It's still early in the season and Devils coach Jacques Lemaire is still getting to know his players and they are still getting to know him and the way he wants them to polay
So, Lemaire might not have ripped into his team in the locker room between periods of Saturday's 5-2 season-opening loss to the Flyers and he might not take a hardline stance yet with the players who took extended shifts in that game. Lemaire has no room for leeway, however, when it comes to taking dumb penalties.
That's why he sat enforcer Andrew Peters for the remainder of the game Saturday after Peters picked up an extra unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing with the officials about a roughing penalty with 7:55 left in the third period. The extra minor left the Devils shorthanded for four minutes.
"When Peters got the extra two, he didn't play after that," Lemaire said. "There's certain things you've got to learn quick. He knows. He told me this morning. He said, 'Usually, I don't do this. I just lost it.' I said, 'Well, try to keep it in control.' That's one thing I don't like. If the referee gives you a penalty, you go in the box and that's it. One [penalty] is enough, because the day you might take one, an extra one, and the game will be 2-2 and then we'll lose the game because of this. That's how it works.
"We call this discipline, the old discipline."
The discipline might become as harsh in other areas as the season progresses if the players don't learn their lessons. Knowing when to be hard on a player and when not to is something Lemaire has to figure out.
"That's what you call coaching," he said. "You have to make the right decision. A lot of times it's so important how you do it, the approach you take with the guys -- on a loss, on certain wins, depending on what's going on. I do know that the guys, they try.
"I've got guys who had long shifts. It will be better, more effective, if they have shorter shifts. So, now you say, 'It's not good for you to take long shifts.' And in two weeks, [it's], 'You'll [expletive] sit on the bench [if you take a long shift]. Is that what you want?' If they don't understand, then you've got to go through the act. But, now it's a learning process for me and for them."
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