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Patrick Elias: Where Does He Rank Among the NJ Devils Greats?

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Honestly, it was the trap that got us to be a powerhouse back in the mid 90's. To think it was Brodeur or any single player then you are incorrect. Pretty easy to win when you hold the other team to 15-20 shots a game.

There is no way the Devils have the same success without Stevens or Brodeur. A lot of teams played the trap back then. But the Devils had the personnel to run it right.

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There is no way the Devils have the same success without Stevens or Brodeur. A lot of teams played the trap back then. But the Devils had the personnel to run it right.

Every team started to do it after the Devils perfected it in 94 and won the cup with it in 95. Detroit was supposed to steamroll the Devils in the 95 finals but they have never seen anything like the trap before and did not know how to handle it at the time.

After 95, almost every team did the trap in one way or another, but not to the level the Devils did it. The Devils couldn't win another cup until they changed directions in 2000 and increased their scoring and didn't play the trap as much.

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Every team started to do it after the Devils perfected it in 94 and won the cup with it in 95. Detroit was supposed to steamroll the Devils in the 95 finals but they have never seen anything like the trap before and did not know how to handle it at the time.

After 95, almost every team did the trap in one way or another, but not to the level the Devils did it. The Devils couldn't win another cup until they changed directions in 2000 and increased their scoring and didn't play the trap as much.

Of course the Red Wings had seen the trap!! They were coached by Scotty Bowman. He was using the trap in the 70's when he coached the Canadiens.

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Of course the Red Wings had seen the trap!! They were coached by Scotty Bowman. He was using the trap in the 70's when he coached the Canadiens.

They experimented with the trap back in the 70's, they never fully used it. It wasn't used since until the Devils in the mid 90's.

Edited by DevsMan84

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They experimented with the trap back in the 70's, they never fully used it. It wasn't used since until the Devils in the mid 90's.

They did more than experiment with it. They used it to hold leads. The trap was used as far back as the 60's as a way for European teams to try to compete with the Russians.

Additionally, Bowman's Red Wings were using the left wing lock in 1995. This is very similar to the trap, the main difference being that the left wing falls back in with the defense and the defending team tries to force the offensive team to their own right side.

Pittsburgh also used the left wing lock in the mid-90's.

To say that Bowman had 'never seen anything like it' is a little ridiculous.

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Devil Dan is right on this one. They even talked about it on the broadcasts from that 1995 Cup final. A number of teams were using the a form of the trap back in 1995. The Devils just had much better perssonel to execute it - basically, we had a bunch of mostly non-descript players willing to sacrific personal statistic for the good of the team.

Another major difference was, even if the Devils were behind, they stuck with the trap and waited to punch on mistakes. They were unbelieveably patient. Other teams, like the Wings, scrapped the system when they absolutely needed more offense.

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They did more than experiment with it. They used it to hold leads. The trap was used as far back as the 60's as a way for European teams to try to compete with the Russians.

Additionally, Bowman's Red Wings were using the left wing lock in 1995. This is very similar to the trap, the main difference being that the left wing falls back in with the defense and the defending team tries to force the offensive team to their own right side.

Pittsburgh also used the left wing lock in the mid-90's.

To say that Bowman had 'never seen anything like it' is a little ridiculous.

They used it to hold leads, Bowman never used to play that style the entire game. He had never seen any team use it like that before.

The Pens used the left-wing lock in the mid 90's which is the same time period the Devils started to use the trap.

You really think the Devils won in 1995 with just talent? There is a reason why that series is still known as one of hockey's biggest upsets.

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Devil Dan is right on this one. They even talked about it on the broadcasts from that 1995 Cup final. A number of teams were using the a form of the trap back in 1995. The Devils just had much better perssonel to execute it - basically, we had a bunch of mostly non-descript players willing to sacrific personal statistic for the good of the team.

Another major difference was, even if the Devils were behind, they stuck with the trap and waited to punch on mistakes. They were unbelieveably patient. Other teams, like the Wings, scrapped the system when they absolutely needed more offense.

So basically you are saying that the Wings had better players, but lost to a bunch of non-descript players who sacraficed personal stats for winning.

Basically you just proved my main point that we won that cup in 95 not because of the skills of Steven or Brodeur, but because of the trap. Remember, you just called the team of mostly made up of non-descript players.

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one word: LEGEND...definitely top 3 Devils player of all time with Marty and Scotty

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They used it to hold leads, Bowman never used to play that style the entire game. He had never seen any team use it like that before.

The Pens used the left-wing lock in the mid 90's which is the same time period the Devils started to use the trap.

You really think the Devils won in 1995 with just talent? There is a reason why that series is still known as one of hockey's biggest upsets.

Oh, definitely not just on talent. It was a perfect mix of talent and strategy. They had the right horses to pull it off. They had stars buying into a system. They had the patience, and when they had opportunities, they had guys like Lemieux, Richer, Broten, Maclean, all kinds of guys who could capitalize on it. It really was a great team. It was like the 1980 US Olympic team in that it was the right group of players with the right coaching.

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So basically you are saying that the Wings had better players, but lost to a bunch of non-descript players who sacraficed personal stats for winning.

Basically you just proved my main point that we won that cup in 95 not because of the skills of Steven or Brodeur, but because of the trap. Remember, you just called the team of mostly made up of non-descript players.

You're taking what I said out of context. Its the mix of having good players and using a system that fits the players you have that makes it work. The same theory holds true today. The 1995 Devils had few high powered offensive players that were in their prime. Their best and most talented players were on D and in goal. The players bought into the system and used their strengths to their advantage.

As far as the non-descript comment goes, how many people outside the NY/NJ area could name more than 5 people on that 1995 team? I'm willing to bet not many, as they were a bunch of hard working players that didn't consistently put up gaudy offensive numbers. In essence, they weren't household names. Detroit may have had more talent up and down the roster, but the Devils were a better team with a much better goaltender. That's why they won that Cup.

And if you don't think Stevens sacrificed offensive numbers to play Lemaire's system, take a look at the back of his hockey card and compare his stats pre-1994 to post-1994.

Edited by Chuck the Duck

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And if you don't think Stevens sacrificed offensive numbers to play Lemaire's system, take a look at the back of his hockey card and compare his stats pre-1994 to post-1994.

This is so true. Stevens was noted for his temper and his offensive game back with the Caps and he had almost 80 points in 93-94 pre-Jacques. The same could be said of Elias who could have easily put up 100 points a season on a West Coast team.

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This is so true. Stevens was noted for his temper and his offensive game back with the Caps and he had almost 80 points in 93-94 pre-Jacques. The same could be said of Elias who could have easily put up 100 points a season on a West Coast team.

Well, the 80 points was with Lemaire, but your overall point is dead on. He changed his game for the system. So did guys like Bobby Carpenter, who started his career has more of a scorer.

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You're taking what I said out of context. Its the mix of having good players and using a system that fits the players you have that makes it work. The same theory holds true today. The 1995 Devils had few high powered offensive players that were in their prime. Their best and most talented players were on D and in goal. The players bought into the system and used their strengths to their advantage.

As far as the non-descript comment goes, how many people outside the NY/NJ area could name more than 5 people on that 1995 team? I'm willing to bet not many, as they were a bunch of hard working players that didn't consistently put up gaudy offensive numbers. In essence, they weren't household names. Detroit may have had more talent up and down the roster, but the Devils were a better team with a much better goaltender. That's why they won that Cup.

And if you don't think Stevens sacrificed offensive numbers to play Lemaire's system, take a look at the back of his hockey card and compare his stats pre-1994 to post-1994.

While Stevens was much more of an offensive-defenseman before Lemaire, you are making it like he was putting up Paul Coffey like numbers before the Devils started using the trap and that is a great exaggeration.

As for the Devils having a better goalie, well in 1995 I beg to differ. Mike Vernon was a 5-time all star and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 while Marty was in his second full year and only had a Calder to his name. A lot of Marty's wins and shutouts would then occur in the dead puck era while a majority of Vernon's stats were during the high scoring 80's and early 90's. Looking at everything, Detroit had a much more proven team and should have swept the Devils but the opposite happened.

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This is so true. Stevens was noted for his temper and his offensive game back with the Caps and he had almost 80 points in 93-94 pre-Jacques. The same could be said of Elias who could have easily put up 100 points a season on a West Coast team.

It is true, but not as many as one might think. The game was already changing and Stevens was lucky enough to come to the team that could best take advantage of the new defensive game. We were lucky enough to get him.

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How is there no way? Obviously Stevens is a legit choice but its debatable who the greatest is. Elias only played with us and sacrificed a career of offensive prowess to play a two-way well rounded game and win with the Devils. He also totally defines the Devils in his humility and greatness. He has done things out there on the ice that Ovechkin or Crosby could never do...I've seen him do it many times...and he never needed to dance across the ice like a moron or to have the favoritism and publicity from the league. He just shuts up and plays to win. He has led this team for years and has been a good player every year of his career. Best of all he has always respected the fans. His talent is amazing and his ability to read the ice is unheard of.

When this team lost all its top players, Elias stayed when he could have ran...he didn't run. And he put the team above himself when that idiot sutter took his "C". He has been a constant throughout and stuck with it to be our all time scoring leader. If Elias reaches 1000 points it will be a miraculous accomplishment given his constantly changing linemates and the defense he has had to play.

I'm not bashing Elias, but Stevens was arguably the greatest d-man of his generation (I'd pick Lidstrom or Bourque, but that's for another thread), Elias was the best forward on the Devils most years. Stevens is a first ballot HOFer, Elias is a borderline candidate if everything breaks right for 3 or 4 more years. It's insulting to suggest that Elias is better than Stevens, and I say this even though Elias, Dano and Mad Dog are my favorite Devils of all time.

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I'm not bashing Elias, but Stevens was arguably the greatest d-man of his generation (I'd pick Lidstrom or Bourque, but that's for another thread), Elias was the best forward on the Devils most years. Stevens is a first ballot HOFer, Elias is a borderline candidate if everything breaks right for 3 or 4 more years. It's insulting to suggest that Elias is better than Stevens, and I say this even though Elias, Dano and Mad Dog are my favorite Devils of all time.

What? The argument is over the greatest Devil not NHLer.

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Mike Vernon was at best an average goalie and was the main reason why that series was a sweep.

His two Stanley cups, five all star appearances, and his conn smythe (something Marty never won) begs to differ.

Edited by DevsMan84

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His two Stanley cups, five all star appearances, and his conn smythe (something Marty never won) begs to differ.

Okay, well he won 2 Stanley Cups because he played for great teams during the bulk of his career. Grant Fuhr wasn't a great goaltender either.

His five All-Star appearances are because NHL people thought and still think that wins = good goalie. He probably deserved 2 of those appearances.

He won a Conn Smythe because he had a great playoff run and the league didn't see fit to award it to the opposing goalie. Bill Ranford, Ron Hextall, J.S. Giguere, and Cam Ward own a Conn Smythe while Brodeur and Hasek don't. Like we're seeing with Brian Elliott, it's not that unusual for a goalie to go on a 20 game hot streak - to do it in the playoffs is special. But when a goalie plays for great teams year after year, it's inevitable that one year he's going to have a playoff run.

Edited by Triumph

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What? The argument is over the greatest Devil not NHLer.

Captain of 3 cup teams, anchor of one of the greatest defenses of all time. Dominated in a way Elias couldn't. Like I said, nothing against Elias, but Stevens and Marty were special, once in a lifetime players, and Elias just isn't.

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Captain of 3 cup teams, anchor of one of the greatest defenses of all time. Dominated in a way Elias couldn't. Like I said, nothing against Elias, but Stevens and Marty were special, once in a lifetime players, and Elias just isn't.

I know the basic argument for Stevens, I previously said he's a great choice. My only argument is how is there no way Elias could be argued - which is what you originally stated.

And as per my original posts in support of Elias...I completely disagree that Elias is not a once in a lifetime player.

Edited by ben00rs

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Okay, well he won 2 Stanley Cups because he played for great teams during the bulk of his career. Grant Fuhr wasn't a great goaltender either.

His five All-Star appearances are because NHL people thought and still think that wins = good goalie. He probably deserved 2 of those appearances.

He won a Conn Smythe because he had a great playoff run and the league didn't see fit to award it to the opposing goalie. Bill Ranford, Ron Hextall, J.S. Giguere, and Cam Ward own a Conn Smythe while Brodeur and Hasek don't. Like we're seeing with Brian Elliott, it's not that unusual for a goalie to go on a 20 game hot streak - to do it in the playoffs is special. But when a goalie plays for great teams year after year, it's inevitable that one year he's going to have a playoff run.

And you can make the exact same arguement for brodeur. I wonder how he would do if he played a majority of his career on a weak team or in the 80's. I would not be surprised if he would have similar stats to Vernon.

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While Stevens was much more of an offensive-defenseman before Lemaire, you are making it like he was putting up Paul Coffey like numbers before the Devils started using the trap and that is a great exaggeration.

As for the Devils having a better goalie, well in 1995 I beg to differ. Mike Vernon was a 5-time all star and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 while Marty was in his second full year and only had a Calder to his name. A lot of Marty's wins and shutouts would then occur in the dead puck era while a majority of Vernon's stats were during the high scoring 80's and early 90's. Looking at everything, Detroit had a much more proven team and should have swept the Devils but the opposite happened.

Is there a link between more goalie wins and the dead puck era?

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