Things certainly have not gone the way the New Jersey Devils planned thus far this season. Added to all the hysteria of the "Summer of Kovalchuk," the Devils had a rough training camp, as the team had the salary cap cloud hanging over them, figuring out who would have to be moved from the team to allow the team to fit under the salary cap.
When Bryce Salvador came down with a concussion, a temporary fix was available, and the Devils didn't have to move anyone, but were right up against the salary cap, and only allowed the Devils 20 skaters for opening night.
Since Opening Night, the Devils have lost the likes of LW Brian Rolston (sports hernia), D Anton Volchenkov (neck/nose), D Mark Fraser (hand), all came down with significant injuries and will miss a good amount of time.
And now, D Matthew Corrente was sent back to New Jersey to deal with a broken hand, and C Jacob Josefson will miss Friday night's game against Anaheim with a sore hand. With both Fraser and Corrente, it was a fight that caused their hand injuries.
So, thus far, the Devils can't score (17 goals in 10 games), can't fight and can't put together a good 60-minute effort. Is there any question as to why they are 2-7-1?
If you can believe it, with the way things have gone, it's almost a surprise things aren't even worse for the Devils, if that is even possible. That's why rumors out there about the job security of head coach John MacLean are a little premature.
It's not time to panic yet, but then again, it's getting pretty close to that point. Under no circumstances do I see MacLean being fired before Thanksgiving, and more likely before the New Year, and that's assuming the Devils stay in this descent of lackluster performance.
This is a team that hasn't exactly been in a typical situation for any head coach, let alone a rookie coach, so MacLean definitely deserves to be cut a lot of slack here. But, that will only last so long.
I'm still confident this team will turn it around, but the time to wait needs to end. It must start, and begin tonight with their matchup against an inconsistent Ducks team.
Regardless of the actual outcome, the Devils need to show a full 60-minute effort tonight AND tomorrow night. If they do that, the results will begin to show as well. If not, perhaps MacLean should begin to worry a little bit about his job security.
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I also will be on vacation next week, so you won't see any articles from me until after November 8th... Until then, Let's Go Devils!!!