Lamoriello: Team must work its way out
“Certainly, there’s no one pleased with where we’re at, whether it be players, whether it be coaching staff, whether it be management, so I don’t think anyone feels good about where we stand,” Lamoriello told reporters on Wednesday. “Right now, it’s not something that anyone is going to panic about. We, very simplistically, have to just work our way out of it. We can’t just do it by hard work. We just have to not worry about anything other than what our roles are and do it together.”
Lamoriello didn't single out any one reason for his team’s 8-17-2 record, but said it’s his responsibility to “find a way to get us out of it.”
He reiterated one of the key tenets of his Hall of Fame tenure in New Jersey: Team success requires players and coaching staff to embrace their role and thrive within it.
If there’s a way out of this rough patch, it starts there.
“Everybody has a role and that’s the most important thing, is everyone accepting their role and doing their role, collectively, because that’s what a team is all about,” Lamoriello said. “And then the end result takes care of itself. We’re not at a point where anybody can worry about any goals that they set or anything whatsoever other than what they have to do at this point.”
The Devils had an active offseason, signing free agents Ilya Kovalchuk, Johan Hedberg, Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov, trading for Jason Arnott and bringing in John MacLean as head coach.
“I never look back on anything that’s done, because what you do at that given time, you do with all the research and homework you have, and you do it,” said Lamoriello. “There’s a lot of variables that enter in to why something happens and why it doesn’t, so you never look back. If you look back, then you’re a really insecure person. You try and look at what your thought process was, how you did it, but you always make decisions never without the right reasons.”
The Devils are back in action Friday in Ottawa.
“We’re here today, every one of us,” Lamoriello said. “This is our team. Right now, what we have to do is look at today, look at what we can do today to get better and get prepared to play against Ottawa. As far as anything else, to me it’s all speculation.”
Lamoriello updated the status of the injured Devils.
Rookie Matt Taormina (ankle) has not played since Nov. 12, but skated on his own on Wednesday.
"He skated for a while, he felt OK," Lamoriello said. "But ankles I worry about because they’re not like breaks when they’re sprains."
Jacob Josefson (hand, Oct. 27): “He’s out of the cast and out of the pins and now working out off the ice, but does not have the green light."
Mark Fraser (hand) has been out of action since Oct. 13 and has resumed skating.
Anssi Salmela (knee): "We’re going to make a decision whether we’ll get him to play some games. He’s been battling quite a bit, he’s been getting the contact. Doctors said he’s probably ready to be put in a game. A game is different than practice."
No change in the status of Bryce Salvador (concussion).