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Brodeur: “Our big weapon is the coaching staff”

May 8, 2012, 11:11 PM EDT

Peter DeBoer AP

In the first round, some New Jersey Devils fans blamed head coach Peter DeBoer for the team’s struggles against the Florida Panthers. Considering the seemingly total advantage the Devils generated against the Philadelphia Flyers in a five-game series triumph, the opposite might be appropriate: maybe DeBoer was the difference. Perhaps he out-coached Peter Laviolette.

Martin Brodeur probably agrees with that sentiment – or at least holds DeBoer in high regard, as he told Tom Gulitti.

“Our big weapon is the coaching staff,” Brodeur said. “They prepare us [and] make changes to our system better than a lot of the coaches that I had in the past.”

Interesting stuff. One can imagine GM Lou Lamoriello shaking his head vigorously at this sentiment being that he developed a reputation for firing head coaches like hot cakes. (He even stepped behind the bench late in one season because of his itchy trigger finger.)

Hockey is a sport where coaching is becoming increasingly sophisticated, but the Devils’ tradition of success might create a “chicken and the egg” argument regarding DeBoer’s impact. Still, one cannot help but marvel at the Devils’ NHL-record penalty kill – which included decent time for supposedly defensively lacking star Ilya Kovalchuk – as one obvious example of his success. Attribute it to drafting as much as you want, but the development of younger contributors like David Clarkson and Adam Henrique is hard to ignore as well.

Combine DeBoer with NHL greats-turned-assistants in Larry Robinson and Adam Oates and it makes sense that Brodeur would provide such rave reviews.

Ultimately, coaches are judged based upon results more than anything else across sports. In that regard, DeBoer is looking like a big success (or “weapon”).

  1. maalea - May 8, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    You’re slipping there Jimmy boy, no way to put in some of your anti Flyers bias?

  2. jimw81 - May 9, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    The coaching staff that brought back the dead puck era

    Welcome Back Dead Puck Era II

  3. vindicatus - May 9, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Do you even actually watch hockey, or do you just like the color orange?

    • jimw81 - May 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

      yes i do watch hockey all the time. Yes, I am an flyers fan and i thought better team won. I made a point that a hockey fan would observed seeing. The game has done complete 360 after Boston vs Vancouver game in boston. Refs stop calling penalties in general and just calling stick fouls. Then it grew into incompetency in mis-suspensions or non-worthy suspensions by Shanaban and refs making blown calls on and off the ice. They can’t even manage the game clock correctly.

      If you watch Flyers vs Devils series, all the defensive set plays and defensive game plan was done perfectly when Larry Robinson was the Head Coach and what does he do now with Devils? He’s the defensive coach. Deboer isn’t really coaching that team,it’s a Larry Robinson Team of let’s trap you to death and play puck possession hockey to not let skill or speed dictate play in the game.

  4. billsin20xx - May 9, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Pegula – TAKE NOTE! coaching matters!!

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