New Jersey Devils Mid-Term Report Card

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Nov 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer watches the action during the first period of their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils’ coaching conundrum has been looming over this team since the latter portion of October, when the team seemingly forgot how to play hockey. Following their 3-0-0 start, they either couldn’t score, couldn’t prevent teams from scoring, or combination of both.

More importantly, the team couldn’t stay out of the penalty box, which hindered their ability to play an offensive game. The Devils have been shorthanded 166 times this season in 47 games, fourth-most in the league.

If a team is strategically flawed, and undisciplined to boot, something is wrong not only with the on-ice product, but with the coaching staff as well. Unfortunately, it took Lou Lamoriello 36 games to realize the team needed to replace Peter DeBoer as head coach, putting the Devils in a hole that they will most likely not be able to climb out of this season.

Following the coaching switch, there seemed to be a change in the culture on the ice. The Devils have played a more fast-paced game with Adam Oates running the offense and special teams, and a much more physical game on defense with Scott Stevens at the helm. Although the Devils are 5-5-1 in 11 games under the new leadership, the jury is still out on the Devils’ coaching regime.

New Jersey hasn’t gained any ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race since the switch was made, which leaves no reason to believe the Devils’ coaching staff has succeeded in any way, shape, or form this season.

Mid-Term Grade: D

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