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said he feels settled in now
douhua2233
#1 Posted : 24 August 2018 06:41:56(UTC)
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It would be easy to say the New Jersey Devils are back after ending a six-year playoff drought.

John Hynes’ team went from last in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17 to the postseason in less in the year Authentic Michael Pineda Jersey , riding a career year by left wing Taylor Hall and outstanding first seasons by No. 1 overall draft pick Nico Hischier and Will Butcher. This was a team that made it tough on opponents almost every time it stepped on the ice.

The standings said it all. New Jersey went from 28 wins and 70 points to 44 wins and 97 points.

Still, it was only good enough to outlast the hard-charging Florida Panthers in the closing weeks of the regular season and get the No. 8 seed.

The Devils discovered that playoffs were another level. They were eliminated by Tampa Bay, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, in five games.

”Of course, we’re disappointed,” veteran center Travis Zajac said Tuesday as the Devils cleaned out their lockers. ”But we accomplished a lot as a team. This is just the beginning. I like how we come together as a team. We faced a lot of adversity, but we survived. Because the league is so close and it’s going to be that way again next year, we have to continue to get better.”

The Devils have ridden a roller-coaster in Hynes’ first three seasons as coach. They exceeded expectations in his first year, plummeted two years ago and then stunned the league in getting back to the playoffs.

”You have no idea of how good I feel about what we did this year,” said captain Andy Greene, who like Zajac was with the Devils when they reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2012. ”We were a lot better. The way we competed every game down the stretch. We were fighting for each other. We were picked last in the division and last in the conference. We took that to heart. It’s all part of the process. You don’t go from the bottom to the top unless you work hard.”

Hall carried the Devils this season, scoring points in 26 straight games in which he played. He finished with 39 goals and 54 assists. His 93 points were 41 more than the next closest player on the team, Hischier (20 goals Kyle Long Jersey , 32 assists).

”I knew he was a really good hockey player, but it was nothing like what I saw this year,” said forward Marcus Johansson, who was limited to 29 games by concussions. ”He was unbelievable day in and day out.”

If Hall can match next season and young players like Hischier, Butcher, Myles Wood, Blake Coleman and Jesper Bratt improve and the work ethic remains the same, the Devils can easily make it back to the playoffs next season.

Here’s some things to watch next season:

GOOD GOALTENDING: The Devils have two starters. Backup Keith Kinkaid had 16 wins in the final two months to secure the playoff berth. Cory Schneider, who lost the starting job after groin and hip injuries in January, was outstanding in the playoffs after taking over for Kinkaid in the second game.

FREE AGENCY: General manager Ray Shero has three big decisions with unrestricted free agents: forwards Patrick Maroon and Michael Grabner and defenseman John Moore. Maroon, who like Grabner was acquired in a deal near the trading deadline, played better and provided a net-front presence. Moore might be let go to create space for youngsters Mirco Mueller and Steven Santini.

Blake Coleman and Stefan Noesen, who were the wings on the checking line with Zajac Kalen Ballage Jersey Elite , are restricted free agents along with Wood, who had 19 goals. Expect them back along with Santini, another restricted free agent.

HISCHIER: The 19-year-old can play. He’s not in the same class as Connor McDavid or Austin Matthews. Still, he does all the little things and he will score more if he starts hitting the net.

DEFENSE: For the second straight year the Devils gave up 244 goals. That’s too many. Sami Vatanen, who was acquired from Anaheim, helped the defense and was Greene’s partner on the top pair. The defense needs a star and Shero may go after the Capitals’ John Carlson.



Associated Press freelancer Jim Hague contributed to this report.



More NHL hockey: Mike Vrabel has been around the NFL long enough to know that he will have some growing pains as a first-time head coach.

His goal with the Tennessee Titans is pretty basic.

Don't make the same mistake twice.

"There's going to be a lot of things that are going to come up for the first time ...," Vrabel told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"I'm going to make mistakes. I'm not going to make too many of them hopefully and not make the same mistake twice. And learn from the mistake and be able to ask for advice."

Vrabel seemingly has been destined to be an NFL head coach for years, even during his 14-year career as a linebacker with Pittsburgh, New England and Kansas City.

The only question after Vrabel started coaching first as an assistant at his alma mater at Ohio State and then the NFL's Houston Texans was which team would hire him first.

The Titans had tried men with prior experience as NFL head coaches in Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey. Whisenhunt was fired in November 2015 with a 3-20 record , while Mularkey was fired in January despite consecutive 9-7 seasons and the franchise's first playoff victory in 14 years .

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk and general manager Jon Robinson, who first met Vrabel when both men worked in New England, hired Vrabel five days after firing Mularkey as the team's 19th head coach.

Vrabel filled his coaching staff with a combination of experience and youth. He convinced Matt LaFleur, who also interviewed for the Titans' head coaching job Authentic Ian Thomas Jersey , to be his offensive coordinator and lured Dean Pees out of retirement to be his defensive coordinator.

Pees, who coached Vrabel in New England, said he always knew Vrabel would be a great coach someday even if he didn't know if it would be in college or the NFL.

"The thing about Mike he's everything that you expect and want out of a player," Pees said.

"He's tough, he's an overachiever, he's smart as heck. He's got an incredible work ethic, so when I'm watching him and watching his style of coaching I'm not surprised one bit at any of it to be honest with you."

After hiring his coaching staff, Vrabel has made other changes with each move dissected for any signs of installing the "Patriot Way" in Nashville .

He closed the locker room to the media during the team's offseason program, instead having reporters talk to players on the practice field. Vrabel talked about his decision but didn't waver.

Vrabel also has tried to make clear that he's been influenced by many coaches from Bill Cowher and John Mitchell in Pittsburgh, Bill Belichick in New England, Urban Meyer at Ohio State to Bill O'Brien in Houston.

"I think that my personality is probably different than Bill and Urban," Vrabel said. "Probably a little similar to Bill O'Brien. But it's still kind of just who I am and appreciate everything that I've learned from those coaches."

On the field, Vrabel has been a hands-on coach who has jumped on a blocking sled and shown rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans a specific technique he wanted. He also veered off script in practices Terrell Edmunds Color Rush Jersey , calling out different downs and distances to test how everyone reacted 鈥?including himself.

"He's going to be taping ankles sooner or later," four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo said.

"I mean he's going to be cooking lunch. This guy is all over the place, and we love it. It's high intensity, high motor, energetic. Sometimes you really can't tell if he's joking or not. But he's still a player's coach and we're thrilled that he's on board."

The Titans wrapped up their offseason program last week , and Vrabel said he feels settled in now after working to get a feel for each person's strengths and weaknesses. That also included some self-scouting for how Vrabel can improve as a head coach.

Now he's got a break before rookies, quarterbacks and injured Titans report July 22 followed by the rest of the team July 25 for training camp. Vrabel won't coach his first game until Aug. 9 when Tennessee opens the preseason in Green Bay. The Titans' season opener is Sept. 9 in Miami.

And Vrabel knows he faces very high expectations even if this is his first season.

"Everybody knows what the expectations are," Vrabel said. "It's to win."

.
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vrathia
#2 Posted : 02 May 2020 08:35:07(UTC)
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vrathia
#3 Posted : 06 August 2020 18:03:48(UTC)
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