New Jersey Devils players understood how aggressive their new coach John Hynes was in the second game of the season when he pulled his goalie with 3:16 remaining while the Washington Capitals were on a power play.
The Capitals led 4-2 at the time. Then defenseman Matt Niskanen scored a rare empty-net power play goal to make it 5-2.
Defiant Hynes pulled his goalie again, and the Devils scored to make it 5-3. “We just missed making it 5-4, and we had other chances,” Devils general manager Ray Shero recalled. “I saw (Washington coach) Barry Trotz after the game, and he said, ‘Holy crud, you guys were coming at us and coming at us.’”
The media quizzed Hynes about why he embraced that strategy, but Shero already knew why Hynes had done that before he answered. He hired Hynes because he has no understanding of the word ‘quit.’
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“He was sending a message to the team that we are never going to give up,” Shero told USA TODAY Sports. “We are going to play until the end, and we’ve done this all season. Against Ottawa, we were down two…