First off I want to start off this post by saying I am definitely a fan of Pete Deboer. After this incredible season that Devils had, I don't think there are many fans out there that are not. After the dismal "dark ages" Deboer took the reigns and turned this team into a Stanley Cup finalist, and had it not been for our special teams (surprisingly including the PK and not just the PP), we probably would have been enjoying "summer with stanley" right now... but that is a topic for another discussion and not for this post.
What I wanted to discuss in this post is what has been kind of bothering me all summer long. Like that itch in the back and roof of your throat that you can't get to with out swallowing your tongue, I'm constantly being nagged by the thoughts of how much of last year's success can be credited to PDB? Much to my suprise, earlier this off-season we lost two main staples to the coaching core, Adam Oates and Larry Robinson. Oates has moved on as a new head coach, which is quite an upgrade from the position that he had with the Devils. Does this move speak for itself? Did the Capitals see something in Oates that I didn't? I can't say he did that great of a job with the PP. So why the "promotion"? I'm not doubting his contributions to this past season's success, but still head coach?
On the other hand the loss of Larry Robinson doesn't require an analysis or question as to how huge that is. So now what worries me is, how much of the stanley cup run should we credit to PDB? How big of an impact did Oates and Robinson have this past season? Can we do it again with out Oates and Robinson? And that is why I feel that this season is much more important that last season for Pete Deboer. I'm not saying that it's stanley cup or bust, but I do believe that he has to have another great season.
It's an uphill battle again, unlike last year where he had to overcome obstacles like taking over a team and learning the players and teaching them his system, this season brings on new ones such as the loss of our fearless captain Zach, and of course the aforementioned losses Oates and Robinson. I'm not exactly saying he's not the real thing, but maybe I am not as convinced as I once was. That doesn't mean I'm not a fan of PDB, but just a little skeptical. So I post the quesiton.... What do you all think?