NEWARK — There have been a lot of adjustments for Timo Meier since he began life as a member of the Devils.
There are new linemates to get used to, a new system to learn and he’s still acclimating to the colder weather on the East Coast. Although that last one hasn’t been as hard to get used to.
“It’s a little bit colder, but since I’ve been here, the sun’s been out so I can’t complain,” Meier joked on Tuesday night.
The Devils’ big addition at the trade deadline got his first taste of playing in Newark in a home sweater in New Jersey’s 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Meier started the night on a line alongside Jack Hughes before head coach Lindy Ruff eventually moved him to play with fellow Swiss forward Nico Hischier later in the game.
Tuesday was just Meier’s second game as a Devil after making his debut on Sunday in Vegas. He scored 9:09 into his first game with New Jersey and has averaged 18:10 of ice time through his first two contests, but he’s also taken two in inopportune times.
And for as well as he’s played through his first two games for the Devils, he’s still learning a new system that he called from San Jose.
“I mean, you got to adjust quick. That’s how it goes,” Meier said. “And they’re a good team. I think for me, it’s like I’ve said this before, just keep it simple, learn the system. But you know, there’s some things that, compete and with what attitude you play with, that’s that’s an important thing too. So getting better at the system, but, you know, for now, you just try to just work as hard as I can.”
Part of what has helped Meier has been that he has always tried to play a simple style of game on the ice. It’s what also allows the Devils’ trade deadline acquisition the ability to move between the team’s top six.
Ruff moved Meier alongside Hischier midway through the game on Tuesday in order to get a better flow to the game. The New Jersey head coach felt that he instantly saw a change in the team’s play when he made the switch
“I try to do my best and be a guy that can play with anybody,” Meier said. “I think that’s important. There’s so many good lines here. There’s so many good players and it doesn’t matter who you’re out there with. You want to bring your A-game and you want to show the coach that he knows what he gets when he puts you on the ice.”
Meier is expected to be a big part of the Devils’ run toward the postseason this year. He has quickly had an impact on New Jersey’s offense and Ruff has noticed the effort he’s put in with the team so far.
“He’s working hard, creating opportunities, getting comfortable,” Ruff said. “He was in on those early chances. You know with very little practice time continuity on the powerplay I don’t think is there, but we’ll continue to work on that. I thought he really skated well in the game tonight.”