NEWARK, N.J. -- Of the many difficult decisions New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello will have to make this offseason, replacing the man behind the bench is not one of them for a change.
When Peter DeBoer was hired by the Devils last summer, it marked the team's seventh head coach in seven seasons -- certainly no formula for maintaining some order of continuity and consistency.
But DeBoer made changes for the better. He stressed the importance of puck battles and playing as a five-man unit, how to frustrate the opposition with a relentless forecheck, and outnumbering your opponent to loose pucks all over the ice.
The players bought in and came within two victories of claiming the organization's first Stanley Cup in nine years.