NHL coaches not so sweet on Lou

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Other than Lou Lamoriello, there isn't another coach in the NHL who wants the Devils to succeed in the playoffs.

Lamoriello's decision to fire coach Claude Julien with three games left in the regular season hasn't sat well in the NHL coaching fraternity, many of whom would love nothing more than to see New Jersey fall flat.

Sure, Lamoriello, who is also the Devils' president and GM, has the right to run his team however he sees fit, but there hasn't been any explanation why Julien, an Ottawa native, was given the boot by the Devils on the eve of the playoffs.

"I just don't know of any coach in the NHL who wants (Lamoriello) to win," an Eastern Conference coach said yesterday. "What he did makes it look like anybody can step behind the bench and try to do the job. It just doesn't make any sense."

Julien, who is still working for the Devils, has moved to Ottawa but wasn't expected to be in attendance last night for Game 3 at Scotiabank Place.

DON'T TOUCH OT: There has been a lot of debate in these playoffs as to whether the NHL should change the format of overtime because games are dragging on. While competition committee members Brendan Shanahan of the Rangers and New Jersey's Martin Brodeur told the New York Post they favour change, they might want to listen to their comrades in the NHLPA before rushing to a decision. In a survey of 90 NHL players (three per team), in this week's edition of The Hockey News, 85% said the overtime format should remain the same. There have been suggestions that the NHL should go to a 4-on-4 format so you don't end up having marathon games like the double-OT affairs held in New Jersey and New York on the weekend. "What are you going to do? Go to 4-on-4, then 3-on-3 and then after two periods go to a shootout? Forget it," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. He's right, this is not a minor hockey tournament. "I don't think the NHL should change it. I'm more of a traditionalist. I like to see those games," said Ottawa C Jason Spezza. Senators GM John Muckler, who's seen a long OT game or two in his career, doesn't support a change, either. "Those are the games you remember." Ottawa RW Chris Neil said he'd only like to see a change after a period of 5-on-5. "You don't want to change it up too much," said Neil. Spezza made a good point, though. He said if the rules of OT are going to be kept the same, then back-to-back games should be eliminated. "Can you imagine if you play a long overtime and then you've got to play the next night? I don't think that's right," said Spezza.

OFF THE GLASS: Senators Fs Mike Fisher, Mike Comrie and Peter Schaefer were facing a lot of questions yesterday about their playoff struggles. Fisher and Schaefer were without goals going into last night's game while Comrie scored twice against the Penguins. Fisher said they're not worried, but they have been assigned the job of trying to stop the EGG Line (Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta). "We're trying our best to get some offence," said Fisher, "but we're playing against a big line right now and we're trying to make sure we play well defensively. But we know the offence has to come from everywhere. That's how we're going to be successful. It's not like we haven't had chances. Definitely, it will come." ... Gomez said he's been impressed with the play of Ottawa G Ray Emery in the playoffs. "At some point, you have to look at what Emery is doing, he's coming up huge for them," said Gomez. "He's making a name for himself and this is time of year where that's what you want. You want to have a guy who is going to earn a name for himself. He's doing that." ... By the way, Gomez has a lot of respect for the Senators and their fans. "They're at home and they're feeling good about themselves," said Gomez. "This is a tough building to play in. This is a great atmosphere here."


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