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Pete DeBoer Talks About Season, What Went Wrong

Deboer (3) This is an interview I did with Pete DeBoer on Friday morning at the Ice Palace in Tampa before the morning skate.

We both knew what was going to happen, and you can definitely read between the lines in his answers.

Also, if you want to go back in time, feel free to visit a few of my old posts from back in 2008 when Pete was hired.

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JM the GM and Pete DeBoer Meet the Media

Don't forget to check in here (or Twitter @OnFrozenPond and Facebook 'On Frozen Pond') throughout checkout day on Monday.

Going to be at Incredible Ice early in the morning and will be talking with players throughout the day.

Also speaking with Pete, Dale Tallon and Mike Santos in the afternoon.

Should be a lot of good stuff.

OK, now my interview with Pete DeBoer from Friday:


Looking back at this season, it's a two-part story. Game 1 through 60, we played hard every night, were one of the least penalized teams in the league. We managed to overcome some of the deficiencies we anticipated coming in and that was scoring goals. We moved Nathan Horton before the season but found away to find enough offense to stay competitive every night. We played hard, we played the right way.

Game 60-82 is a second season and obviously when the bubble burst, you go into a different mode, a teaching mode. I read something about Pat Gillick with the Blue Jays in that you can never believe – good or bad – what a non-contending team does during September baseball. It's the same in hockey. You're not as bad as it looks and you're not as good as it looks when you're out of it down the stretch. You have to take that perspective here in our last 20 games.

The effort for me has been there since Day 1 for me. A lot of the deficiencies that we identified early have caught up to us. The No. 1 being is goal scoring. Look at the playoff teams. If you can't score more than one or two a night, you're not going to win. Part of that as a coaching staff, we need to try and manufacture goals. There's no doubt our power play needs to be better. But look at some of the lower power play teams and there's some good coaches there: Barry Trotz (Nashville), Jacques Lemaire (New Jersey). It's a combination of some technical changes, but personnel too.


I have no regrets and I don't have trouble sleeping at night. I know as a coaching staff, we emptied the tank and got this team as prepared as they could be. When I came here, it was to instill structure and accountability. While it hasn't resulted in a playoff appearance or as many wins as people would like or we would like, there's no doubt those things are evident in the way we play. We haven't ducked tough decisions in holding good players accountable. That's all you can do. I'm comfortable with what we've done.


It was so close, but would that have made a difference? Would Jay Bouwmeester have stayed if we got that point? I don't know. You can't have those kind of regrets in this game. You do the best you can. I'm a much better coach today and did a much better job with this team than I did with that one in the first year. That's my take on it.


It was a tale of two seasons. We had a team that just about every publication picked to finish dead last. For 60 games they battled, scratched and clawed. They stayed in the pack, stayed in the hunt. And then there's the last 22 games.

I think Dale has it right. The approach isn't to just get into the playoffs, get the eighth spot and get two home games as you get swept. You want to be in the playoffs and have a chance to actually win. I understand and support the decisions made, the direction they are taking. It's not easy being a competitive person and being on the front lines every day. But that's what you enherit with this job.