The New Jersey Devils, Jacques Lemaire, and You

Dobber Sports

2009-11-11

Parise

 

You draft players to your fantasy squad, not coaches.  But coaching obviously can alter a team's on-ice personality and impact their performance. So what happens to a team when a defensive-minded coach takes over?

 

Let's take a look at how Jacques Lemaire's return to New Jersey has affected your beloved Devils.

 

A Tale of Two Teams

 

Let's start with some team stats.  The 2009-10 New Jersey Devils have amassed 22 points thus far, and sit in 4th place in the Eastern conference, two points behind the leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

So far this season, Lemaire's Devils have earned the following statistics:

 

  • Goals For Average: 2.40 (25th)
  • Goals Against Average: 2.40 (1st)
  • Shots on Goal per Game: 30.4 (16th)
  • Shots Against per Game: 27.4 (5th)
  • Penalty Minutes per Game: 10.5 (26th)

 

In 2008-09, Brent Sutter's Devils finished the season with 106 points and in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. They racked up the following statistics:

 

  • Goals For Average: 2.90 (tied for 15th)
  • Goals Against Average: 2.52 (4th)
  • Shots on Goal per Game: 32.9 (4th)
  • Shots Against per Game: 29.5 (15th)
  • Penalty Minutes per Game: 12.9 (22nd)

 

Even with this cursory glance, it is obvious that the team has improved its defensive stats, but equally obvious is the decline in offensive numbers. For example, if the current goal-scoring pace continues, then the Devils will score 41 fewer goals this season. That's not encouraging news if you are the proud owner of one of the stars who may have scored the lion's share of those "lost" goals.

 

Falling Stars?

But before we panic, let's take a deeper look into the numbers to see exactly how the change in the team's priorities has affected its scoring stars.

 

Here's a breakdown of the top four point producers from both seasons, starting with the 2008-09 skaters.

 

Players

2008-09

GP

2008-09 Goals