New Jersey Devils: Lindy Ruff Decision Likely Waits Til Monday

Head coach Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Head coach Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils season is over. Now, the major decisions start. One big one is what to do with head coach Lindy Ruff. 

New Jersey Devils fans are patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for the team to make an announcement on a head coach. Lindy Ruff hasn’t done himself any favors. There are major issues this season, and the Devils couldn’t stop the bleeding on multiple occasions. The Devils ended the season on a six-game losing streak, the third such streak they’ve had this season.

Tom Fitzgerald has to decide whether he’s in the right position to make this move. He hired Lindy Ruff when he was still in the very beginning of his tenure with the Devils. The two seasons after that haven’t gone as planned in terms of standings. They had a .389 point percentage this season and a .402 point percentage last season. These are the two worst seasons since the first three seasons of the team’s existence in the 80s, and they didn’t get points for overtime losses back then.

The Devils need to decide whether Ruff’s ability to develop can equate to wins on the ice. He was able to get the best out of Jack Hughes, Yegor Sharangovich, Jesper Bratt, and Jonas Siegenthaler. It’s hard to say any other coach would be able to get these specific seasons from those four players. The season before, he got the best out of Miles Wood, Nathan Bastian, and Michael McLeod.

There’s a big difference between a really good head coach and a really good development coach. There is so much more than goes into the process. Ruff hasn’t been able to show he can do everything it takes to be a contender. Ruff has the most coaching wins in the history of the league without having a Stanley Cup. He’s tied with Al Arbour for coaching wins, but it seems like he could be stuck at that ranking for a while.

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Ruff’s a legend when it comes to coaching. He did some great things with the Buffalo Sabres, and he got star power to shine in Dallas. With the New Jersey Devils, it just felt like the wrong fit. However, the Devils aren’t going to just let him go despite the Detroit Red Wings already starting that trend by letting Jeff Blashill go. They will give it the weekend, and we will see their decision on the coaching staff sometime next week.