Friday, March 28, 2008

Can Brent Sutter Survive Spring Swoon?

1) Now, normally it would be idiotic to believe that a playoff bound team's coach would be in trouble, but these are the New Jersey Devils, and more specifically Lou Lamarello. It is actually the exact time of year when Lou fires his coaches; right before the post season. It worked once when Robbie Ftorek was relieved of his coaching duties before the 2000 post season when his replacement, Larry Robinson guided the team to its 2nd Cup.

2) Last year when the Devils unexpectedly dismissed now-Bruins coach Claude Julian with only 3 games remaining and the team seemingly in better position than it is now, it didn't quite work out as well with Lou himself taking over and losing in the second round to the Senators in 5 games. It would seem that this result would dissuade Lou from making this kind of move once again, but the way the Devils have been playing lately it would surprise no one, especially the players who have grown accustomed to coaching turmoil in Jersey despite their significant on ice success the past 13 years, that Lou would fire yet another coach before the playoffs.

3) The Devils are in a bit of a funk right now, having won just 4 times in the past 10 games, falling out of the division race and now fighting to stay in the top 4 (assuring themselves of home ice in the first round) In fact they have yet to even secure a playoff spot, and the way the teams below them have been playing lately Sutter's sextet better get their ship righted else 'The Rock' may be empty after next week! Therefore if we were Sutter we wouldn't be feeling all that secure right now!


Hooks Orpik said...

As an outside observer, I think Lou makes those moves because he's very in tune with the pulse of the team and he's certainly shown he's not too shy to make a bold change.

I could be wrong, but I don't think Sutter has lost the team's respect or ear. Coaches don't go out there and win or lose, all they can really do is keep the team as conditioned, focused and ready as possible. IMO Sutter isn't the reason they're in a rut, it's the players just not executing.

For a team that's close to being #1 in the East, they've been shutout 10 times. Unless LL thinks he can replace Patrik Elias and become a scoring winger, I don't know what his plan is this spring.


1) The Ftorek firing, although surprising at the time, wasn't as big a shock as last years dismissal of Julian.
2) Ftorek was disliked intensly by the teams' star players, almost to the point of a revolt
3) Julian, on the surface anyway, appeared to be well liked. Perhaps too much? It seems Claude is doing a pretty decent job with the B's.
4) We agree that a coach is only as good as his players. He can't score for them. However, as Lou is known for making the bold move in the past, we would not be surprised to see a change made to try to 'save' the season.

T. Lloyd said...

I think Julien has done a fine job with the Bruins this year. New Jersey's loss is our gain I guess.
I don't think they make a move this time though.

The Dark Ranger said...

Brent is doing everything Lou tells him to do....he 'aint going no where.


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