No happy holidays for the Devils and MacLean

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.
Devils head coach John MacLean only made it through 33 games before GM Lou Lamoriello fired him. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Devils head coach John MacLean only made it through 33 games before GM Lou Lamoriello fired him. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the New York Islanders’ win in overtime Wednesday night, they passed the New Jersey Devils in the standings. Now the Devils, predicted in the beginning of the season to be a Stanley Cup contender, sit last in the league with a measly 9-22-2 record. They have a league-worst minus-44 goal differential. To make matters worse, the offense has only scored 59 goals in 33 games.

The Devils are on pace for just 50 points this season. If that holds, it will be their worst season since 1983-84 when they had 48 points, which was only their second season in New Jersey since moving from Colorado.

John MacLean was hired as head coach on June 17 to replace Jacques Lemaire, who retired after the Devils failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year. MacLean lasted only 189 days with the Devils before he was replaced as head coach – by none other than Jacques Lemaire. This will be his third stint as coach with the team, the first from 1993-98 and then in 2009-10.

MacLean had to deal with a team struggling not only in games, but also battling through injuries. Thirty-three different players have skated for the team in their 33 games this season, nine rookies have played and the defense has gone through 12 players.

Not a single player on the team has reached 10 goals this season and only three have more than 10 assists. All but three are a minus for the season, the worst being Andy Greene’s minus-23, closely followed by Ilya Kovalchuk’s minus-22.

Speaking of the $100 million-man, he has only recorded 8 goals and 10 assists in his 32 games, no where near his totals from years past. He is currently on pace for just 46 points, good enough for the worst season of his career.

Devils fans have seen their Christmas wish lists go from winning the Stanley Cup to getting into the playoffs, and have now settled on holding on to a coach for more than a season.

Lemaire will be coaching the team Thursday night as they battle for last place with – you guessed it – the Islanders.


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports

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