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5 Things That Went Wrong

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If you really want to have a laugh, they were one of the worst when they got off to a good start.

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This presumes that you can get a goalie that will in fact have that save percentage on this team.  Or more precisely that because a goalie had this save percentage on one team, there's a good chance he'll have it on another team. ( I'll admit though that I'm very stubborn in my belief that shots on goal is one of the more overrated stats out there.)

 

I'm all for improving at any position if the price is right.  And I'm not saying that Marty and Hedberg make me all that confident.  Just don't expect any miracles even if you could land a guy like Reimer.  By contrast a full season of a healthy Kovalchuk and Zubrus, improvement from Larsson and Zajac, will end up in a much improved team when it comes to wins.

 

But it's difficult to overstate the importance of landing a forward that can score in this draft.  If the Devils miss, you better hope that Boucher and Severson are better than people expect and that Merrill is as good as he's supposed to be.  If not, we could be in Islanders of the past seven years territory. 

 

lol.  gimme a break.  Let's go back to see the Islanders of 2006-07, the last time they made the playoffs:

 

Their top 5 scorers?  Over 30.  Next guy on the list?  Tom Poti, who would leave for Washington next year.  How about the defense?  Campoli and Gervais were young, but they turned into pretty much nothing.  Please don't say something dumb like 'Larsson could turn into nothing!'.  Only if he gets hurt.  Minutes leader Tom Poti left.  Second minutes leader Sean Hill was 36.   And so on and so forth.  The Islanders were in the position of having an old team with almost no prospects.  They dealt two of their best ones for Ryan Smyth.  Rick Dipietro also turned into a pumpkin.  

 

The Devils are not in this spot at all.  

 

If you really want to have a laugh, they were one of the worst when they got off to a good start.

 

I don't think this is true (NJ crushed on the PP and PK which is why their differential is so high, think they did that right out of the gate), but there's a ton of score effects in this, and the fact that the Devils' goalies had about an .850 SV% in the 1st period helps your shot differential but not your goal differential.

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lol. gimme a break. Let's go back to see the Islanders of 2006-07, the last time they made the playoffs:

Their top 5 scorers? Over 30. Next guy on the list? Tom Poti, who would leave for Washington next year. How about the defense? Campoli and Gervais were young, but they turned into pretty much nothing. Please don't say something dumb like 'Larsson could turn into nothing!'. Only if he gets hurt. Minutes leader Tom Poti left. Second minutes leader Sean Hill was 36. And so on and so forth. The Islanders were in the position of having an old team with almost no prospects. They dealt two of their best ones for Ryan Smyth. Rick Dipietro also turned into a pumpkin.

The Devils are not in this spot at all.

I don't think this is true (NJ crushed on the PP and PK which is why their differential is so high, think they did that right out of the gate), but there's a ton of score effects in this, and the fact that the Devils' goalies had about an .850 SV% in the 1st period helps your shot differential but not your goal differential.

I know a lot of it is score effects, but the truth is that the Devils got those shots. The fact that they scored the amount they did and gave up as much is comical

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lol.  gimme a break.  Let's go back to see the Islanders of 2006-07, the last time they made the playoffs:

 

Their top 5 scorers?  Over 30.  Next guy on the list?  Tom Poti, who would leave for Washington next year.  How about the defense?  Campoli and Gervais were young, but they turned into pretty much nothing.  Please don't say something dumb like 'Larsson could turn into nothing!'.  Only if he gets hurt.  Minutes leader Tom Poti left.  Second minutes leader Sean Hill was 36.   And so on and so forth.  The Islanders were in the position of having an old team with almost no prospects.  They dealt two of their best ones for Ryan Smyth.  Rick Dipietro also turned into a pumpkin.  

 

The Devils are not in this spot at all.  

 

 

I don't think this is true (NJ crushed on the PP and PK which is why their differential is so high, think they did that right out of the gate), but there's a ton of score effects in this, and the fact that the Devils' goalies had about an .850 SV% in the 1st period helps your shot differential but not your goal differential.

 

The Devils are an old team, even if you take into account that the numbers are skewed by Marty and Hedberg.  With the team as constructed, you could expect on a year in year out basis for the top scorers to be Kovalchuk (30 and 12 years worth of games in his mileage), Clarkson (29 and 50/50 he's playing somewhere else next year),  Elias (37) and Zajac (27), and maybe you can count Zubrus (34).  The only really young somewhat proven commodites on the roster are Henrique and Loktiniov.  The defense is very old.  Fayne and Larsson are the only ones under 30, and Fayne only has one year before he is a UFA.  Even assuming Larsson turns out to be very good, he will not be the type of defenseman that can do it all by himself (there are maybe 3 defenseman in the league that can do that). 

 

The goalie situation is up in the air.  Wedgewood is an unproven commodity, and Kinkaid doesn't project to be all that stellar.  And as much as people like to think that good goalies are out there for picking, it just isn't so.

 

With all of this, it is VERY important that the Devils add young players that can score goals or, at least help score goals.  The only forward in the system that might be able to do that is Boucher, and maybe Matteau.  Severson could turn out to have Rafalski offensive skill and Merrill projects to be a 40 point defenseman.  As many people that are very high on him have said that Larsson probably won't set the world on fire with his point production. 

 

If the Devils pick this year turns into Robert Nillson, things could get ugly very quickly.  And, save a trade, there is no first round pick next year.  It is imperative that the Devils at least hit a nice double (say Ryan Kesler type performance)  with this draft pick. 

 

I hope Lou has some kind of voodoo magic (or has some embarrassing photos fo Bettman) that gets the Devils to win the lottery this year.  A trade down that includes getting a player like Barkov and recouping a first rounder next year will immediately turn around what looks to be at the very least a cloudy future.

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The Devils are an old team, even if you take into account that the numbers are skewed by Marty and Hedberg.  With the team as constructed, you could expect on a year in year out basis for the top scorers to be Kovalchuk (30 and 12 years worth of games in his mileage), Clarkson (29 and 50/50 he's playing somewhere else next year),  Elias (37) and Zajac (27), and maybe you can count Zubrus (34).  The only really young somewhat proven commodites on the roster are Henrique and Loktiniov.  The defense is very old.  Fayne and Larsson are the only ones under 30, and Fayne only has one year before he is a UFA.  Even assuming Larsson turns out to be very good, he will not be the type of defenseman that can do it all by himself (there are maybe 3 defenseman in the league that can do that). 

 

The goalie situation is up in the air.  Wedgewood is an unproven commodity, and Kinkaid doesn't project to be all that stellar.  And as much as people like to think that good goalies are out there for picking, it just isn't so.

 

With all of this, it is VERY important that the Devils add young players that can score goals or, at least help score goals.  The only forward in the system that might be able to do that is Boucher, and maybe Matteau.  Severson could turn out to have Rafalski offensive skill and Merrill projects to be a 40 point defenseman.  As many people that are very high on him have said that Larsson probably won't set the world on fire with his point production. 

 

If the Devils pick this year turns into Robert Nillson, things could get ugly very quickly.  And, save a trade, there is no first round pick next year.  It is imperative that the Devils at least hit a nice double (say Ryan Kesler type performance)  with this draft pick. 

 

I hope Lou has some kind of voodoo magic (or has some embarrassing photos fo Bettman) that gets the Devils to win the lottery this year.  A trade down that includes getting a player like Barkov and recouping a first rounder next year will immediately turn around what looks to be at the very least a cloudy future.

 

The defense has a ton of excellent prospects.  I'd put Merrill, Gelinas, Severson, Scarlett, and Urbom up against any team's if we're talking about young defensemen not playing in the NHL.  Then you've got Larsson on top of that as a player younger than most of those guys and already in the NHL.

 

You can buy goal scoring when you have a cheap defense.  It's not pretty, but it can be done.  And I don't care about point production from defensemen, not when Kovalchuk is going to be playing the point on the PP for the next 5 years at least.  

 

The Devils look to be close to set at center and defense in the coming years.  Those tend to be the most difficult things to get - wings can be bought, but it's hard to find centers and defense.  Goalies used to be easy to get, now they're harder, but there's no reason to go with a guy who sucks year after year besides stubbornness.  Regardless, NJ should have a top defensive team for years to come.  Just like always.

Edited by Triumph

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The defense has a ton of excellent prospects.  I'd put Merrill, Gelinas, Severson, Scarlett, and Urbom up against any team's if we're talking about young defensemen not playing in the NHL.  Then you've got Larsson on top of that as a player younger than most of those guys and already in the NHL.

 

You can buy goal scoring when you have a cheap defense.  It's not pretty, but it can be done.  And I don't care about point production from defensemen, not when Kovalchuk is going to be playing the point on the PP for the next 5 years at least.  

 

The Devils look to be close to set at center and defense in the coming years.  Those tend to be the most difficult things to get - wings can be bought, but it's hard to find centers and defense.  Goalies used to be easy to get, now they're harder, but there's no reason to go with a guy who sucks year after year besides stubbornness.  Regardless, NJ should have a top defensive team for years to come.  Just like always.

 

Merrill and Severson are the only ones who you can count on being the bedrock of any defense corps.  But it'll probably be at least another year before Severson makes the team.  Plus it takes at least a year of NHL play for even the best defensemen to become dependable. 

 

And, so long as he's not a total liability defensively (like MAB or Kurtis Foster), a defensemen that put up points can improve a team significantly (why do you think Karlsson won the Norris last year).  This is especially the case when you can only count on 3 or 4 forwards to get you more than 40 points.  It's not the end all be all, but it's not something where you can say "no big deal". 

 

You're right though that the defense corps should not be a problem going forward.  But, for all the hand wringing, the defense was pretty good this year, by whatever measurement you want to use, shots on goals or goals against, and especially when you consider the system focuses on forechecking and not the trap.   Nevertheless, the end result was bad, and you can't chalk that up entirely to the goalies, especially if you don't think that there's anyone stellar that's available.

 

As I said though, scoring is what needs to be addressed.  They'll certainly have enough NHL caliber centers, but, as it stands now, no centers that can anchor an offense.  Relying on plug and play wingers is unsustainable in the long run.  We saw it this year when the only ones we got were Sullivan and D'Agostini.  If you're counting on guys like that to take you to the next level, things won't end so well.

 

Go all in for one of MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov.  Honestly, trade the entire draft if you have to. 

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And I don't care about point production from defensemen, not when Kovalchuk is going to be playing the point on the PP for the next 5 years at least.  

 

Can we discuss this point Tri? I think we all at one point or another have discussed Kovalchuk's placement at the point on the PP as a problem. His shot is generally aimed at the top corners; if he hits it it's in, if not it usually leads to a clearing attempt of some kind. His skating ability and passing ability are very good, but realistically the Devils would be much better suited with him playing the circle rather than the point.

 

They need someone at the point who can pass well, has a low hard deflectable shot that can be gotten off quickly enough to not be blocked. If there are defensemen in the system who fit that description then that would be the ideal person to groom for the point place on the PP. Having Kovalchuk sit there just because he's Ilya Kovalchuk is part of the reason that our PP has been so hit or miss since he's been here.

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Can we discuss this point Tri? I think we all at one point or another have discussed Kovalchuk's placement at the point on the PP as a problem. His shot is generally aimed at the top corners; if he hits it it's in, if not it usually leads to a clearing attempt of some kind. His skating ability and passing ability are very good, but realistically the Devils would be much better suited with him playing the circle rather than the point.

 

They need someone at the point who can pass well, has a low hard deflectable shot that can be gotten off quickly enough to not be blocked. If there are defensemen in the system who fit that description then that would be the ideal person to groom for the point place on the PP. Having Kovalchuk sit there just because he's Ilya Kovalchuk is part of the reason that our PP has been so hit or miss since he's been here.

 

I think right now it's a matter of who would take his place. Larsson hasn't been able to do it. Zidlicky might not be back. Maybe eventually Larsson/Gelinas/Merrill/whoever will eventually be able to. Salvador/Volchenkov no thanks. Green I guess could be the 2nd d-man out there but until there are 2 adequate PP d-men, I dunno if you could replace him even if you'd want to 

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Merrill and Severson are the only ones who you can count on being the bedrock of any defense corps.  But it'll probably be at least another year before Severson makes the team.  Plus it takes at least a year of NHL play for even the best defensemen to become dependable. 

 

And, so long as he's not a total liability defensively (like MAB or Kurtis Foster), a defensemen that put up points can improve a team significantly (why do you think Karlsson won the Norris last year).  This is especially the case when you can only count on 3 or 4 forwards to get you more than 40 points.  It's not the end all be all, but it's not something where you can say "no big deal". 

 

You're right though that the defense corps should not be a problem going forward.  But, for all the hand wringing, the defense was pretty good this year, by whatever measurement you want to use, shots on goals or goals against, and especially when you consider the system focuses on forechecking and not the trap.   Nevertheless, the end result was bad, and you can't chalk that up entirely to the goalies, especially if you don't think that there's anyone stellar that's available.

 

As I said though, scoring is what needs to be addressed.  They'll certainly have enough NHL caliber centers, but, as it stands now, no centers that can anchor an offense.  Relying on plug and play wingers is unsustainable in the long run.  We saw it this year when the only ones we got were Sullivan and D'Agostini.  If you're counting on guys like that to take you to the next level, things won't end so well.

 

Go all in for one of MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov.  Honestly, trade the entire draft if you have to. 

 

I absolutely will chalk up the goalies being bad to almost entirely why NJ had a middle of the road 'defense'.  They are expert at shot prevention.  And the Devils have gone since Kirk Muller without an 'offense anchoring center' - don't see why one is needed so badly now.

 

The Devils' entire draft would not move them up to #3 overall.

 

Can we discuss this point Tri? I think we all at one point or another have discussed Kovalchuk's placement at the point on the PP as a problem. His shot is generally aimed at the top corners; if he hits it it's in, if not it usually leads to a clearing attempt of some kind. His skating ability and passing ability are very good, but realistically the Devils would be much better suited with him playing the circle rather than the point.

 

They need someone at the point who can pass well, has a low hard deflectable shot that can be gotten off quickly enough to not be blocked. If there are defensemen in the system who fit that description then that would be the ideal person to groom for the point place on the PP. Having Kovalchuk sit there just because he's Ilya Kovalchuk is part of the reason that our PP has been so hit or miss since he's been here.

 

He's been there for 3.5 years, through multiple coaches and multiple power play formations.  I don't think he's moving.

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I absolutely will chalk up the goalies being bad to almost entirely why NJ had a middle of the road 'defense'.  They are expert at shot prevention.  And the Devils have gone since Kirk Muller without an 'offense anchoring center' - don't see why one is needed so badly now.

 

The Devils' entire draft would not move them up to #3 overall.

 

Oy vey.  Yes, you don't necessarily need to have an anchor center, when you have Marty in his prime (you're not getting a goalie like that anytime soon), one of the top ten defenseman of all time (Stevens), one of the top twenty defensemen of all time (Niedermeyer), Elias in his prime, forty-goal production from Mogilny.  In any event though, the best Devils teams had centers playing at the same time that are better than any current centers on the team -- Arnott, Holik, Gomez, when they had their best years on the Devils are all better than Zajac.  And Zajac is only slightly better than Madden was at his peak. 

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He's been there for 3.5 years, through multiple coaches and multiple power play formations.  I don't think he's moving.

 

I think this is due to a lack of better options. Who that currently plays for the Devils would do a better job? Larsson might eventually be that guy, but that depends on whether he can start to get his shot off quicker.

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Oy vey.  Yes, you don't necessarily need to have an anchor center, when you have Marty in his prime (you're not getting a goalie like that anytime soon)

 

Sure you're not - real hard to find a guy who in each of the years where NJ won a Cup or went to the Finals, did not rank in the top 10 in save percentage.  I agree that it will be difficult to find a player that highly overrated - you're ahead of me on that score.  Brodeur was very good, and indeed he was great in some of those playoff series, but he's one of the most overrated players in sports.

 

 

one of the top ten defenseman of all time (Stevens), one of the top twenty defensemen of all time (Niedermeyer)

 

Don't strain yourself too hard for superlatives.  Doubt either of these things was really true when both guys were here (maybe Stevens in the early 90s, Niedermayer at the tail end of his NJ career), but both guys were quite excellent.

 

 

In any event though, the best Devils teams had centers playing at the same time that are better than any current centers on the team -- Arnott, Holik, Gomez, when they had their best years on the Devils are all better than Zajac.  And Zajac is only slightly better than Madden was at his peak.

 

Funny how according to your precious points, Zajac has already topped Holik's career high - probably not if we adjust for era, but it's certainly close.  And Zajac doesn't take a million dumb penalties like Holik, and actually kills penalties (and does so well).  Holik's quite an impressive player and I'd probably take him over Zajac but it would be awfully close.

 

Anyway the point we were making before you derailed was that you thought this team might be a perennial playoff missing team.  And I think that's absurd and said so.  None of this has anything to do with that.

Edited by Triumph

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Sure you're not - real hard to find a guy who in each of the years where NJ won a Cup or went to the Finals, did not rank in the top 10 in save percentage.  I agree that it will be difficult to find a player that highly overrated - you're ahead of me on that score.  Brodeur was very good, and indeed he was great in some of those playoff series, but he's one of the most overrated players in sports.

 

 

 

Don't strain yourself too hard for superlatives.  Doubt either of these things was really true when both guys were here (maybe Stevens in the early 90s, Niedermayer at the tail end of his NJ career), but both guys were quite excellent.

 

 

 

Funny how according to your precious points, Zajac has already topped Holik's career high - probably not if we adjust for era, but it's certainly close.  And Zajac doesn't take a million dumb penalties like Holik, and actually kills penalties (and does so well).  Holik's quite an impressive player and I'd probably take him over Zajac but it would be awfully close.

 

Anyway the point we were making before you derailed was that you thought this team might be a perennial playoff missing team.  And I think that's absurd and said so.  None of this has anything to do with that.

 

 

Bwahaha:

 

Marty is one of the best goalies of all time, at worst top five.  Period.  You can pull out whatever stats you want, you do not win three Stanley Cups, multipel Vezinas, have the most career wins and shut outs by a wide margin by being overrated.  If you've come to any other conclusion based on your statistical analysis, there's obviously something missing from your analysis.

 

Zajac's high was better than Holik's high by one point.  And notice that Zajac didn't do so well when he wasn't playing with Parise.  Plus Holik was your third line center.  So puhleeze.  Holik was a better player in his prime than Zajac has been up till now, and probably ever will be.  It isn't even debateable.  (You also ignored the other centers).

 

But to the main point (which you derailed by spilling a lot of ink on one minor point I made) -- yes, absent adding at least one bona fide scoring forward, either from the system or in the draft, this team is close to perenially being on the outside looking in, if it isn't already.  This is especially the case as the division will be much tougher next year with teams like the Islanders and Columbus improving, and not being automatic wins.

 

And as I think about it more, in a heart beat I would trade the entire draft (1, 2, 4, 6 and 7) to get MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov.  Each of those three players, from what I read anyway, are very safe bets to be excellent, if not elite, forwards, meaning forwards that can put the puck in the net, which is what goes up on the score board.  (A second round pick and below is less than something like 20 percent to play more than 50 NHL games.)   Outside of Kovalchuk and Elias -- and an old one at that -- we don't have any forwards other than guys you can describe as a "good all around player".  The scorer can be a winger or a center.  It really doesn't matter all that much.  The situation is more dire considering we have no first round pick next year.

 

If you were looking at any other team that would be penciling in unproven prospects on defense, that had forwards that have trouble scoring, no top ten goalie on the horizon, and no first round pick next year, you would not be all that optimistic.  However, nailing it on just one good forward in this draft, especially someone who can come in this year and put up points (yes that stat that makes your skin melt like the Ark of the Covenant), will help a great, great deal.

Edited by Daniel
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Marty is one of the best goalies of all time, at worst top five.  Period.  You can pull out whatever stats you want, you do not win three Stanley Cups, multipel Vezinas, have the most career wins and shut outs by a wide margin by being overrated.  If you've come to any other conclusion based on your statistical analysis, there's obviously something missing from your analysis.

 

Brodeur's team has been way better than he is.  Maybe he's top 5, but that would be by virtue of longevity only - in terms of wins over replacement per year w/ a minimum of 6 years, there have to be at least 5 goalies who beat him.  Again, the Devils have been to the Finals 5 times in his career, and not once has he been top 10 in save percentage in those seasons.  Vezina Trophies are meaningless, as are wins and shutouts - the former is a silly GM vote (as if GMs have any handle on this), the latter two team accomplishments dressed up as goaltender accomplishments.  You don't get that many shutouts without being good, but you also don't get it without an outstanding defense in front of you.  Brodeur's accomplishment is sustaining his level of performance for as long as he has, but he's gone through some rough patches in his career that are seldom discussed.

 

Zajac's high was better than Holik's high by one point.  And notice that Zajac didn't do so well when he wasn't playing with Parise.  Plus Holik was your third line center.  So puhleeze.  Holik was a better player in his prime than Zajac has been up till now, and probably ever will be.  It isn't even debateable.  (You also ignored the other centers).

 

I loathe the designation of lines as something meaningful - Holik was the team's top center in 96, in 97 until the Devils got Gilmour, he was #2 in 98, and he was back to being #2 in 99.  Holik takes way, way more penalties than Travis Zajac - he averaged 100 PIMs a year during his prime.  Zajac has 150 PIMs in his career.  That's worth a significant amount - every penalty is worth -.2 goals at least, and probably more.  

 

 

But to the main point (which you derailed by spilling a lot of ink on one minor point I made) -- yes, absent adding at least one bona fide scoring forward, either from the system or in the draft, this team is close to perenially being on the outside looking in, if it isn't already.  This is especially the case as the division will be much tougher next year with teams like the Islanders and Columbus improving, and not being automatic wins.

 

Total absurdity.  Totally ridiculous.  The only thing that will keep the team outside is goaltending.  The idea of automatic wins is ridiculous too.

 

 

And as I think about it more, in a heart beat I would trade the entire draft (1, 2, 4, 6 and 7) to get MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov.  Each of those three players, from what I read anyway, are very safe bets to be excellent, if not elite, forwards, meaning forwards that can put the puck in the net, which is what goes up on the score board.  (A second round pick and below is less than something like 20 percent to play more than 50 NHL games.)   Outside of Kovalchuk and Elias -- and an old one at that -- we don't have any forwards other than guys you can describe as a "good all around player".  The scorer can be a winger or a center.  It really doesn't matter all that much.  The situation is more dire considering we have no first round pick next year.

 

No one is taking this deal.  Of course you would do it, so would any team with any sense.    4 6 and 7 are worth virtually nothing and a 1st and a 2nd moves you up maybe 2 spots this high in the draft.

 

 

If you were looking at any other team that would be penciling in unproven prospects on defense, that had forwards that have trouble scoring, no top ten goalie on the horizon, and no first round pick next year, you would not be all that optimistic.  However, nailing it on just one good forward in this draft, especially someone who can come in this year and put up points (yes that stat that makes your skin melt like the Ark of the Covenant), will help a great, great deal.

 

I'm much more bullish on the Red Wings' future than most and it's because I believe in their prospect base.  They're not going to be the team that dominated the league over the last 20 years, but they are going to be a pretty good franchise going forward.  I think defense gets overlooked because there aren't a lot of fancy awesome numbers like 'points' that define how good a defense is, but defense is so critical to a team's success - more so than offense, and maybe even more so than goaltending.  And NJ's going to have it going forward.

Edited by Triumph

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Brodeur is the best. I've heard from fellow hated flyer and ranger fans. I hear it from basically every commentator that's talks about him that's he's the best if not right next to it. Otherwise is stupid. Absurdity.

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No one is taking this deal.  Of course you would do it, so would any team with any sense.    4 6 and 7 are worth virtually nothing and a 1st and a 2nd moves you up maybe 2 spots this high in the draft.

 

 

 

I'm much more bullish on the Red Wings' future than most and it's because I believe in their prospect base.  They're not going to be the team that dominated the league over the last 20 years, but they are going to be a pretty good franchise going forward.  I think defense gets overlooked because there aren't a lot of fancy awesome numbers like 'points' that define how good a defense is, but defense is so critical to a team's success - more so than offense, and maybe even more so than goaltending.  And NJ's going to have it going forward.

 

Yes, I know no one is taking the deal.  Hell, if the rumors are to be believed, Columbus wouldn't take the Islanders whole draft to move down one (or two?) spot(s) so as to lose out on Ryan Murray.  (I misread what you said about no one taking that deal).

 

You wouldn't be bullish on the Red Wings' future if they didn't have Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen.  The first two, when you consider their entire game, are as good  as, and probably better than Kovalchuk.  Franzen is as good as Elias at this stage of his career.  Otherwise, he's better than any other forward on the Devils.  And they still made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth.

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Yes, I know no one is taking the deal.  Hell, if the rumors are to be believed, Columbus wouldn't take the Islanders whole draft to move down one (or two?) spot(s) so as to lose out on Ryan Murray.  (I misread what you said about no one taking that deal).

 

You wouldn't be bullish on the Red Wings' future if they didn't have Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen.  The first two, when you consider their entire game, are as good  as, and probably better than Kovalchuk.  Franzen is as good as Elias at this stage of his career.  Otherwise, he's better than any other forward on the Devils.  And they still made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth.

 

Sure I would, because I wasn't considering those three players at all.  I am thinking about after they're gone or after their performance is severely diminished.  I'm saying their prospects are good enough that that team will be in the playoff hunt every year, should make the playoffs most years, and can make some noise.  

 

And by the way, Franzen is not close to Elias - Elias is way better.

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Sure I would, because I wasn't considering those three players at all.  I am thinking about after they're gone or after their performance is severely diminished.  I'm saying their prospects are good enough that that team will be in the playoff hunt every year, should make the playoffs most years, and can make some noise.  

 

And by the way, Franzen is not close to Elias - Elias is way better.

 

I honestly don't know all that much about the Red Wings system to make an assessment.  However, they'll need enough good players to make up for the eighty plus goals you can expect from them, and how ever many goals that other players score as a result of how skilled they are.  If the Red Wings have these types of players in their system I would agree with your conclusion.  However, a lot of B/B+ prospects won't get the job done. 

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