After “Ruff” Start To Tenure, Devils Fans Show Respect To Head Coach

Amazing what one month can do for New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff.

During the home opener, Devils fans chanted “Fire Lindy” as the team put up a lackluster performance against the Detroit Red Wings. The Devils started the season with extremely bad optics. This came from Ruff walking out on a postgame press conference after being asked about Jesper Bratt’s sixteen minutes of ice time against the Philadelphia Flyers at the season opener. Moreover, Devils fans had enough and voiced their displeasure for Tom Fitzgerald to make a change.

Was this chant by Devils fans classless and stupid?

No. It was simply a Jersey-style tough love stern message sent to the head coach, coaching staff, players, and the entire organization. Devils fans expect much better and held everyone involved accountable with this “Fire Lindy” chant. Barely two games into the NHL season, the team looked like they were jockeying for a higher draft lottery position for the rights to Connor Bedard. The time for results is now, not the future.

By the third game of the season, the Devils were down 2-0 to a rebuilding Anaheim Ducks at home in the first period. When Ondrej Palat scored to cut the deficit in half, the Devils went on a tear and have been mostly outplaying their opponents ever since. Right now, the Devils are riding a nine-game winning streak. This has them on top of the Metropolitan Division.

When the team was about to close out another home victory against the Arizona Coyotes, Devils fans chanted “Sorry Lindy” as a sign of respect to their head coach. The Devils have gone 12-1-0 since wanting Fitzgerald to give a pink slip, and the fans deserve credit for the team’s recent success. The 7th skater can have an absolute psychological and performance impact on any hockey team. The energy of a sellout crowd can help lift a team from the division basement to the mountain’s peak. Moreover, the hard-line approach by the devoted Devils faithful held the organization responsible.

And Ruff accepted the fan’s apology after the game. Ruff said, “Some day us and the (Devils) fans will have a beer and laugh about that one.”

And we’ll have a seat waiting for you Lindy, at American Whiskey.