Jump to content
SportsWrath

Lamoriello fires Julien


RaginCaucasian
 Share

Recommended Posts

Lou's gone nuts!

 

Devils' advocate

Lamoriello does it again with late coaching shakeup

Posted: Monday April 2, 2007 4:23PM; Updated: Monday April 2, 2007 4:33PM

 

For the second straight season, Lou Lamoriello takes over behind the Devils bench after the incumbent coach leaves.

 

The New Jersey Devils, unique as a snowflake, again took conventionality by the scruff of the neck and shook it hard. With three games left in the season, the first-place team in the Atlantic Division, winners of four of five, fired their coach, Claude Julien.

 

For an organization that is built on a weird kind of stability, president Lou Lamoriello, stepping behind the bench again, sure likes to mess around with his coaches. Since Robbie Ftorek succeeded Jacques Lemaire in 1997-98, New Jersey has had six different men behind the bench, including Larry Robinson and Lamoriello, twice.

 

While making a switch late in the season can be a disaster -- general manager Phil Esposito turfing Michel Bergeron just before the start of the 1988 playoffs and doing the coaching himself didn't exactly catapult the New York Rangers to glory -- it worked out swimmingly for Lamoriello in 2000 when he sacked the tightly wound Ftorek and replaced him with Robinson's gentler hand. Robinson's Devils won their second Stanley Cup that spring.

 

In the ever-turning mandala that is pro sports, bad cop follows good cop follows bad cop behind the bench. If there is any logic behind Julien's firing, it is precisely that: the coach simply was too nice with a team that Lamoriello thought was in need of a mega-dose of tough love heading into the playoffs.

 

The Devils, as noted, do things their own way. No voice mail when you call their offices; you speak to an actual person. No personal photos of the family on employees' desks because they are viewed as possible distractions. And suck-the-oxygen-out-of-the-room hockey. (Not that there are enough fans at the Meadowlands rink to asphyxiate. The three-time Cup champs have not quite figured out that in addition to being in the hockey business, they are also in the sports entertainment business.)

 

When Julien suggested during training camp he was hoping the Devils could play an uptempo game with a hard forecheck, he was quickly disabused of the notion by some of the veterans. The Devils have an identifiable style as surely as the Phoenix Suns, although not nearly as much fun: trapping New Jersey plays defense first, starting with goaltender Martin Brodeur, and generates offense off turnovers.

 

In New Jersey, the new coach, who formerly worked for the Canadiens (and more on Lamoriello's fascination with the Montreal organization another day), shouldn't have tried to change the lyrics in the hymnal.

 

Lamoriello certainly has enough coaching smarts to run the bench, ably assisted by John MacLean and Jacques Lapèrriere. (He took over the job relatively early last season after Robinson's resignation and kept it the rest of the year despite his announced intention of finding a full-time coach. I chided him last January that he was looking for a new coach the way O.J. Simpson was looking for the real killers. Lamoriello seemed to get a kick out of that.) And he has the Devils' complete respect and attention. No question, there is an additional layer of accountability when the boss is peeking over the hired help's shoulder.

 

Certainly Lamoriello is gambling in returning so late, but he is playing with house money. He is the house, a man who is as closely associated with his franchise as anyone in sport. To knock off the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators and, yes, the blossoming Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs, New Jersey really will have to play The Devils' Way.

 

Now the architect of the franchise gets to see if the elevator runs to Stanley's top floor.

 

:wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This makes no sense whatsoever. He pulled the same thing last year and it sparked

the team at the end of the year and in the first round of the playoffs as they spanked

the Rungers, but they crumbled against the Hurricanes. I really don't understand why

they don't open up the offense more, I think Elias/Gomez/Gionta, could score a heluva

lot more if they were turned loose. Actually, I think Parise, Brylin and Zajac would

make a great line if they opened it up, with Langenbrunner coming in periodically and

on power plays to shoot it from the blue line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This makes no sense whatsoever. He pulled the same thing last year and it sparked

the team at the end of the year and in the first round of the playoffs as they spanked

the Rungers, but they crumbled against the Hurricanes. I really don't understand why

they don't open up the offense more, I think Elias/Gomez/Gionta, could score a heluva

lot more if they were turned loose. Actually, I think Parise, Brylin and Zajac would

make a great line if they opened it up, with Langenbrunner coming in periodically and

on power plays to shoot it from the blue line.

I don't get it, the team was going neck & neck for 1'st with Buffalo before the injuries hit. Now because they are 5 points back Julien gets the axe? They won 4 of their last 5 and are getting players back, if Lou should be pissed at anyone it should be himself for making them play an AHL defenseman all year in a starters spot (Greene, Oduya, ect.) because he couldn't manage the cap properly. If you want to place blame you should look at what has handicapped the team the most, first are injuries which there is damn little you could do about, then there would be personell.......... and who is in charge of that? The GM, not the coach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get it, the team was going neck & neck for 1'st with Buffalo before the injuries hit. Now because they are 5 points back Julien gets the axe? They won 4 of their last 5 and are getting players back, if Lou should be pissed at anyone it should be himself for making them play an AHL defenseman all year in a starters spot (Greene, Oduya, ect.) because he couldn't manage the cap properly. If you want to place blame you should look at what has handicapped the team the most, first are injuries which there is damn little you could do about, then there would be personell.......... and who is in charge of that? The GM, not the coach.

Totally agree, Julien did a great job with what little they had.

Lamoriello's just power hungry, didn't care for Julien's laid-back

style and needs to be in control. This will have no positive

affect on how far the go in the playoffs. :TD:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...