As reported by Rich Chere and Tom Gulitti, Lou Lamoriello does not plan on making any moves before Friday’s match-up in Ottawa.
This is a surprising message considering Jamie Langenbrunner’s claim that “change is coming.” With Detroit coming to Newark on Saturday, the Devils better hope they come out of Ottawa with two points. The team is currently 15 points out of the 8th spot in the East which would be an impossible hill to climb if not for the fact that it is still relatively early in the season.
Last season, the Carolina Hurricanes struggled so much in the beginning that having the best record in the NHL in the second half could not get them a playoff spot. The Devils cannot let themselves fall into that deep of a hole. The lineup looks like it will remain the same as well come Friday.
Tom Gulitti reported that Anssi Salmela is near ready to return to the Devils but will most likely play a few games in Albany for conditioning. Fraser, Josefson, and Taormina are still a ways a way while it appears that Bryce Salvador has fallen farther into the abyss.
I have two scenarios that I am playing out in my head. The first is that Lou thinks this season is salvageable and will make a move very soon to “right the ship.” The other is that he will stand pat; ‘status quo’ if you will.
Right now it seems as if he has given up and will wait for the offseason to make some moves. I hope that is not the case. As much as we have said that ‘this game is a must win’ or ‘if the Devils lose the season might be over,’ they still have a chance. If they string together a couple wins it would be a good start. 3 of 4 again, 4 of 5. Who knows. It starts with Ottawa on Friday. But again, if they lose… the season might be lost as well.