DeBoer's a decent coach, I like his style, I won't fault him for Lou's errors but what irks me is how vets have no accountability but young players, especially if their European, get crucified for minimal errors, or no errors at all. I'm sure he's well liked amongst vets but I would love to hear what Larsson, Josefson, and Loktionov would have to say about him in private. I get that a coach at this level isn't trying to develop players but can you honestly tell me that Larsson isn't an upgrade over half the D? That Loktionov can't bring more offense than Carter or Gionta? That Josefson isn't better than Gionta?
My big problem right now is that Lou seems to have gone soft and is going through the motions at his age. Devils coaches that have done more have been let go in the past. The logjam of D hasn't been cleared in well over a year. The minor league/prospect system hasn't been strong for what seems like a decade. I know it's sacrilegious to call for his head, which I'm not necessarily doing, but I don't think getting some fresh blood into the front office/scouting department is going to be the worst thing in the world. It seems like the Devils organization is treading the waters of mediocrity. The cup run really seems like it was more luck than anything now.
I don't expect anything out of this year's team so whatever happens, happens. I do hope that they get a new coach for next season though.
Pete DeBoer has coached for 3 seasons. This is the longest anyone has coached the Devils since Lemaire from 94 to 98. Which is utterly insane for a franchise this successful - if anything Lou has been way too quick on the coaching firing trigger, mistaking PDO blips for serious downturns in play that need remedying with another coach. Either that or he's not particularly good at picking coaches, which suggests that he should stick with one who's had some success.
I'm sure Loktionov, Josefson, and Larsson don't like DeBoer. I don't really think that's germane - what's more germane is do they deserve the treatment they've gotten from the coach, and I think in every case, yes, though Josefson is probably the worst case.
- Larsson was not playing well at the end of 2011-12 and his benching was earned. In 2012-13, again, didn't play particularly well, and the team had too many defensemen, so out he goes in some games. Unfortunate consequence of having a healthy D corps. 2013-14, he was playing rotten at the beginning of the year and so he sat. He came back and played better and was no longer being scratched. It's not utter caprice. DeBoer's not responsible for his having been demoted to the AHL.
- Josefson has played 97 games as a Devil for Pete Deboer. He has 3 goals and 11 assists. These are barely acceptable numbers from a 4th line center. It is unfortunate that the pucks bounced the way they did last year and that Josefson was sent down as a result, but he was given a very large role when he came back. I wouldn't say he struggled with it but he did not excel either.
- Loktionov was the team's 3rd line center at the beginning of the year. He was given power play time when there were injuries. It's only recently that he has been sat - unfortunately after probably his best run of games, but that run didn't result in any goals for his line. Still, whether DeBoer changed Loktionov's responsibilities or he is not playing as well, he's not dogging the puck like he was last year. He's been basically a break even type player when you consider ZS% - his play in the defensive zone is not good, and hasn't really improved this year. You could see DeBoer's frustration with it in a recent game - Loktionov won't be an NHL player if he plays the D zone like he has.