I was on the anti-DeBoer side at the beginning of the season, but the team's improvement has forced me to somewhat reconsider. I'm not fully eating crow, but here are some thoughts.
1) I thought the team quit earlier in the year. I was wrong. They were uncomfortable, but as the last couple months have shown, they're clearly trying. Good job by DeBo keeping the locker room, even when very little was going right.
2) He's done damn near everything right with the forwards. At this point, we know who we can trust, and whom we can't. He may like Gionta more than many of us, but none of the replacements when Gionta got hurt exactly lit it up. Hopefully, Cam gets benched when the team gets healthy, but DeBoer's done a great job getting productivity out of guys like Cam. Way to make the most out of a bad situation.
3) His big test will be how he handles the young players when the team gets healthy. Having to use Gellinas (and Larsson in a bigger role) because of injuries not only benefited those players, it benefited the whole team. We have to hope that when Sal and Larsson get back, DeBo doesn't go back to playing the old guys because they're experienced. IMO, if/when the d is healthy, Larsson, Gelly, and Greene absolutely need to play. Otherwise, there should be healthy competition for the other three spots. I have no problem with sending Merrill back down for seasoning. He's still got work to do, but I don't want to see Zid, Volch, and Sal get free passes at Fayne's expense, and I don't want to see Gelly lose minutes.
All in all, I'm somewhat impressed with DeBoer, but also somewhat concerned.