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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: Jacques Lemaire

Getting It Done in Minnesota

That is what both the organization and its fans are going two months into the season.

The Minnesota Wild currently find themselves tied for first in the Western Conference with the Chicago Blackhawks as both clubs have 31 points (As of this writing…November 29, 2011). With a new head coach and a few new faces in the lineup, this definitely was not expected in Minnesota.

With that said, however, it is easy to see why the team has been successful so far. The team has shown offensive depth, has fed into new head coach Mike Yeo’s system and is getting excellent goaltending from its tandem of Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.

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  Tags: dany+heatley, devin+setoguchi, jacques+lemaire, josh+harding, matt+cullen, mike+yeo, mikko+koivu, minnesota+wild, niklas+backstrom, pierre-marc+bouchard, todd+richards

What Jacques Lemaire Has Done for the Devils

When the New Jersey Devils fired head coach John MacLean back in December, the team had hit rock bottom.

The Devils were last in the entire National Hockey League, not getting production from Illya Kovalchuk, not getting the goaltending they needed to succeed and more importantly, not playing typical Devils’ hockey.

Fast forward a month and half later and the Devils are playing some of their best hockey, this time under “new” head coach Jacques Lemaire. With their strong play of late, the team is now just 12 points back out of a playoff spot. Sure, it may still seem like a long shot but with the way that Lemaire has his team playing, one can certainly not count out the New Jersey Devils.

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  Tags: illya+kovalchuk, jacques+lemaire, john+maclean, new+jersey+devils

A Pain to Play Against - The New Jersey Devils

This is what teams in the NHL are currently finding out when taking on the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils’ may be one of the league’s worst teams record-wise but lately, they have found their game. The team is currently on an imressive 8-1-1 streak and is making life tough for their opponents.

Many hockey pundits and Devils’ fans alike are wondering why they are playing this way now when they should have been doing it all along. In my opinion, here are the reasons why the Devils have gotten their game together:

Jacques Lemaire

It was obvious that the Devils’ struggled under first year coach John MacLean. Sure, Lou Lamoriello hurt him with cap space issues due to the Illya Kovalchuk deal and there were also several key injuries (Zach Parise). No matter which way you look at it though, MacLean could not get the team to succeed under him.

In steps Jacques Lemaire to replace MacLean and things changed for the better for the Devils. The team is back to playing a smart defensive system and Lemaire is getting the most out of his players. Sure, he probably will not be able to get the team into the playoffs but he will certainly have his club playing competitive hockey up until the beginning of April.

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  Tags: brian+rolston, illya+kovalchuk, jacques+lemaire, john+maclean, new+jersey+devils, patrick+elias, travis+zajac, zach+parise

This Week’s Questions

Much like I did last Friday, I am going to list a few questions related to what’s going on in the hockey world.

Please feel free to post your thoughts on the following questions in the comment section of the blog:

- Will the St. Louis Blues make the playoffs? Why or why not?

- What is happening to the New Jersey Devils? Why are they struggling so much?

- Is this the last hurrah in Minnesota for Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire? If so, where do you think he will end up coaching next? Why?

- Have the Montreal Canadiens finally righted the ship after a dismal February and early March? What have they done differently?

- Does anyone really believe that Philadelphia Flyers’ netminder Martin Biron can lead his club to the Stanley Cup?

- Are the Chicago Blackhawks good enough to make a deep run in the playoffs?

- Do the Detroit Red Wings have good enough goaltending to get them back to the Stanley Cup Finals?

Let’s hear your thoughts!

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, jacques+lemaire, martin+biron, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, st.+louis+blues

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