3 Reasons Why Peter DeBoer Is a Jack Adams Award Snub
New Jersey Devils first-year head coach Peter DeBoer has led his team to the Stanley Cup Final.
The hiring of DeBoer was a somewhat quiet event this offseason, but it seems as if Devils' General Manager Lou Lamoriello once again knew exactly what he was doing.
In his first year with the team, DeBoer led this New Jersey squad to a record of 48-28-6 and now has them fighting for the biggest prize of them all.
While voting for the Jack Adams Award, the NHL's Coach of the Year, took place several weeks ago, experts and fans of the league alike are beginning to realize DeBoer may have been a massive snub for the honor.
This playoff season, DeBoer has shown himself to be completely deserving of the award.
Here are three reasons why Peter DeBoer is a massive Jack Adams Award snub.
First-Year Regular Season Success
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Let's start off with really the only stats that can be used against the voters of the Jack Adams Award as they choose the candidates directly after the regular season.
DeBoer took over a Devils' team that missed the playoffs for the first time in over a decade in 2010-2011.
He not only made New Jersey a perennial winner once again, with a record of 48-28-6 with 102 points, he introduced a completely new system.
The offensive strategy DeBoer implemented during the regular season had New Jersey playing a different, unfamiliar brand of Devils' hockey.
However, unfamiliar is not always bad.
Under DeBoer's system, New Jersey was able to put to rest the idea that they could never find the back of the net consistently.
While it is understandable that DeBoer was overlooked due to the regular season success of some other candidates, I believe DeBoer should have been chosen in place of Ottawa's Paul Maclean.
Ability to Utilize Star Players
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Before the arrival of DeBoer, New Jersey's superstar sniper Ilya Kovalchuk was having a tough time figuring out exactly how to fit into the Devils' defensive orientated system.
However, this year DeBoer has Kovalchuk playing possibly the best hockey of his career.
Kovalchuk bought into DeBoer's balanced system, where everyone is held responsible for their play in both ends of the rink.
Kovalchuk still produced offensively, he had 37 goals and 46 assists for 83 points, but also played very well in the defensive zone.
DeBoer can be credited at least somewhat for the development of Kovalchuk's game as an all-around player.
Also, DeBoer has found a way to utilize the skills of his captain Zach Parise. DeBoer recognizes Parise is a high-energy player and has preached a style of play that caters to his skills.
The high-energy forecheck the Devils' head coach has devised allows Parise to employ his magnificent speed in the offensive zone.
Successful Postseason Adjustments
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The several adjustments Peter DeBoer has made this postseason have been subtle, yet simply genius.
To start off, the forecheck.
After a Game 1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, the Devils needed to modify their game.
DeBoer knew exactly what needed to be done.
The Devils' coach put forth a forechecking system that had his forwards constantly attacking the Flyers shaky defense.
It led to New Jersey winning the next four games of the series and quickly ousting Philly from the postseason.
Another strategy against the Flyers was to stay away for any dirty play. The Flyers tried to draw New Jersey into some chippy play, but DeBoer's Devils would have none of it.
DeBoer has been able to tweak his lineup to get its optimal amount of production throughout these playoffs.
After Game 1 of the Philadelphia series DeBoer decided to add rookie defenseman Adam Larsson to the lineup, for a much needed offensive punch.
Larsson ended up notching a goal in Game 2 in what would be the beginning of New Jersey's dominance of Philadelphia.
Also, in the Eastern Conference Finals, DeBoer scratched veteran Petr Skyora in favor of youngster Jacob Josefson. The move seemed suspect at first, however, it solidified New Jersey up the middle mightily against the speedy Rangers.
And lastly, DeBoer has crafted a tremendous fourth line.
DeBoer has been able to utilize Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter to their full potential. They have scored a combined nine goals this postseason while only averaging around 10 minutes of ice-time per night.