Revitalized Devils Aim to Achieve Higher Standard

In the latest Dano on the Devils Q&A, Ken Daneyko explains why Monday night’s loss to Panthers has a silver lining It was a tough one-goal loss for the Devils [Monday night] and it looked like their slow start was one of the biggest reasons for the defeat. What was your take on the game?

Ken Daneyko: Teams, coaches and players never try to make excuses. With that said, it was the Devils’ seventh game in 11 nights, so that had to play a factor. For whatever reason, they just were off, especially for the first 40 minutes of the game. They weren’t as good as they expect from themselves from an energy standpoint.

But in a way, that could be viewed as a great thing. They’ve raised their standards significantly from last year and they were disappointed with the performance against Florida. You can also take something positive out of their third period. Cory [Schneider] gave them a chance and without him, the scoreline could have very different heading into the third. They were able to hang around, find some life and energy and tied the game twice. As you’re watching the game, you’re thinking they can at least get out of there with a point. Unfortunately, they gave up the third goal.

I thought Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt, the guys who scored the goals, were two of the better Devils on the ice. The youngsters are continuing to do some good things and those guys gave them a chance to win.

You just chalk it up as one of those games. They played a desperate Panthers team and they didn’t have as much have as they would have liked in the tank, mentally and physically. But you have to take heart in the fact that they showed no quit.

[Watch Devils-Avalanche Friday on MSG+2 & Download Free on MSG GO] You mentioned Cory Schneider, who was one of the biggest reasons why the Devils were able to stay close vs. Florida. We talked about how important Cory would be for the Devils this season and so far, the results have been very solid: A 9-5-3 record with a 2.78 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. How would you rate his season so far?

Ken Daneyko: Cory has been good and has made the saves at key times in games. That’s exactly what you want from your goaltender. Really, both goaltenders have been very good this season, Cory and Keith [Kinkaid]. Nowadays, you have to have two quality goaltenders and both guys have been solid so far this season.

They’re going to need that the rest of the way especially with how tight the league is. Certainly, the Metropolitan Division is playing out that way and it’s so good this year. There are going to be a lot of one-goal games and the Devils have been doing their share of winning those one-goal games lately. Unfortunately, they fell one short [Monday].

[Watch Devils-Avalanche Friday on MSG+2 & Download Free on MSG GO]