|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise
I don't think it's any coincidence that the Devils' longest tenured coach happens to be the most successful
coach the team has ever known.
When Lemaire came to the Devils, he brought with him an attitude right out of the Montreal Canadiens'
school, a team he also happened to star for back in the 70s. Back then, the Habs used a type of defense
that, in a nutshell, shut down their opponents' offensive rushes to create counterattack opportunities. It
didn't have a name then. When he coached the Devils, it came to be known as the Neutral Zone Trap.
In order for the Trap to work, you would also need highly skilled defensive players, and Lemaire already
had those players in place on arrival. It was all a matter of getting them to mesh, both the youngins and
the vets alike, something he was adept to doing.
(Editorial: Here's what kills me about the detractors of the Trap. In basketball, the equivalent is a full
court press. The press gets used frequently, for YEARS prior to Lemaire even stepping foot in
New Jersey, and no one bats an eye. But the Devils, and a few other teams in later years, use it,
and all of a sudden, everybody loses their minds, saying that their boring, they're killing hockey, and
all that other bullshit. To them: Hey, if you don't wanna win games and championships, that's your
He brought the Devils one game short of the Stanley Cup finals in his first year, but in his second, that
hump would be passed, and in a convincing manner, too, sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in the finals.
He never had a losing season with the Devils, and only missed the playoffs once... make that twice,
although John MacLean pretty much sealed the fate on #2.
He would leave the Devils when he accepted the same position with the expansion Minnesota Wild that
would start play for the 2000-01 season. He had been there up until 2009 to give it another run in NJ.
He's also the first Devils coach in history to have three separate tenures. He had retired after the 09-10
season was done, but came back to finish the 10-11 season as a favor to Lou Lamoriello before
|Playoff Statistics with the Franchise
|Jacques Gerard Lemaire
Born: 9.7.45 LaSalle, Quebec