At the time of this post, the New Jersey Devils sit in 9th place. Outside of playoff competition for the second time in 3 years. Some Devil fans are calling for changes, one of which calls for the firing of head coach Pete DeBoer. If you are one of them, you’re an idiot. I defend DeBoer after the jump
I won’t dive too far back in defending him because we’re in a “what have you done for me lately” business. So throw out the argument of getting to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.
We know what the Devils are. Hard forecheck. Semi aggressive defense. Creative offense. (Yes.) Backstopped by a hall of fame goaltender. Defense that is susceptible to the far too often mental lapse or just flat out dumb play. All of which are DeBoer’s stamp on this team, outside the hall of fame goaltender.
The problem this season, really too many Devils seasons, is the lack of goal scoring. Whether its bad luck or terrible shots, the Devils just can’t score for the life of them. The team shooting percentage has plummeted since the beginning of the season when all was going well.
I’m going to say something that may shock you and make you question your very existence.
This team is exactly the same has played the exact same way since the start of the season. They’ve owned play, at times dominating, more often than not. They constantly put shoot the opposition. They constantly out attempt the other team. They control play all game long and are never rewarded.
It’s downright unfair how well this team has played all season, yet are a bubble team.
So where in that is DeBoer’s fault? He has a system that works. It works extremely well. It’s a system that doesn’t need a star player to run. More importantly its a system that wins. If I could have him shoot for the team, I would. It could only help, right?
The problem is the shooting. Not a lack of shots. Finishing. I wasn’t aware a coach is the problem for a player not being able to finish. A huge problem is its a team wide thing. One has to think the puck luck is going to turn gold for the Devils, and it’ll be glorious.
But this nonsense that DeBoer needs to go is asinine. Some may question his personnel decisions but he makes due with what he has. He isn’t in charge of signing players, or calling players up. He’s not why there’s a glaring lack of shooters in the lineup. What he is in charge of is getting the team to play a certain way, which they do.
They do not need to start the coaching carousel again. Peter DeBoer is a good coach. He’s one that I want around for a long time. I don’t understand why anyone would feel otherwise.