Saturday, December 27, 2014

Devils: Free At Last, Free At Last... Wait a Minute...

(Shown: A well-endowed woman and a big boob.)

After nearly a year of me hoping it would happen, and after half a season of me writing, "How many more games, Lou?" on Facebook and Twitter...

New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello has finally fired head coach Peter DeBoer.

As Balki Bartokomous (played by Bronson Pinchot) would have said on Perfect Strangers, "Now, we are so happy, we do the Dance of Joy!"

Or, as Dr. Martin Luther King might have said, "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

That joy didn't even last 24 hours: This morning, we found out who the Big Bald Cheapskate named to be head coach before tonight's game with the despised New York Rangers.

No one.

Instead, 3 men will be behind the bench, none an official head coach: Lou himself, club legend and former assistant coach Scott Stevens, and former Devils assistant coach and a legend for a few teams (none of them the Devils) Adam Oates.

This setup will be in place against our most hated rivals -- in their building, so you can imagine the pisstakes that the Scummers will have in The Garden.

To put this in perspective: Imagine...

* Before a series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, George Steinbrenner firing Art Howe as Yankee manager, and hiring Gene Michael, Mariano Rivera and Jim Edmonds.

* Before a game against the Patriots at Foxboro, Woody Johnson firing Rex Ryan, and handing the reins over to John Idzik, Marty Lyons and Marshall Faulk.

* Before a North London Derby against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Ivan Gazidis firing Tony Pulis and, instead of going back to Arsene Wenger (whose equivalent here would be Jacques Lemaire), hiring himself, Tony Adams and a far smarter version of Michael Owen.

Yeah. It's like that.

I had presumed that, since Jacques Martin -- currently in the Pittsburgh Penguins' front office, and former head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and St. Louis Blues, and formerly head coach and GM of the Florida Panthers -- had been watching the Devils' last 3 games with Lou in a luxury suite at the Prudential Center, he would be the new head coach. Maybe he still will be, because the setup in place for tonight's game against The Scum can't possibly be a long-term solution.

And I was prepared to give any new head coach a pass on criticism for the rest of the season. After all, anything that goes wrong now -- short of said as-yet-hypothetical head coach turning out to be a felon -- could be blamed on the cluelessness of Peter "De Bore," or on the Devils' stacks of injuries (now further complicated by the NHL's weird mumps outbreak having stricken Patrik Elias, now the club's most accomplished player with Martin Brodeur gone -- remember, what Jaromir Jagr's done, he didn't do for us).

Any new head coach? Many Devils fans were calling for Dan Bylsma, who guided the Penguins to back-to-back Finals including the 2009 Stanley Cup win. Some even wanted John Tortorella, whom we despised when he was Ranger head coach.

But there's an old saying: "You can't replace somebody with nobody." Today, the Devils replaced a nobody with 3 somebodies. How can that possibly work?

In the immortal words of Harrison Ford, "I've got a bad feeling about this."

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