All Hell Breaks Loose in Jersey
I will be taking a break from posting after this, but it must be said.
For years under Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey Devils have been one of the most stable franchises in the NHL. They have been successful (on the ice) and they have managed to stay in New Jersey despite having the highest prices in the league, an old arena, and competing with the likes of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers for fans.
What has happened in the past 48 hours?
First, let me take a step back. This aint the old Devils. No Stevens, no Neidermeyer hurts. This isnt as much of a “team” as it used to be. There are players that exhibit the same work ethic as before: Madden, Pandolfo(amazingly NO PIMs), Gionta. Some additions are playing well: Brown, Kozlov, and whatever rookie comes in to play.
The Devils recently announced that Patrik Elias is back practicing. For him to be on the team when ready, salary needed to be dumped. They shipped McGillis to Albany. Here is the timeline.
1) McGillis shipped to Albany. Elias returns to practice.
2) Larry Robinson calls it quits.
3) Vladimir Malakhov retires.
4) Lou Lamoriello coaches Devils at practice.
5) McGillis returns to the Devils.
This has been the WACKIEST day I have exerpienced as a fan of the Devils. I cannot believe all of this has happened in such a short time span. The model of consistency on and off the ice has just broken down.
Maybe this is the moment I have been waiting for. The Devils have finally hit ROCK BOTTOM. There is no other place to go than up right now.
Why can they only go up?
1) CAP PROBLEM SOLVED. No one is waiting to be traded. There might be trades by the deadline, but no one is concerned about being the “salary cap casualty” anymore. This should let the whole team settle down. The players are here to stay (like em or not) and that should help boost team morale and maybe get them to gel a bit.
2) They have been playing like absolute crap this whole month. No regulation wins (2 shootouts). The PP has been TERRIBLE and the main reason why they haven’t won without going to SO (blown 2 OT PPs). With the players knowing they are staying, they can work on whats wrong.
3) Lou Lamoriello behind the bench. It is working in Calgary, why shouldn’t it work in Jersey? Every player has respect for this man. Well, McGillis might not, but he knows the situation and should be pleased hes not in the minors. There is nothing worse than failing in front of the coach…let alone if he is the GM as well. Now he will know exactly who to move (if necessary) and exactly WHAT he needs in return. This is a huge help.
I can accept the Devils losing games if they play well, especially for the next few days. Their loss to Ottawa was hard to take because they played their hearts out. The Devils have finally hit rock bottom. Their play smells as bad as Fresh Kills (staten island, NYC…had to) on a humid day. Maybe now they can turn it around. The turmoil is behind them. There will be no “cap casualties.” The players can relax and just get back to fixing what is wrong.
In Lou I trust. If the Devils miss the playoffs, they will make it next year. If the Devils make a run, they are in good enough position to make the playoffs.
Time to put it behind me too, and let other people submit news!