From the desks of:
RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS & THE BRICK CITY DEMONS
Battle of the Hudson - II
New Jersey Devils
NEW YORK RANGERS
33rd Street at 8th Avenue
When you own a track record like Lou Lamoriello's, it's hard to question his judgment. The architect of 3 Stanley Cup champions and 2 more Eastern Conference champions, sharpened his ax again, and this time swung it at coach Peter DeBoer.
That makes 16 head coaching changes by Lou Lamoriello since he took office in 1987. Jacques Lemaire served as coach on three different occasions, and Lamoriello twice put himself behind the bench before settling on a replacement.
I liked DeBoer; I thought he was a good coach, and feel he was more a victim of Lamoriello's recent poor drafting, poor cap management, which of course led to his failure to retain key players.
Look no further than at the team's present reliance on Jarimir Jagr. He is the poster boy for an old, slow, and otherwise injured team.
That's on the GM, not DeBoer.
The mumps have also come knocking on the Devils locker room doors, only adding to their troubles this season.
A furious stretch run and an appearance in the Cup Finals against the Kings perhaps overshadowed the true need to start reshaping the roster.
On that note, the Devils are in the midst of their 4th straight poor start, and have failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons.
Lou Lamoriello will once again place himself behind the bench tonight when the Rangers host the Devils at MSG. However, assisting him will be Adam Oates (who will be charged with the forwards) and Scott Stevens (who will be charged with the defense).
Lamoriello's said this will be a short term plan.
After getting off to their own sluggish start, the Rangers appear settled in. They will be looking to extend their winning streak to eight games tonight.