The Writing Is on the Wall for Lindy Ruff After Fifth Straight Loss

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 09: (L-R) Lindy Ruff and Mark Reechi of the New Jersey Devils handle bench duties against the Florida Panthers at the Prudential Center on November 09, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The time is swiftly approaching for the New Jersey Devils to address head coach Lindy Ruff and the coaching situation following their fifth straight loss Saturday night. After a strong start, the heavily depleted Devils got run over by the Detroit Red Wings in the last two periods to drop the game 5-2.

The Devils seemed lost for the entirety of the last two periods allowing scoring chances often and generating little offense. Ruff took responsibility for the team’s embarrassing performance in his post-game press conference.

Ruff taking accountability for the way the team has been playing as of late really seems like he knows what is coming. With the Christmas break right around the corner, the expectation has to be that Ruff, along with the rest of his coaching staff, will be fired around that break in the schedule.

The Devils have not been the same team since mid-November as they’ve won only three of their last 17 games. Currently sitting eight points out of a playoff spot with a 10-14-5 record, New Jersey’s season is very close to being completely lost.

The Devils clearly possess the ability to play better as seen in the earlier in the year but many of the team’s shortcomings in this stretch fall directly on Ruff’s shoulders. For the better part of the last month, New Jersey has started games flat while getting behind early and failing to make adjustments during the intermission. Add a league-worst power play, operating at 12.5 percent, to the mix and consistent failure is inevitable.

Sometimes all a team needs is a change behind the bench to get their season going. Look no further than Bruce Boudreau and the Vancouver Canucks this season. The Canucks were 8-15-2 when they fired Travis Green and are a perfect 6-0-0 with Boudreau behind the bench. Like Vancouver, a different voice in the locker room may be all the Devils need to get a jumpstart.

New Jersey came into this season with the intention of playing meaningful games down the stretch. If the team continues playing this way with Ruff, that desire will become a complete fantasy by the NHL all-star break.

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