New Jersey Devils in Desperate Need of Change


The 2014-2015 season for the New Jersey Devils has not gone according to plan. I think many Devils fans, including myself would like to know just exactly what the plan was for the Devils at the start of the season. More than 30 games in and the best west to describe the team’s performance is, “inconsistently consistent.”

Watching the Devils this year is incredibly frustrating, not just because they lose more often than not but also because of their performance each game. This team lacks talent, leadership, and the hunger needed to be a Stanley Cup contender. They have a

scoring problem

, correction they actually have a shooting problem since they can’t seem to get shots on net in the first place.

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When you are consistently out-shot, outplayed, and do not show a consistent effort game in and game out it means there need to be some changes made.

The New Jersey Devils are an organization that typically doesn’t have “re-building” seasons and wants to win the cup every year. The Devils need to make some moves this year to avoid this season turning into a complete disaster. When you think of all the past great New Jersey Devil teams you think of a few key factors; a strong confident coach (Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, Pat Burns), leadership on the roster (Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Jamie Langenbrunner) and skilled/clutch players (Claude Lemieux, Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias). It has become blatantly obvious that this team lacks all three of those key factors and that changes need to be made to get back to being a true Devils Stanley Cup caliber team.

Fire Peter DeBoer

One of the key factors I mentioned above is having a strong and confident head coach. Earlier this year I wrote an article about why the Devils shouldn’t fire DeBoer, but it has become clear that the Devils problems are not just due to a lack of talent. A coach who cannot motivate his players and who accepts mediocre performances from his team while praising them in defeat needs to go.

Pete, if you can’t see that certain players aren’t pulling their weight and you keep playing them instead of giving someone else a chance (Marek Zidlicky getting beat like a rented mule and taking a penalty every game should be sitting instead of Eric Gelinas) then we have a problem. Earn the respect of the fans and command more of the players or step down as head coach because no one cares anymore that you coached the 2012 team who made it to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost.

Develop or Acquire Leadership

Nothing personal against Bryce Salvador, but he does not come off as a captain of a hockey team. The other issue of leadership with this team is the seemingly lack of support for teammates that are victims of a cheap shot or for Cory Schneider when he gets run into on a game to game basis. Where’s the urgency to protect the goalie? How about dropping the gloves to stand up for a teammate? You don’t need to be Cam Janssen to stand-up for teammates and that needs to be preached or players need to be brought in who buy into that mentality.

Address the Scoring Problem

The Devils habitually get out-shot in most, if not all of their games this season. How many more losses is it going to take before the Devils give younger guys in the AHL a shot or try to trade for some scoring threats? At this point you have nothing to lose by giving younger guys a shot and the fans are really getting tired of watching or going to games just to see the Devils barely put up around 25 shots a game.