Most of the New Jersey Devils players spoke on Sunday to say goodbye to the 2021-22 season. Good riddance, too. Most of the players showed their disappointment in the season, and they made comments about themselves mostly. We learned what they expected of themselves, what was wrong with their play specifically, and some of the injuries that some of the players were dealing with.
However, what were some of the most important things we learned? Let’s start with the obvious.
4 things we learned in New Jersey Devils’ exit interviews.
1. Two Different Perspectives On Lindy Ruff
The fanbase is still split on the future of Lindy Ruff. While there is a large, loud contingent who wants the Devils’ current head coach to leave the organization this season. There’s another side of things; a section of the fanbase who want to see if he can turn this thing around himself. That part at least makes sense on paper. He’s been able to turn some of these forwards into superstars. There are stretches where the defensemen make major strides. He has had the worst goalie luck in history, and he at least proved he can turn around a special teams unit after having one of the worst penalty kill units in history. It seems Jack Hughes has the same thoughts on his head coach.
Hughes with a major endorsement of his head coach has to mean a lot. Hughes went from a 21-point player in a 61-game season under John Hynes to a point-per-game player this season. Hughes’ word has to have a lot of weight. He just signed an eight-year deal, and he’s already on his third head coach in three years. He probably wants consistency in his career. However, the words from Nico Hischier, the team’s captain, hit a little different.
It’s about as political of an answer to still send a message. We’re forced to read between the lines, and it tells us that he’s at least not giving him a ringing endorsement. Is he calling for his head? No, but he’s not going public with his push to bring back Ruff.
All of this might be a major overreaction. It seems like a lot of the players like the direction of the team even if the results don’t follow. Ruff’s fate will come sometime on Monday. We’ll likely learn what’s next soon.