A day after post-game comments from captain Jamie Langenbrunner fueled rumors of a possible coaching change or roster shake-up, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello threw some cold water on such speculation Wednesday.
As reported by the media, including the Star-Ledger's Rich Chere and the Record's Tom Gulitti, Lamoriello stated that the team is "staying the course" despite early-season struggles that have put a potential playoff berth in serious jeopardy. Perhaps in an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure surrounding the team, Lamoriello stepped into the crosshairs himself:
"Right now for anyone to focus in on one aspect, they can focus in on me. I take responsibility for where we're at right now. And it's going to be my responsibility for me to do everything I can to try and get us on the right path."
As reported on Fire and Ice, it's unclear what Lamoriello is willing to do to get his team back on track:
“We’re staying on our course,” Lamoriello said. “You can take that and go whatever way you want to go. We’re here today every one of us. 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 prepared to play against Ottawa. As far as anything else, to me, it’s all speculation.”
The GM went on to say that he didn't feel you could place the blame for the team's poor play on any single aspect, otherwise it would have been addressed all ready. It seems clear that Lamoriello is giving MacLean as much slack as possible at this point, possibly believing lies with an inflexible roster hamstrung by salary-cap issues. Considering the Devils still have not many any trades to clear cap space, it's a safe assumption the market has not picked up for any of the team's tradeable commodities (Dainius Zubrus et al).
Unfortunately for MacLean, he remains the easiest component to change. Even with public support from Lamoriello, speculation about his job status is certain to keep swirling unless the Devils can get back to winning consistently.