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DevilinLA

Observations from behind the Bench

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Great read mate, watching the game and reading your recap reminded me a lot of 12 months ago just about to the day when i was in LA for the game, except it was more depressing, due to the loss and Parise being injured and sitting out after the first period.

The team looked unbelievable on the ice yesterday, if they play like that for the majority of the season, i will have high hopes!

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nice stuff, cool read!!

I knew the perspective on Palmieri would be negative.. we all know he's gotta pick it up

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Great write-up, I remember the one you did last year, and damn does this sure sound like a 100% different situation. I remember being nearly depressed after reading about your experience last year.

12.) Volchenkov: This guy just sits in silence and contemplated destroying people I think.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Thanks for posting, I always look forward to your recap every year, its awesome to get a perspective from that point of view! Love the stuff on Larry Robinson, they were just talking about him on NHL Live the other day about his philosophy on defenseman's stick work.

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Good stuff about LR, and the fact these guys a pretty tight. I enjoyed for sure

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Seems like Palmieri is putting a ton of pressure on himself to produce. Maybe that's been holding him back? Someone ought to tell him to relax and just play his game.

Awesome write up. :)

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Awesomeness!

You know I noticed the same thing about Larry this season. He's so into it. Is it just Larssen or is it the coaching staff?

I am SOOOO glad he's stepped up. It's healthy to do so, you know? I was going nuts about it all last season. To have this amazing resource being so polite and subdued.

So far I really enjoy DeBoer's style. He's got all this time to see what works for these guys and see what doesn't and he's just getting so set - the prospect for clarity is so strong it's very revitalizing for me as a fan.

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Glad you guys enjoyed this....

A few more observations and memories came back to me today:

1. LAK does a "Hero of the Game" feature (I imagine this is done in other rinks too) where the honor a military vet in the house on the jumbotron. I found it interesting that the guys ALL stopped whatever they were doing the INSTANT this happened stood up and emphatically tapped sticks against the boards. I don't if this is some sort of NJ mandate or Lou policy - but it wasn't ho-hum it was energized. Even the non-native players.

2. Zach spends much of his time on the bench with his helmet off - found that odd for some reason.

3. Of all the D, Larry seemed to give the most instruction of Fayne. Only once did he appear to yell out of concern to make the right play to the D pairs - for Fayne. Fayne got more extensive instruction off the ice by far than nay other.

4. Hedberg definitely has a "game zone" - when he plays zero smiles, laughs or communication - just focus - even during the TV time outs.. Very different than what I remember watching Marty.

5. Many of the players tap Tedenby on the helmet throughout the game and in the tunnel - as a gesture of approval - but often like a young kid. I didn't see this with anyone else. He seems to be like the little brother of the crew.

6. Henrique was the first player in the tunnel - and the 1st out after Moose each time taking the ice.

Just some more little snapshots. If I think of more I'll post - I'm still processing the night.

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this is badass.. like watching a behind the scenes or something.. good work :cheers:

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Very cool writeup, thanks!

That's also really neat about the puck.

I sat around where you sat for the Devils pre-season game in Philly this year, and Andy Greene gave me the game puck at the end of the first period.

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:burn:FAN JOURNAL from BEHIND THE BENCH 10/25/11 NJ vs LAK :burn:

As most of you probably know I usually sit up on the glass when NJ comes to LA.

I wanted to just take a few moments to share some interesting perspective and observations from last game. I usually sit in the 1st row, seat closest to the tunnel.

Here are a few things I noticed:

1.) L-ROB: Having done this like 4-5 times now, I have never seen Larry Robinson SO active in coaching the defense. He yelled out directions frequently, and encouraged each defensive pair each time they came off the ice. The guy must have yelled "Good fvckin' Stick" at least 30-40 times this night. As a sidenote his nicknames for the guys are: Fayner, Sally, Tally, Greener, Tank (Volch), and Adam (just Adam). HE also laughs a lot more than I have ever seen him - particularly with Larsson. He frequently patted AL on the shoulder, huddled with him, and they looked like they were having a ball together. Adam was smiling and laughing a lot as well. I heard him mutter "Kid is fvcking good" a few times only loud enough for the nearest players to hear. He also bitched out a few of the equipment managers for not having Volch and AL's fight strap tied down. He also tossed Kinkaid a stick of gum before the game started and laughed viciously. He was INTO the game (last year he was stoic) - he jumped at every near goal!

2.) D-BO: Quiet as a mouse - no smiles. HE lets Oatsbot2011 do much of the talking and encouraging to guys. Tough guy to read. The quietest NJ coach I've since in recent years.

3.) Cammer: This guy definately adds a dimension of fun and frivolity to the bench. He brings an energy and smiles that the other guys seem to feed off of. He also seemed super happy to be back in an NJ uniform and fed off the crowd encouraging him. When a fan yelled (close to him) "Cam - need to see you drop the gloves!", he responded - "Need to kill somebody" jokingly.

4.)Henrique: Looked nervous on the bench but was getting A LOT of encouragement from ALL the players - moreso than nay other player.

5.)Zach: His focus has sharpened. He would not make eye contact with any fans. In previous years he was very warm and even came out before the game to sign autos. He was fixated in a zone and did not communicate a lot with the other players.

6.)Elias: First off I saw the killed goal develop from almost exactly his perspective - it was beautiful. I can tell that the bench thought it was a pretty goal as they erupted more than any other goal. Patty was thrilled - his celebration last all the way back to the bench and beyond. This is unusual as PE is usually a bit more reserved with goals I've noticed - but he's super hot right now and engaged with the team as well.

7.)Kovy: HE definately seems to not have settled into his role yet as his facial expressions seem to be of uncertainty. I'll admit I'm speculating - but he's not the vocal leader. HE says little, but stands a lot - I sense he really wants to produce more to help but is frustrated. His responses to the coaches were short and sweet - where other players got into more conversations and head nodding.

8.)Moose: These guys love him. His nickname is Heddy. They frequently cheered for him at almost every save.

9.)Napalm: More than any other player Npalm is gripping his stick tightly. He often whines a lot at calls. He replied "Are you fvcking kidding me" after his penalty. - and when he took the penalty Zach came back to the bench and shook his head with a disappointed look. He looks most frustrated lots of frowns and explatives at his own play. I think he knows he's close to being in the doghouse and hasn't found his game yet.

10.)Greene: Looks a lot more confident, a lot more communicative with the other D men - and seems to be showing a little leadership as well. Surprising and awesome. He swears a lot when he gets off the ice.

11.)Clarkson: There is a lot of faith in Clarkie by the others. They tap his helmet a lot and cheer for his boardwork during the play. He smiles a lot on the banch and jokes around. He seems to add an element of fun to the bench that seems to help. He also gave a little girl a puck after the 1st intermission.

12.) Volchenkov: This guy just sits in silence and contemplated destroying people I think.

This group looks much different from last year when Jmac came. They react to every "near goal" (Larry jumps). The stoicism of the last crew seems to be gone - there is much more of a spirit of frivolity than in the past year (probably influenced by the success). I think the mixture of personalities and youth is helping - a lot more smiles, jokes, and having fun with what they are doing. A lot more chatter and comraderie.

Kovy's gloves go back and forth (new or warmed) via the staff at least 5-6 times per period.

When a puck came off the ice and onto the bench during the 3rd period. Zach picked it up - handed to Larry - and Larry kindly handed it to me through the glass on the corner without my having to even make a ruckus! A NICE SOUVENIR! :clap:

:evil: :evil: GREAT GAME! :evil: :evil:

Dude...I love hearing stuff like this....for people who can never be around the players like this...This is amazing to read about man.

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More great stuff, DinLA. Thanks for sharing.

And yes, the Devils also do the "Hero of the Game" thing in Newark, where there's a soldier in attendance who gets a salute from the crowd. Having never sat so close to the bench, I'm usually more focused on the soldier we're saluting or the random knuckleheads (::cough::Habsfans::cough::) who chat it up instead, so it's cool to hear how seriously our players take it.

And the more I see and hear about Henrique, the more I like him.

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Best thing I've read in a long time.

It's been a dream of mine to sit directly behind the bench. Some day...

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Great write!

I have a question though, What is the Back-Up Goalies play or reactions and how he acts on the bench just sitting their for the 60 minutes? Brodeur, Hedberg whoever. Thanks

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Great write!

I have a question though, What is the Back-Up Goalies play or reactions and how he acts on the bench just sitting their for the 60 minutes? Brodeur, Hedberg whoever. Thanks

Kinkaid seemed very relaxed and was chewing gum the whole time.

He was also looking up at the crowd at Staples a lot. I imagine it was a whole new experience for him.....

Not overly focused on studying every play of the game (I wouldn't read TOO much into that).

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