Peter DeBoer’s Devils Bring Bad Name to Once Storied Franchise
The Devils have won three Stanley Cups, in 1994-95, 1999-00, and 2002-03. During that time, the Devils were a powerhouse who did everything right. If only that was still the case.
Now, it seems like they can’t do anything right, and it starts with the head coach. From hiring Head Coach Peter DeBoer, to acquiring Cory Schneider, to failing to capitalize on Ilya Kovalchuk, to an array of other moves, the Devils have gone from a perennial powerhouse in the east, to a team that other opponents look forward to facing.
Moreover, The Devils have missed the playoffs in 3 out of the last 4 seasons and have gotten worse every year, something that has never happened in the history of the franchise, and something that will continue for years to come.
Now, back to the head coach. Peter DeBoer’s resume before coming to the Devils was unimpressive and his time with the Devils hasn’t helped his reputation. DeBoer has been known for his odd game plans, odd starting lineups, and terrible strategy. This season, which has seen the Devils go 11-15-6, has also seen the Devils rank in the bottom 5 in goals per game at 2.28, they also rank in the bottom three in winning percentage when leading after 2 periods at .636, clearly a testament to DeBoer’s ineptitude.
Compared to the Stanley Cup winning and playoff caliber teams coached by Jacques Lemaire and Pat Burns, respectively, this Devils team is shameful, and Mr. Burns who recently passed away would turn over in his grave.
Lemaire and Burns ensured their teams were disciplined and efficient, despite not having the most talented roster. During their Stanley Cup run in the 2002-03 season (Burns), the Devils failed to have a player accrue more than 57 points that season, and despite that, finished well above average in wins (the average was 36, they reached 46), and points (the average was 87, they reached 108). Under DeBoer, during their Stanley Cup run in the 2011-12 season, the Devils had four players amass 50 or more points and ranked only slightly above average in wins, with the average being 41 and the Devils recording 48 wins. Another alarming statistic, in 2011-12 the Devils ranked 11th in goals for and 8th in goals against. In 2002-03, with an arguably worse roster, the Devils ranked 14th in goals for, only three spots back, and 1st in goals against, a full 7 spots ahead of the 2011-12 team.
Yes, DeBoer did coach the team to a Stanley Cup appearance. But that is one bright spot almost 4 years ago in an otherwise abysmal tenure. DeBoer’s reign has seen three stars, Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, and Martin Brodeur all leave. In 4 seasons, DeBoer has coached 244 games, in those 4 seasons, the Devils have averaged about 66 points per year. In a non-strike shortened season, they haven’t recorded 66 points or less since 1988, the franchise’s 6th season in existence.
Ultimately, Peter Deboer is to blame for the Devils woes. He has constantly shown an inability to manage game situations, even with talented rosters. He needs to go and soon, because the Devils are supposed to be a team that wins year in and year out, but that sure as hell doesn’t appear possible any time soon. Devils fans are getting pissed off, and rightfully so, and I hope for DeBoer’s sake, he turns things around, because most Devils fans are ready to run him out of town.