Lou Lamoriello

Lamoriello says he has no regrets firing Julien from Devs post


Six years ago, Lou Lamoriello made a fateful decision.

With just three games left in the 2006-07 regular season and his Devils tied for first place in the Atlantic Division, Lamoriello pulled a stunner by firing head coach Claude Julien, jumping behind the bench himself.

Even though the move could be questioned now — the Devils were bounced in Round 2 that postseason, Julien has won 256 games since taking the Bruins gig in ’07-08 and he Devils have 250 wins over that same time period — Lamoriello says he has zero regrets.

“No [regrets], because I made the decision at that time with the information I had in front of me,” Lamoriello told The Star-Ledger. “If you could go back and make decisions again, knowing what you know now, things would be different.

“You can’t look back. You’ve got to trust the position you’re in and the information you have. Nobody else has that information.”

Since leaving New Jersey, Julien’s had immense success in Boston.

The Bruins have made the playoffs in each of his six seasons at the helm, winning nine playoff series in total while advancing to two Stanley Cup finals, winning once (2011).

What’s more, he’s provided stability behind the Boston bench. With this year’s dismissals of Lindy Ruff in Buffalo and Alain Vigneault in Vancouver, Julien became the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL, behind only Nashville’s Barry Trotz and Detroit’s Mike Babcock.

New Jersey, meanwhile, has gone through a number of coaches during that stretch: Lamoriello, Brent Sutter, Jacques Lemaire, John MacLean, Lemaire again, finally, current bench boss Peter DeBoer.

The Devils GM acknowledged that Julien’s a good head coach who did well during his time in New Jersey.

But again, no regrets.

“There’s no question he did a good job for us,” Lamoriello explained. “There are always circumstances why things are done.

“You do things for reasons and you never look back.”

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.