When the Devils hired Peter DeBoer to be their new coach last summer, some wondered what Lou Lamoriello was thinking bringing aboard a guy who didn’t exactly do great with the Florida Panthers for three seasons.
Fast-forward to now and Lamoriello looks like the smartest guy in the room all over again as DeBoer has the Devils in the Stanley Cup finals. DeBoer tells Dan Rosen of NHL.com the team buying into his system despite not having been a former player helped make things easier for him.
“You get the job because of a belief system. I think that’s what Lou saw,” DeBoer said. “And, I think when you believe in how the game should be played and you have the conviction in that, I think it sells itself. I don’t think there was any premeditated salesmanship. I just think it’s the fact that you believe how the game should be played. You have a conviction in that, and I think that the players see that and they bought in.”
How the Devils have played has helped kill the idea they’re the boring trap-it-up team they used to be in the 90s and early 00s. Instead it’s been pressure forechecking and strong offense out of Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, and others that helped make the difference. That’s no mistake as DeBoer has stressed that aspect to the team and they’re all bought in now.