Jacques Lemaire's return to Devils coach has certainly raised some eyebrows around the league, but I believe that his return is a positive for a Devils in a season full of negatives.
For one thing, Lemaire will surely tighten the Devils up defensively. For a team with decent dmen, Lemaire will help return the Devils to a counter attacking style that helped the team win 48 games and finish with 103 points last season. The team allowed only 191 goals last year.
Lemaire will also bring accountability back to a team that has been missing it for the past 33 games. When John Maclean benched Ilya Kovalchuk earlier this year, it seemed like a misguided way to handle a situation that was growing worse by the day. This act hurt Johnny Mac's status. Many fans called for a use of common sense by the Devils. Lemaire has proved consistently throughout his career that he knows when to "push the right buttons" when coaching. Jacques has always proven that he can win even if his team does not have the most talent (see Minnesota Wild coaching career). As the Devils groom some of the younger prospects and call them up, I believe that having a proven, respected coach will help an ailing team.
So do the Devils improve record wise under Lemaire? Who knows? Only 49 games will tell.