He had his hand forced by a certain douchebag, so I'm not going to bury him too much. But if his read is off on this team I would not be totally surprised. This did not strike me (post-a$$hole, at least) as a team you could have ANY clear read on.
The on paper team looks good without Kovalchuk even. 4 solid lines that can produce points, and a deep defense. The problem is, that Deboer isn't playing the right players, and him constantly switching players in and out is hurting the chemistry. Chemistry isn't needed to win the Cup, but when you have a team with no superstar players, the team is gonna need balance and depth to succeed. In order to get that, you need chemistry. The 4 lines become more important than the 12 players.