Home > Analysis > Locker Room Leadership Key To Devils’ Turnaround

Locker Room Leadership Key To Devils’ Turnaround

Jamie Langenbrunner and other veterans need to step up and lead the Devils turnaround. Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP Photo

At this point, we all know where the New Jersey Devils stand – 14th in the Eastern Conference, fourth in the Atlantic Division, and near the bottom of the NHL.

Despite the struggles, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said it’s the current group of players that needs to fix the situation. The decision wasn’t met with much happiness. This current group of players seem incapable of breaking the skid. They’ve admitted to being frustrated and not having fun playing the game.

The Devils need to bear down and focus to turn things around. They have a veteran locker room, and the key is for that leadership to show through and pick up the burden.

The Devils currently have five former captains and two former alternative captains on the roster. Every offensive line and two defensive pairings contain players who once held important leadership roles. While it doesn’t take a letter on a sweater to be a leader, these are guys who are experienced in the daily responsibilities of being one of the leaders. Each of these players suffered through losing streaks and difficult times in their extended roles. But each of them have helped their teams to relative success. It’s those experiences they need to lean on now.

The Devils need their veteran leaders to rally the team. This isn’t a call for another players only meeting. This is a call for responsibility and accountability in the locker room. Players need to push each other now and motivate their teammates. I’m not asking for fights during practice and sticks broken in frustration. Rather, the leaders need to step up and remind everyone to work on the little things. Communication on the ice, defensive assignments and energy levels are some of the biggest issues facing this team. These are things players can correct themselves, and the leaders need to reinforce that.

The fate of the Devils rests in the hands of its veteran leaders. There’s only so much coaching and skating drills the team can do. The locker room leaders need to step up and force teammates to accept responsibility for the terrible season. Hopefully they’ll figure out how to motivate each other and turn this thing around.

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Categories: Analysis
  1. December 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

    When a team is playing and losing soooo badly then the last thing that should happen is for any of the players to get a day off from much needed practice. the devils need stability as EVERYONE here preached not too long ago. i do think langenbrunner and the other leaders need to step up and are to blame also for not performing.

  1. December 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm

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