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Your thought on today / about the team so far ?

335 posts in this topic

I think New Jersey has a pretty good chance at winning the presidents trophy this year. Their PDO wwas 975 last season and if they can sustain similar possession numbers with a bounce back in sh% they are going to be ridiculously hard to beat.

 

http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/4/22/pdo-numbers-by-nhl-team-april-22

 

That's how good NJ was. Their PP and PK shots for/allowed are near the top of the NHL as well.

This isn't far fetched at all. However, I think we still need that extra bit of scoring quality to put us into the NHL elite. As of tonight, we are definitely a solid playoff team. We need our younger players (henrique, JJ, lars) to step it up next season after a mediocre 2012-2013.

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Really happy with the moves that have been made this offseason. The Clowe deal might hurt in the long run but with the cap going up, it should be fine as long as he stays healthy. One thing he gives the team that they've missed is a guy who will go to the front of the net and get rebounds and put in garbage goals. That's where he'll be most effective as his speed won't be a factor.

Good point re finally having a player that can get those garbage goals and drive to the net. We've been lacking there since parise left.

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Nobody reloads better than Lou. This team has a lot more balance. Ryder is a guy who can pick corners, and the Devils don't have too many 'great' shooters. I think this team is built to be able to sustain an injury to Kovy much better than last years team. Most depth here since the spring of 2012.

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The team is pretty stacked now, to be honest. Like others have said, better goaltending and puckluck WITH some better forwards, "oh my!".

 

I also love how we were supposedly broke and Lou signed players for a bazillion in the past week.

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If Clowe and Ryder produce as they have been the last few seasons, and Zajac lives up to his contract, that alone shold put us in the playoffs.. If Schneider starts most games and Henrique, JJ has decent seasons as well we should be contenders with this team.

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I was pretty pessimistic about the direction of the team heading into the offseason with the aging goalies, Elias unsigned, the glut of defenseman unresolved, the lack of an adequate replacement for Parise a year later and the looming draft pick penalty coming up for next years draft. What a difference a week makes! Obviously the goaltending and Elias were addressed. I think Ryder will look great playing with Elias and maybe Zajac and hopefully replaces the goal scoring Zach took to Minnesota. It now looks like we'll be giving up a pick in the 20's next season so I feel a lot better about that and we're hearing rumors that Lou is trying to move some salary in the back so that will hopefully clear the backlog of marginal aging defenseman.

Watching Clarkson drove me nuts so despite the somewhat ugly contract for Clowe, I'm happy we went in different direction there. Excited to see what Olesz brings to the bottom 6.

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Devils turned a corner this off season and the response of this board is a testament to that. When Lou signed Malakhov, everyone was up in arms and we know how that played out. Lets see what has happened so far.

 

1. Cory Schneider: a pure and total heist. Everyone in the league agrees he is a top 5 or top 10 goalie in this league. We traded Nichuskin for Cory Schneider (assuming the Devils would've picked Nichuskin). Its like trading a proven Marty Brodeur calibre goalie for an unproven prospect straight up.

2. Re-Signed Elias, Zubrus: The only negative is the price at which we signed them. I was hoping for Elias around 5mill AAV and Zubrus 2.5mill AAV.

3. Lost Clarkson: Total locker room guy and very well liked by the fans as well. I think Lou turned the page on him at the draft because Lou realized he would stay in Toronto which made it easy to chase the other FAs and address the Devils offensive needs. Also asking price for Clarkson was a little too high. We all know about his on ice coughing up the puck and hoarding the puck etc. Clarkson was at best a 3rd liner.

4. Ryan Clowe: The positive is if this guy pans out, we just added Clarkson + 3, he brings all the elements of Clarkson + skating + goals + assists. On a line with Loki+Kovy or Elias+Zajac, he will create room feed the puck to an open player, in my opinion, a major upgrade on Clarkson. The negative, his injuries. If this guy works out, it will be an awesome signing, if injuries, then lots of I told you so's. Now Lou has the medical reports to support the former. This could be an awesome signing.

5. Olesz: A depth move, very very low risk, great signing for 700k + 300k playing bonus. This guy has enormous potential as per PDB when he played for him in Fla. He has been out for an entire year, its a work in progress.

6. Michael Ryder: 2yrs/7mill. Who would've thunk it. Awesome player, awesome price and on a line with Kovy or Elias.

7. Lost Hedberg: Sigh. Obviously another likeable person with an amazing character, unfortunately, the Devils are at a franchise turning point where Marty is at the verge of retiring and it was a move any GM would have to make.

 

Additions: Legit #1 Goaltender, 2 top 6 forwards, another true top 6 project in Olesz

Retained: 2 top 6 forwards, + hopefully 2 top 6 RFA forwards (Zubrus and JJ could be considered top 9 but they have top 6 potential)

Subtractions: 1 Backup Goaltender, 1 top 9 forward, 4 bottom 6 forwards (Poni/Kostopolous/Sullivan/D'Agostini), 1 top 4 DMan

 

From a forwards perspective, I think the Devils are pretty stacked and set. I mean we have Tedenby, Gionta and Barch as the extra forwards and some AHLers like Reid up and coming.

 

The only place where I feel Lou needs to focus now is defense. The organization still does not have a legit #1 DMan. 2 things on Defense I'd like to see:

1. No true #1 #2 DMen to power the blue line

2. Soft, Slow and Old, no meanies, defense needs to get bigger, meaner and younger

 

Larsson, Greene, maybe Tallinder: Top 4 defensemen

Salvadore, Volchenkov, Fayne, Harrold: Bottom pairings

Larsson has some ways to go before being a top 2 tier Dman, he is not there yet, he may break out this year, who knows. Comparing these guys to Weber, Suter, Stevens, Neidermeyer or Doughty makes one realize how mediocre they are.

 

Now if the season could start tomorrow....

Edited by Anhkheg

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The moves were solid in that when one of our players goes down we don't have to fill our lines with the likes of the Kostopoulos' and D'Agostinis. Plus we don't have to rush any of our forwards from Albany in an emergency call up.

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If Lou could unload one of the bad D-contracts then I'm ranking this as one of the best Devils offseasons in...forever.

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I hope we see a lot of Elias at center and Henrique at wing. Also, I don't see Pete going with a "star studded" first line of Zajac, Kovy and Clowe. Instead he probably keeps Zajac and Kovalchuk together, while putting a good grinder (Matteau maybe if he makes the team) so they can both maximize his game.

 

I really hope we see some young defensemen making the team, and some old defensemen on the way out. 

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Tedenby is still waiver-exempt, right? I wonder if he'll spend some time in the AHL. Otherwise, it seems like he'll be scratched quite a bit.

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Obviously better than before last Sunday.  Not stacked, but better. Still could use a legit PPQB though.

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Not a huge fan of Clowe, also feel like it was a reaction to Clarkson going to Toronto...

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I can't find career stats for the new three in shootouts. If devils had maybe a few go the other way last year it could of ment playoffs. That was one part of the game we need to improve on.

Overall I like all the deals and I kinda hope we see clowe and zubs on the same line. Would be a big line for teams to match up too.

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Devils turned a corner this off season and the response of this board is a testament to that. When Lou signed Malakhov, everyone was up in arms and we know how that played out. Lets see what has happened so far.

 

1. Cory Schneider: a pure and total heist. Everyone in the league agrees he is a top 5 or top 10 goalie in this league. We traded Nichuskin for Cory Schneider (assuming the Devils would've picked Nichuskin). Its like trading a proven Marty Brodeur calibre goalie for an unproven prospect straight up.

2. Re-Signed Elias, Zubrus: The only negative is the price at which we signed them. I was hoping for Elias around 5mill AAV and Zubrus 2.5mill AAV.

3. Lost Clarkson: Total locker room guy and very well liked by the fans as well. I think Lou turned the page on him at the draft because Lou realized he would stay in Toronto which made it easy to chase the other FAs and address the Devils offensive needs. Also asking price for Clarkson was a little too high. We all know about his on ice coughing up the puck and hoarding the puck etc. Clarkson was at best a 3rd liner.

4. Ryan Clowe: The positive is if this guy pans out, we just added Clarkson + 3, he brings all the elements of Clarkson + skating + goals + assists. On a line with Loki+Kovy or Elias+Zajac, he will create room feed the puck to an open player, in my opinion, a major upgrade on Clarkson. The negative, his injuries. If this guy works out, it will be an awesome signing, if injuries, then lots of I told you so's. Now Lou has the medical reports to support the former. This could be an awesome signing.

5. Olesz: A depth move, very very low risk, great signing for 700k + 300k playing bonus. This guy has enormous potential as per PDB when he played for him in Fla. He has been out for an entire year, its a work in progress.

6. Michael Ryder: 2yrs/7mill. Who would've thunk it. Awesome player, awesome price and on a line with Kovy or Elias.

7. Lost Hedberg: Sigh. Obviously another likeable person with an amazing character, unfortunately, the Devils are at a franchise turning point where Marty is at the verge of retiring and it was a move any GM would have to make.

 

Additions: Legit #1 Goaltender, 2 top 6 forwards, another true top 6 project in Olesz

Retained: 2 top 6 forwards, + hopefully 2 top 6 RFA forwards (Zubrus and JJ could be considered top 9 but they have top 6 potential)

Subtractions: 1 Backup Goaltender, 1 top 9 forward, 4 bottom 6 forwards (Poni/Kostopolous/Sullivan/D'Agostini), 1 top 4 DMan

 

From a forwards perspective, I think the Devils are pretty stacked and set. I mean we have Tedenby, Gionta and Barch as the extra forwards and some AHLers like Reid up and coming.

 

The only place where I feel Lou needs to focus now is defense. The organization still does not have a legit #1 DMan. 2 things on Defense I'd like to see:

1. No true #1 #2 DMen to power the blue line

2. Soft, Slow and Old, no meanies, defense needs to get bigger, meaner and younger

 

Larsson, Greene, maybe Tallinder: Top 4 defensemen

Salvadore, Volchenkov, Fayne, Harrold: Bottom pairings

Larsson has some ways to go before being a top 2 tier Dman, he is not there yet, he may break out this year, who knows. Comparing these guys to Weber, Suter, Stevens, Neidermeyer or Doughty makes one realize how mediocre they are.

 

Now if the season could start tomorrow....

I can agree that the D could definitely be meaner.  But I wouldn't say they are small.  Andy Greene or Harrold are small but, if someone like Urbom or even Gelinas make the lineup, Urbom especially, makes us bigger

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I like Gilroy.  I hear the Rangers want to shop him.

 

Matt Gilroy? The Rangers will have to sign him if they want to shop him. He's a UFA.

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Well Lou defiently made NJ a much more difficult team to play by upgrading Marty/Moose to Marty/Schneider. That move alone is huge because no more scenarios if Marty goes down we have to ride Moose for 10+ games again (although I like Hedberg), we can rely on an already established, technically sound goalie in Schnedier.

 

Next off the only real departures are Clarkson and Zidlicky (I think he is gone). Clarkson is replaced by Clowe who brings in character to the team, grinding abilities (fit to the NJ system), and hopefully more consistent offense than David Clarkson score 10 goals in 10 games than score 1 goal in 20 games. I would even say this is a win for the team with Clarkson leaving/Clowe coming in as long as Clowe doesn't disappear for long stretches of times like Clarkson did, even if he only puts up 10-15 goals.

 

The Ryder signing is perfect. At the time in the market the only options other the Ryder were guys like Grabovski and Brunner. Ryder is a pure goal scorer no questions asked and that is what a centermen like Zajac needs. Looking back if a very slow, immobile Sykora scored 21 goals with Patrik Elias I see no reason Ryder can't put up 20-35 goals with Elias/Zajac + powerplay time.

 

Olesz seems to be a good depth signing who was just making way to much in Chicago (I think $4M?). Lou probably reliazed he needed a more capable guy to step in to play on the 3rd line instead of shifting guys up and inserting Barch or Sestito. Plus he is young and has some actual skills instead of the strictly forechecking/hitting game of a guy like Sestito.

 

Resigning Zubrus and Elias are no brainers. No explanation to what they bring needed here.

 

So overall, Lou brought in a more consistent Clarkson in Clowe (with less production) but better board play. Aquired a pure goal scorer with Ryder. Added depth with Olesz. And added, for just a prospect an established, elite, young goalie to solidfy the goaltending tandem with Marty.

 

One thing was overshadowed in adding a big time goalie and 3 forwards in free agency: the defense. As of right now locks are Larsson, Greene, Fayne, and Salvador in my eyes. I don't think Zidlicky returns. Ideally a young blueliner is inserted in (Urbom or Gelinas...Merril would be a stretch), and Volchenkov is traded. I only lean towards Volchenkov being traded because the game is only getting faster and Volch is only getting slower. And we already have a Volchenkov with Salvador and Lou isn't trading the captain. So I'm hoping Lou trades Volchenkov to a team needing to be bigger, need some experience/veteran leadership on their 3rd defensive pairing who is a PK specialist + a prospect of some kind in exchange for a pick/prospect.

 

Whats better, next year we would have tons of options with Volchenkov gone, Tallinders contract ending, etc. to open up another spot for a rookie or go look for a established D in the trade market and FA market. There would also be the option to trade both Volchenkov and Tallinder, bring back Zidlicky and let a rookie play.

 

Scenario 1: Keep Everyone (ignore what sides and pairings they are on)

Greene-Larsson

Fayne-Salvador

Volchenkov-Tallinder

Harrold

 

Scenario 2: Trade Volchenkov/Tallinder

Greene-Larsson

Fayne-Salvador

Urbom/Gelinas-Tallinder

Harrold

 

Scenario 3: Trade Both Volch/Tallinder + bring back Zidlicky and let a rookie play

Greene-Larsson

Fayne-Zidlicky

Salvador-Urbom/Gelinas

Harrold

 

Scenario 4: Trade Both Volch/Tallinder + let 2 rookies play!

Greene-Larsson

Fayne-Urbom

Salvador-Gelinas

Harrold

 

So after these moves and guessing that Lou trades a veteran D to open a spot for a rookie I would like the lines to be:

 

Henrique - Loktionov - Kovalchuk

Elias - Zajac - Ryder

Zubrus - Josefson - Clowe

Olesz - Carter - Bernier

Gionta, Barch

 

or

 

Zubrus - Loktionov - Kovalchuk

Elias - Zajac - Ryder

Josefson - Henrique - Clowe

Olesz - Carter - Bernier

Gionta, Barch

 

or

 

Zubrus - Zajac - Kovalchuk

Elias - Henrique - Ryder

Clowe - Loktionov - Tedenby

Carter- Josefson - Bernier

Olesz, Gionta, Barch

 

and

 

Greene - Larsson

Fayne - Urbom/Gelinas

Salvador - Tallinder/Volchenkov

 

and PP1

 

-----------Clowe-----------

-----------------------------

--Ryder---------------Elias---

--------------------------------

-----Kovalchuk------Greene/Larsson

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I really like where the team is/is going. I felt the needs of the franchise are getting addressed. I was very worried about what would happen with goaltending after Brodeur leaves. Trading the 9th overall for Schneider was a perfect solution to our questionable future in net.

 

I thought the Devils would for sure draft a forward and rush them to be part of the top 6 for next season. I'm glad we signed the players we did though. I'll miss Clarkson but I've always liked Clowe. He's a better scorer and skater than Clarkson but is questionable in regards to his health. I think we did overpay for him; 4 years and $16 M I think would have been more appropriate but that's what the going rate for that type of forward was this off season. The Ryder signing is purely amazing in terms of both years and money. 

 

I also like the trading of Tallinder. It definitely is time to let the younger D get a chance. Just thinking of Larsson, Urbom, Gelinas, Burlon, Merill etc. in the next few years is purely amazing. I would have probably used a regular buyout on Hedberg and a compliance buyout on Volchenkov while trading Tallinder but I guess Lou feels Volchenkov can bounce back next season and if he doesn't can get bought out then.

 

My favorite part is that next off season looking at our forwards we have Kovalchuk, Zajac, Elias, Ryder, Clowe, Zubrus, Josefson & Henrique still on contract (assuming Josefson and Henrique sign 2+ year contracts). Meaning those who are consistently productive will be here and all of our depth players will be playing for contracts. Then there can be more focus on upgrading our D, extending Schneider and retaining those helpful depth forwards.

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As a 53% team

Clowe - Loktionov - Kovalchuk (60%)

Elias - Zajac - Ryder (45%)

Henrique - Josefson - Zubrus (48%)

Olesz - Carter - Bernier (50%)

 

Greene - Larsson

Merrill - Volchenkov

Salvador - Fayne

Harrold

 

Schnieder

Brodeur

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What's the percentages? Zone start?

Either that or fenwick.

But probably zone start since Elias and Zajac are ~55% possession players

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Either that or fenwick.

But probably zone start since Elias and Zajac are ~55% possession players

That's what I thought but I wouldn't have thought Kovy would be on a line firing at 60% since he's not the best corsi player. The zone start confused me because what's the 53%? Is that the total amount of faceoffs?

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I'm extremely psyched about our team now actually.. We basically upgraded goalie and added a very decent sniper. If we stay healthy this year we're going deep baby! :D

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