subban on a line together. To me, the fourth skater that would join in on the rush would be Murray because he’s a faster, smoother skater that can bring up the tempo while P.K. jumps in to snipe a shot on net.
On a similar topic, I forecast guys like, Bratt, Jesper Boqvist, Hughes, Johnsson and a lot of the younger core players will benefit from this new system when instated. Lindy Ruff is a veteran coach who has previously helped guys like Danny Briere in Buffalo and he’s helped improve guys like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg, that being during his tenure as head coach of the Dallas Stars.
Only time will tell when we will get to see the improvements under Ruff’s coaching staff, which is overseen by general manager Tom Fitzgerald. This is a 56 game season that will really show which players make and break. This will be much like a test in the sense that Tom Fitzgerald has to expose certain players in time for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
That will allow the Seattle Kraken to take one player from every team. This new system under the shortened schedule will be utilized or even improved with more new players like Alexander Holtz and Dawson Mercer, who seem bound to compete for spots in training camp next fall.