Tag: John MacLean

Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique

Elias credits Henrique for another strong season

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New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias has had a long career of putting up big numbers and to this point this season he’s put up 51 points.

For Elias it’s the 12th time in his career he’s had 50 or more points. He gives a lot of credit for his production to Adam Henrique as Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger shares.

“It’s also helped me by playing with Rico for the majority of the games and having something constant on the line,” Elias said. “Look at my first 40 games. I had two or three breaks in between because of injuries. You always fall out of rhythm, so that played a role. And I played with a different guy almost every night.”

Consistency and having a guy who’s also having a strong season in Henrique makes a lot of sense for how well Elias has done. Having Czech countryman Jaromir Jagr in the locker room has probably helped as well.

Elias is the most prolific scorer in Devils history. Hitting 50-plus points 12 times in his career is five more times than either Kirk Muller or John MacLean did it. Henrique is following the 37-year-old nicely with 43 of his own points and a team-leading 25 goals.

If ever there was a guy for the Devils to keep Henrique glued to it’s Elias.

Is the NJ-Florida series proving that Tallon was right to dismiss DeBoer?


It’s rare that you lose your coaching job with one team and then face them in the first round with your new squad less than a year later. That’s what happened to Peter DeBoer though, who was dismissed by the Florida Panthers only to be hired by the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils were coming off a disappointing 2010-11 campaign where their strong finish couldn’t make up for their poor start under former head coach John MacLean. So DeBoer does deserve credit for guiding the Devils back to the playoffs.

That being said, New Jersey is one game away from elimination and the obvious question is how much of the blame DeBoer deserves.

NJ.com blogger Steve Chernoski argues that DeBoer is struggling to adapt on the fly and his attempts to do so have resulted in futile line shuffling. Chernoski’s “biggest criticism is that once the Panthers get a lead, they go into a shell and DeBoer cannot concoct a plan to beat it.”

It’s worth noting that DeBoer shuffled the top line several times with the Devils trailing in Game 5 to no effect.

DeBoer’s biggest accomplishment in this series was probably his decision to stick with Martin Brodeur in Game 4 despite his struggles in the previous contest. Brodeur responded by earning his record-breaking 24th shutout, but even a relatively solid game from Brodeur wasn’t enough to save them in Saturday’s 3-0 loss.

Now DeBoer has some big decisions to make and he’ll need to coach a good game on Tuesday to force a Game 7.

Ex-Devils coach MacLean preps for awkward reunion

John MacLean

Tonight, Carolina assistant John MacLean faces the Devils for the first time since being fired last year.

Remember that? GM Lou Lamoriello canned MacLean two days before Christmas, mostly because of his 9-22-2 record (though running afoul of Ilya Kovalchuk probably played a part). New Jersey then proceeded to go on a tear under new head coach Jacques Lemaire.

So yeah, tonight shouldn’t be awkward at all — though to his credit, MacLean is trying to downplay how strange it’ll feel.

“I’m sure it will be for about the first six seconds,” MacLean told the Star-Ledger. “And then it’s just another team. You have to get focused in on what you’re doing. You can’t get caught watching. You have to be prepared and help out any way we can on the bench.”

It’s not fair to say the Devils completely tuned out MacLean last year…but hindsight being 20/20, they weren’t exactly tuning him in. He was a rookie head coach in charge of a massively-paid star (Kovalchuk), strong veteran personalities (Martin Brodeur, Brian Rolston, Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner) and a thinned-out blueline. As Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski put it, “[it] was like asking a rookie transit cop to take down a Mexican drug cartel.”

That said, it’s not entirely surprising MacLean resurfaced as an assistant in Carolina. He’s good friends with head coach Kirk Muller and did have some success coaching Lowell of the AHL prior to his disastrous stint with Jersey.

“I’m not sure you ever get peace,” MacLean said of how things ended with the Devils. “It’s part of the game. It’s part of the learning experience. You learn from it and you move forward. Now I’m moving forward and I’m excited about it. I don’t look back. I look forward. This is a good opportunity for me and right now that’s what I’m focused on.

“For me to be involved with Kirk in this situation is exciting. I’m looking forward to it. This is a team that’s had some struggles, but it has great potential. I think we’re going in the right direction.”

Elias becomes New Jersey’s all-time leading goalscorer

Patrik Elias

It was a special evening for Patrik Elias last night, and not just because his third-period marker proved the winning goal in New Jersey’s 5-3 win over Montreal.

No, it was much more than that.

The goal was No. 358 for the 35-year-old Czech, making him the all-time leading goalscorer in Devils franchise history. The goal put him past former teammate — and for 33 games, former head coach — John MacLean.

“It just feels nice,” Elias told NorthJersey.com. “It just feels that you’re doing something right, and it keeps me going. Hopefully, I have a lot more in me, but at this moment I’m enjoying it.”

Here’s the record-setting goal. Chicago Blackhawks fans, please note the egregious defensive-zone turnover by Chris Campoli:

Elias scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 12, 1996, in Boston against Bill Ranford in a 7-4 Devils’ victory. Since then he’s appeared in over 900 games for the Devils, the only NHL team he’s ever played for.

Following last night’s win, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello and head coach Peter DeBoer had high praise for their veteran associate captain, who now leads the franchise in goals, assists (497), points (845), power-play goals (96), game-winning goals (77), overtime goals (15) and hat tricks (8).

“He’s having himself a great year, and he’s had a great career,” Lamoriello said. “And he’s not done yet.”

“The guy’s a winner,” DeBoer added. “He’s one of the most competitive people I know and just wants to win.”

Ken Daneyko says John MacLean is an assistant coach in Carolina (and he is too)

John MacLean, Adam Oates, Brian Rolston, Travis Zajac
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Twitter can be a fun medium for everyone to use and sometimes you get accidental news out of it.

MSG analyst and former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko let the cat out of the bag this morning that his old teammate and former Devils head coach John MacLean would be heading to Carolina to become Kirk Muller’s assistant coach.

With that news out of the bag, the Hurricanes confirmed the hiring themselves shortly thereafter.

MacLean was booted as Devils coach last season just 33 games going 9-22-2 and getting the Devils into such a big hole that they couldn’t recover to make the playoffs after a furious rally in the second half of the season. While MacLean had a rough go as a head coach, his record as an assistant in New Jersey was a good one and giving Muller an experienced guy and old teammate in his own right will make life a bit easier for him.

The other side of this is seeing so many guys I grew up watching play becoming coaches is making me feel awfully old. Time to lay down or chase the neighbor kids off the lawn I guess.