While the New Jersey Devils’ future is uncertain, one aspect for certain is that Blake Coleman would thrive under a Lou Lamoriello regime.
Former New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall is slowly exiting the team’s top five rankings for points on the year. Yes, the 2017-18 Hart Memorial Trophy winner can still ink himself across online platforms for the Devils.
Blake Coleman surpassed Hall on the scoring list after the heart and soul of New Jersey netted his first career NHL hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The contest witnessed the Devils trail Toronto 6-1 at one point during the early stages of the third period, lose to the Leafs by a final of 7-4 and also offered fans an Auston Matthews hat trick.
The producers who wrote the film Goon couldn’t even write this type of script that the Devils have illustrated for the fans this season.
While most fans are pleased with Coleman’s play – it can be worrisome at times knowing he’s scoring hat tricks and is a top scorer, when the reality is that he’s better off and more suitable as a role player for a club; and not a skater who should be relied upon in that fashion on nightly basis. It’s a fair question to ask if Coleman would be this productive on a legitimate playoff contender, no?
With that being said, let’s give credit where it’s due and save that argument for another occasion – because where would New Jersey be without Coleman’s work ethic and admirable journey to advance to the NHL level?
Probably in last place instead of third to last in the Eastern Conference, but No. 20’s hat trick on Tuesday also proved that Coleman would have been, and still could be, a great fit under a Lou Lamoriello regime.
Lamoriello proved for decades that the same type of hard-working and overlooked player like Coleman would earn an opportunity for his team’s top-six forwards and potentially thrive. More seasons than not, so did the “boring” hockey teams he assembled.
Look no further than Lamoriello’s final season with the team in 2014-15 when skaters such as Jordin Tootoo and Steve Bernier appeared that they could still produce and skate effectively with ice time. Now, well, that was a worrisome time for Jersey – a team with zero-depth within the organization.
That’s not to say Coleman is a veteran at the end of his career, because the 28-year-old isn’t portraying those signs. In fact, in a dark year, the former Lamoriello third-round draft-pick (2011) has provided a sense of enlightenment and delivered memories of what it meant at one point in time to succeed in a Devils sweater.