After a cool 9-22-2 start, including losses in the last two games to Atlanta and Washington, beatings the Devils took like redheaded step-children, John MacLean was let go as Devils coach this morning. The Jersey City Desk learned exclusively early today (but then quickly shared with the world cause that's how our sports desk rolls) that Jacques Lemaire will bring his exciting brand of trap hockey back to Newark as interim head coach. GM Lou Lamoriello made the call to let MacLean go.
Look, it wasn't John MacLean who signed Ilya Kovalchoke to a $100 million dollar contract because he had a big man-crush on him. No, that was GM Lou Lamoriello. So great of a decision it was that when Illy was a healthy scratch in games very early in the season the Devils had to play roster positions short. Johnny watched the Pittsburgh game at the Rock on a Monday afternoon horrified that the Devils had open roster spots. It's one thing to see a depleted bench if a couple guys get in a brawl or a couple get hurt but utter salary cap mismanagement to the point you're not playing with a full roster ain't the coach's fault. Yes we know Zajac got hurt but boo hoo, we're willing to bet Detroit survives with Pavel Datsyuk out for a month with a broken hand (It would have been better if he'd broken it on Corey Perry's ugly Duck face). This miserable season was over by mid November. That was not MacLean's fault. There seems to be a real schism somewhere deep inside the Devils dressing room. Something isn't right and it's pulling in opposite directions to the point the Devils look lost on the ice most nights. Maybe it's time for Marty Brodeur to kick some garbage cans over and make an impression on some of the loafers.
It's time Lou, it's time to open Crazy Lou's GM Swap-n-Save and collect a whole bunch of new talent and draft picks in trade for, as they say in the book biz, your remainders. Nobody wants to be here, you're behind the New York ISLANDERS in the standings and your fans deserve guys willing to lie in front of shots if that's how they need to win.
It's always darkest before the dawn, and Devils fans, it could be worse. The Rock could start sounding like this after Devils goals and then people would throw rocks and garbage at you.