Pete DeBoer Is Right Whether You Like It or Not-updated

I have no ownership of this image. Via ESPN-google search.

 

I’ve noticed a lot of questioning regarding Pete Deboer’s coaching decisions; specifically, his most recent decision(s) to scratch Adam Larsson seemingly every other game. My response:

At the beginning of the year when everyone was begging for Larsson to start I said:

“He’s young; let him watch in the press box and learn. There’s no harm in that. Let him watch the game and learn.”

The coaching staff eventually put him into the lineup after being a health scratch for the first 5 games to start the season.

And he flourished.

Looked like a top-2 defenseman on the team along-side Andy Greene.

Then, when the team started to struggle because the season wore on, when key players got hurt and the occasional bump or bruise was picked up along the way, Larsson’s game went from “best in his time with the Devils” to “meh, you look like a worse version of Mark Fayne.”

Fayne’s game, mind you, has been solid (compared to guys like Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov), but the Devils want, actually need, more than that from Larsson; they need the Larsson they saw in the first 20 games of the season; not this recent stretch of 15 meh games from him.

For the playoffs, they need a well rested, mentally ready, at the top of his game Adam Larsson. Resting him now while the Devils are still in 7th so they can ride him and Greene and Fayne (and with the recent play of Zidlicky, hopefully him too) throughout the playoffs is a good, smart move.

Updated- April 5th

Following their loss to the Boston Bruins last night, Pete DeBoer had this to say about Adam Larsson:

 

Playoff Hopes Are On the Line:

For the remainder of the season. To guarantee themselves a spot right now, the Devils would have to go 9-3. What they really want to shoot for: 7-4-1. That’s currently a 95.5% chance to make the playoffs.

But the wins need to start tonight; they are due for a win in Boston (have lost their last 5 in Boston).

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