Despite the Devils lacking on the defensive front last season, G Cory Schneider believes the group the team already has, per NJ.com's Chris Ryan.
Instead of the defense needing to improve, Schneider thinks the goals allowed last season were his fault. He knows that if he plays his game, there is bound to be a drastic change.
"Defensively, we're returning a lot of the guys we had last year. Goal prevention may have been more of a me issue than a team defense issue," Schneider said. "If I can play the way I know I can, it will obviously clear up any holes for defensive issues we have. I trust our defensemen. They player hard last year, they played their hearts out. We expect the same from them this year."
Schneider tooks his performance last season hard as he told NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale that he thinks his play lost former Devils' goalie coach Chris Terreri his job.
"Personally, it was a tough year all-around in terms of my performance," Schneider said. "It feels a little tough for me because Chris possibly lost his position as goalie coach because of the year I had. I could have done better and player better; it's not a good feeling."
The Devils allowed 2.94 goals per game last season, which ranked sixth-worst in the NHL. Schneider had his worst year statistically with the Devils, posting career worsts in save percentage (.908) and goals against (2.82).
Former San Jose Sharks' D Mirco Mueller has been the only addition to the Devils defense this offseason as GM Ray Shero has been focusing on the offensive side of the puck. However, Schneider believes that defense is a team effort, and the new additions up front can benefit him as well.
"The goal is to add talent at every position. We talked about the forwards and myself bouncing back from last year," Schneider said. "I like the pieces we have on defense. Defense is often times a team effort, so perhaps with more speed and skill up front, it takes some of the pressure off the defensemen, or if we have forwards who defend very well, it can make life easier in your own end."
The Devils took F Nico Hischier with the No. 1 overall pick of the NHL Draft as well as add veteran forwards Marcus Johansson and Brian Boyle to their offense.
Whether or not Shero decides to add more depth defensively, Schneider is confident in the group the team has now, and is ready to go to work with them next season.
"If they make moves or not, that's the team we have, that's who we'll roll with," Schneider said. "We have complete confidence in everybody in that back end."