Peter DeBoer

Devils’ DeBoer: Job security ‘doesn’t even cross my mind’

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After a streak of 10 consecutive losses essentially ended his club’s playoff hopes, Peter DeBoer said he isn’t thinking about losing his job.

“Doesn’t even cross my mind,” he told Tom Gulitti of “In the reality of pro sports and hockey it’s not an unfair question.

“It happens all the time, but at ground level where I’m working I don’t think about that and I never have.”

DeBoer probably doesn’t need to worry all that much. He had an outstanding first year on the job in 2011-12, winning 48 games and taking the sixth-seeded Devils to the Stanley Cup finals.

As for this year’s struggles — well, they’ve largely been out of his control.

Injuries to Martin Brodeur and Ilya Kovalchuk were crucial, as was a team-wide scoring slump during the losing streak, the likes of which GM Lou Lamoriello admitted he’s never seen before.

“Very seldom do you ever see a group as a whole go in a drought,” Lamoriello explained. “Quite frankly [the slump] is one of my unique experience right now because I haven’t seen something like this.”

Of course, DeBoer also knows the age old adage:

Coaches are hired to be fired.

He lasted all of three seasons in Florida before being shown the door, and works for a GM in Lamoriello that’s known for his coaching decisions.

Lamoriello fired Claude Julien in late in the 2007 season, even though the Devils led the Atlantic Division and had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

He turfed John MacLean 33 games into the 2010 campaign — MacLean’s first year on the job — and replaced him with Jacques Lemaire. Lemaire, of course, was the guy MacLean was brought into replace.

(All told, Lamoriello has made five coaching changes since 2009.)

Despite all this, DeBoer remains focused on the task at hand, and that’s winning hockey games.

“My mindset is we do the best possible job we can to prepare our team and win and other people decide whether that’s good enough or not,” he explained.

“It’s out of my control.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.