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DeBoer believes ‘table is set’ for Devils turnaround

Feb 2, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

Head coach Peter DeBoer works the bench against the New York Islanders during a preseason game at the Barclays Center on September 21, 2013 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.The game is the first professional hockey match to be held in the arena that is slated to be the new home for the Islanders at the start of the 2015-2016 season.
(September 20, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils find themselves ranked 13th in the East on Sunday after losing three of their last four games, yet head coach Peter DeBoer provided the Newark Star-Ledger with a rosy big picture outlook.

“We’re in a good spot. I believe we’re in a good spot and that’s not just lip service,” DeBoer said. “We’ve played the most road games in the conference. We’ve got 16 at home and 10 on the road left. Our schedule– from an opponent point of view– is never easy because there are no easy teams, but it’s not as difficult as it could be. So the table is set for us to make a move here. We just have to do it.”

Those who value possession stats will add that the Devils are strong in those categories (and seem to be victims of bad puck luck) to boot.

Friday’s loss to the Nashville Predators provides a decent microcosm of the good and bad for New Jersey. Jaromir Jagr had another strong night and Cory Schneider looked solid in net, yet the Devils allowed David Legwand‘s game-tying goal with just 11 seconds left in the game before Shea Weber won it in overtime.

However DeBoer wants to spin it, the Devils need to squeeze every point that they can out of remaining games after seeing quite a few slip through their fingers.

  1. barkar942 - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    95Cups- where are you?
    What are your thoughts on the Devils chances?
    Do you believe what your coach says?
    I personally think that the only locked up playoff spot in the Metro is Pittsburgh, but I think Jags and Marty may be rentals when they start up again after Sochi.

    • 950003cups - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      The only table being set is the one for DeBoer and Lamoriello’s farewell party.

      • barkar942 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        LOL! I knew you would have a good response!
        Personally, I agree with you. The Lou era needs to come to a conclusion and DeBoer does nothing but perpetuate Lou’s controlling ways.

  2. bayafan - Feb 2, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    I think part of the problem is not naming a starting goalie.

    • devilsarethebest - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      Schneider is our starter in net, that was made pretty clear over the last few weeks. Since the beginning of January the starts have been 12-4 Cory. At this point even DeBoer’s realized that he’s our only chance at the playoffs.

  3. MannySilvers - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    The race for the last few spots in the east is so tight that any team that can find some consistency after the Olympics has a good shot, including the Devils.

    The real thing that drives me insane as a Devils’ fan is the personal decisions the team has made as far as defense. The Devils were playing at their best this year when they were riding they’re good young defenders: Larsson, Gelinas, and Merrill. Now those guys barely play (Larsson has been in Albany for weeks) while guys like Salvador and Volchenkov pile up minutes and play terribly.

    At a certain point I don’t care who’s captain and who has larger contracts, the players that give you the best chance to win should play. If the Devils miss the playoffs by a few points I think it will ultimately come down to stubbornness between DeBoer and Lamoriello who refuse to bench veterans who’ve played poorly all year. They’ve finally made the right call giving Schneider the starting role over Marty, now do the same for the defense.

  4. hazlydose - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    If by “we are in a good spot” you mean “we are in a good spot to make a run at McDavid in the lottery next year”, then yes. You are in a good spot.

    • 950003cups - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      You think he’ll be a 2nd round pick? Cause we don’t have a first round.

      • hazlydose - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        You think he’s in this draft? Cause he’s in 2015.

  5. echojester - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    The problem with DeBoer is he can’t let a good thing be. The most production NJ got all year was out of the ZZ-Pops line. (Zajac-Zubrus-Jagr) and he goes and shuffles it for the sake of shuffling. Sends Gelinas down to the minors because he needs to learn to be more “defensive minded” when this teams main issue is scoring and Gelinas lead the team on PP pts. Leave the lines alone when they work! Stop making so many changes and expecting to catch lighting in a bottle.

  6. 950003cups - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    The real problem with this team is none other than Lou Lamoriello. Don’t get me wrong, Lou may be arguably the best GM in all sports. Since 1988, until 2010, he’s built very good teams. But ever since losing Kovalchuk and Parise in consecutive years, he seems to have given up. He’s allowing the overpaid and over aged vets who are just terrible, play over the youth. He’s allowing this team to just fall to pieces. Right out of the playoffs. It’s Lou who’s job it is to fire a bad coach. We all are aware that DeBoer likes to let each coach control his own department. Scott Stevens is not good at this part of hockey.

  7. echojester - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    You can’t pin this on Lou. He has done what he can with what he has been given and endured. Granted the Kovalchuk thing was a dumb idea to pay him that much knowing full well he wasn’t going to live out that contract (granted, no one thought it would be done THIS fast) but he’s still the reason Boucher, Merill, and Gelinas are in the system. He made the trade that got us Schneider and even his “scraping the bottom of the barrel” signings of Clowe, Brunner, Jagr, and Ryder has paid off decently well. Jagr being the huge one. This team is equipped to make the playoffs (I can’t see them making the cup finals, but stranger things have happened) and that’s all a GM can do, it’s up to the coaches to put those players in the right position to win.

    • lateralous - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Lou actually had a pretty good off season in 2013 given everything that happened with Ownership and Kovy but this mess is absolutely his fault. He’s been a marginal GM at best since the 2005 lockout. No one else has lost more free agent talent (Niedermayer, Gomez, Rafalski, Martin and Parise) and no one else has pissed away two 1st round picks (Malakov contract to Sharks and Kovy penalty) for nothing during that same time. Drafting and development has been awful and he’s been slow to adapt to how the game has changed. Look how long it took to get puck moving D-men back in here after Niedermeyer and Rafalski left. Instead he’s overpaying for slow plodding d-men like Volchenkov and Salvador.

      About the only thing he still does well are trades as I can’t think of a trade that has not been a good one in years (Zidlicky, Kovy and Schneider come to mind). Regardless, the overall body of work means it’s time to clean house this offseason IMO and replace Lou, Conte and DeBoer.

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