New Jersey Devils Make Major Coaching Shakeup Amid Down Season

As the NHL season enters the last stretch of the year, the Devils have parted ways with head coach Lindy Ruff amid a disappointing season.
Apr 24, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff coaches against the
Apr 24, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff coaches against the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils have officially fired head coach Lindy Ruff and namd Travis Green as the team's interim HC. Through 61 games the Devils are currently 30-27-4 sitting outside the playoff picture.

This is a sign of how fast the league moves, as a year ago Ruff led the Devils to the second round, was a Jack Adams nominee, and receivied a contract extension.

While the Devils have certainly been one of the more disappointing teams in the NHL this season, part of the blame should fall on general manager Tom Fitzgerald. The team entered the season with shaky at best goaltending as well as a young defensive core that lost Dougie Hamilton early on leading to further struggles.

This is a clear attempt by the Devils to shake things up with hopes of salvaging any playoff hopes. The team is eight points back of the Lightning and Red Wings with two games in hand on the Lightning for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The team can further raise any chance of reaching the playoffs this week by adding at the trade deadline. The team has been heavily linked to Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom with a trade seeming all but done between the teams before falling apart. The Devils will need to add a high-caliber goalie at the trade deadline if they have any hopes of making a deep playoff run this summer.

Goaltending cost Lindy Ruff his job with the Devils

The story around the Devils all season has been the poor goaltending the team's gotten. New Jersey had a three-way split in net between Vitek Vanecek, Akira Schmid, and Nico Daws with the group combining for a 3.49 GA/G and a .891 save percentage much below league average.

The Devils have a promising young defense core that will get better with experience, making adding a goalie the top priority for this organization going forward.