Now that the forwards are done let’s take a look at the New Jersey Devils‘ defenders, the incredible amount of goalies used, and the coaching staff.
Fortunately for the fans, the team had the same rating of its coaching staff and both assistants have been let go. While Lindy Ruff is still in his position as head coach, various reports are pointing to a 50/50 possibility he returns for next season. The team showed problems that related to the system all season, especially on the defensive end where they left players open in front of the net alone time and time again. No other team had this problem at this rate and none of the newer players to the team did it early on but it slowly crept into their games as the season went on.
When it comes to special teams, both were terrible with the powerplay finishing 28th at 15.6% and the penalty kill managing to get up to 14th at 80.2%. The PK got off to an awful start and did improve, but at this point, we should be happy it didn’t save anyone’s job. As for the PP, it let in an NHL leading 14 shorthanded goals. That speaks for itself. Everything that could be said has already been said, and it is and was time to change it up.
As for Ruff, with the names that could be available, including Barry Trotz, the Devils should be interviewing other head coaching candidates right away. There is also the chance to get Bruce Boudreau if he is let go. Either of these two would be a massive upgrade.