Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Triumph

Two interesting anecdotes re: NJ in Canadian papers

42 posts in this topic

This from the Winnipeg Sun:

 

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2013/09/06/agent-igor-larionov-says-he-senses-nhl-gms-are-cooling-to-russian-players

 

It won't paste right, but the gist is that Loktionov was offered $3M in Russia and Larionov advised him to stay with NJ for what he got paid there.

 

 

This, from Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts:

 

 

8. Martin Brodeur on the New Jersey Devils: "We've lost that identity of what Devils hockey is all about ... [ilya Kovalchuk, now in KHL,] took a lot of minutes off of everybody and everything had to go through him -- like the two-minute power play. It was hard to adjust yourself sometimes because he needed his minutes. We never had that in New Jersey. Everybody was playing on the same page. We had some great players -- Zach [Parise] -- they played the way we played ... I think we'll be able to get back to that."

9. Brodeur was one of Kovalchuk's biggest defenders while they were teammates. Was he disappointed about the departure? "Oh, definitely ... Look what [the Devils] did to get him to New Jersey. Losing some of the draft picks, some of the current players, the money that was thrown at him, for him just to walk out like that ... I know him and it's just not like him to do that. The lockout created everything -- the taste of what his life would be in Russia and he liked it ... But it affects us, so that's why I'm disappointed ... As a guy, he's a great guy, still going to have a lot of fun with him, but at the end of the day, it's a tough one for what the organization did to get him."

 

There's more about Kovalchuk in the article, but those are the most relevant NJ quotes.  Some sour grapes, but Brodeur can't really mention cap hits and the like.

Edited by Triumph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Larionov who is getting commission to advise a young player to take less money to be in a better league is admirable.  Like he even said he could have taken his paycheck but instead was more interested in his client's best interests.  Hats off to him.

 

Brodeur does have some sour grapes it seems, but what he speaks is the truth.  These past 3 years have been extremely fun and a giant headache at the same time.  Now it feels like with the way the team is shaping up to be and the fact we have owners with deeper pockets the ship is now finally stable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess Larionov really believes Loktionov is the real deal, so thats reassuring although we know that he certainly has the skill and IQ. If Loktionov can maintain his possession numbers and put up 35-45 points, he will probably earn a 4/13 if he wants it.

 

I read the Brodeur part earlier and it's refreshing to see someone not give the standard answers. I'd like to see Elias' unfiltered opinion of IK 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i prefer star-less devils that glue together with the sum bigger than its parts. that's devils hockey and that's what makes me proud to support this team. i would love to have kovie and parise still here, but i would love to win without them to show the real team work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kovy and his game were definitely a major departure from the way the Devils did biz.  I think there was definitely a bit of "cross our fingers and hope this works" going on throughout the organization...and in fairness, it almost did.  Devils' 2012 playoff run was their deepest since winning the '03 Cup. 

 

That being said, I think guys like Elias and Brodeur, while maybe not having anything personal against Kovy the person, might not have been huge fans of Kovy the player...and now that he's gone and because of the way he's gone, wouldn't surprise if little quotes of varying derogatory degree come out here and there.  I don't intepret Brodeur's words as sour grapes...I think he's being pretty fair about how Kovy affected the team and franchise.  It's interesting to hear it from a player perspective. 

 

I don't see Elias ever saying how he truly feels about Kovy for the media to hear, but I have a feeling there's not much love lost. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kovy and his game were definitely a major departure from the way the Devils did biz.  I think there was definitely a bit of "cross our fingers and hope this works" going on throughout the organization...and in fairness, it almost did.  Devils' 2012 playoff run was their deepest since winning the '03 Cup. 

 

That being said, I think guys like Elias and Brodeur, while maybe not having anything personal against Kovy the person, might not have been huge fans of Kovy the player...and now that he's gone and because of the way he's gone, wouldn't surprise if little quotes of varying derogatory degree come out here and there.  I don't intepret Brodeur's words as sour grapes...I think he's being pretty fair about how Kovy affected the team and franchise.  It's interesting to hear it from a player perspective. 

 

I don't see Elias ever saying how he truly feels about Kovy for the media to hear, but I have a feeling there's not much love lost. 

 

I do not agree with this at all:  "We've lost that identity of what Devils hockey is all about ... [ilya Kovalchuk, now in KHL,] took a lot of minutes off of everybody and everything had to go through him -- like the two-minute power play. It was hard to adjust yourself sometimes because he needed his minutes"

 

Firstly, Kovy didn't need these minutes. The Devils staff wanted or needed him to play 24+. He didn't have to play all 2 minutes on the power play. But once he was hurt, it was shown that it was probably for the best that he played all 2 minutes. And Kovy getting 4th line minutes instead of Janssen or Peters or Boulton. What a loss for the team. "Getting back to Devils hockey" just means that we don't have enough offense so we desperately need everyone to contribute to have a shot. But one of the main reasons the Devils did so poorly and missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years is because of garbage goaltending from Brodeur and last year Hedberg. The Devils defense was excellent last year and the offense struggled putting the puck in the net, but not from chances. Kovy being there didn't hurt anyone. And if the offense improves, it won't because Kovy is gone either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that it's Marty saying it gives it credence...and yeah there's a little bit of sour grapes in it, with good reason.  

 

But that said, if the Devils are so much better off without 17 then they'll prove it the next few years.  If they just go back to making the playoffs with offensively mediocre teams and lose easily in the first round the way they were pre-17 that doesn't really do much for me.  It'll do plenty for ownership, keeping October-April semi-relevant but sometimes Devil fans and even the Devils themselves act like talent doesn't matter at all, which is a fallacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that it's Marty saying it gives it credence...and yeah there's a little bit of sour grapes in it, with good reason.  

 

But that said, if the Devils are so much better off without 17 then they'll prove it the next few years.  If they just go back to making the playoffs with offensively mediocre teams and lose easily in the first round the way they were pre-17 that doesn't really do much for me.  It'll do plenty for ownership, keeping October-April semi-relevant but sometimes Devil fans and even the Devils themselves act like talent doesn't matter at all, which is a fallacy.

 

What some of the fans forget is that the previous Cup winners had tremedous talent...it just didn't come in the form of 100-point offensive dynamos.  One HOF goalie, two HOF defenseman...and though there's a perception that the Devils were constantly winning 2-1 games, they could score as well...much more so than people give them credit for.  Those teams weren't a bunch of no-names who were somehow better than the sum of their parts.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not agree with this at all:  "We've lost that identity of what Devils hockey is all about ... [ilya Kovalchuk, now in KHL,] took a lot of minutes off of everybody and everything had to go through him -- like the two-minute power play. It was hard to adjust yourself sometimes because he needed his minutes"

 

Firstly, Kovy didn't need these minutes. The Devils staff wanted or needed him to play 24+. He didn't have to play all 2 minutes on the power play. But once he was hurt, it was shown that it was probably for the best that he played all 2 minutes. And Kovy getting 4th line minutes instead of Janssen or Peters or Boulton. What a loss for the team. "Getting back to Devils hockey" just means that we don't have enough offense so we desperately need everyone to contribute to have a shot. But one of the main reasons the Devils did so poorly and missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years is because of garbage goaltending from Brodeur and last year Hedberg. The Devils defense was excellent last year and the offense struggled putting the puck in the net, but not from chances. Kovy being there didn't hurt anyone. And if the offense improves, it won't because Kovy is gone either.

 

Not saying this is wrong, more saying that it's interesting how Brodeur sees it all...I'm sure others on that team do as well.

 

The 2010-11 team had SO many issues, there's blame, blame and more blame to go around.  But yeah, we all know goaltending was a major issue last year. 

 

If there ARE sour grapes on Brodeur's (and others') part, I think Kovy seemingly having to be dragged back to the Devils probably rubbed some guys the wrong way (we know it did with Elias).  We'll obviously never know, but I wonder what Kovy was like around his teammates, in the lockerroom...was it obvious to the players that he really didn't want to be there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What some of the fans forget is that the previous Cup winners had tremedous talent...it just didn't come in the form of 100-point offensive dynamos.  One HOF goalie, two HOF defenseman...and though there's a perception that the Devils were constantly winning 2-1 games, they could score as well...much more so than people give them credit for.  Those teams weren't a bunch of no-names who were somehow better than the sum of their parts.   

 

That's the thing and for example the 2003 team.  They won because of a HOF goalie and possibly the best defense group the NHL has seen in the last 20 years and have not seen since.  However, their offense was anchored by Elias (ok he is a legit star) and then it drops off to Friesen, Langs, Gomez and even Marshall was a lifesaver in that run.

 

Given that, I am not sure in today's NHL you can win with a HOF goalie and a HOF defense group with the way the game is played now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not saying this is wrong, more saying that it's interesting how Brodeur sees it all...I'm sure others on that team do as well.

 

The 2010-11 team had SO many issues, there's blame, blame and more blame to go around.  But yeah, we all know goaltending was a major issue last year. 

 

If there ARE sour grapes on Brodeur's (and others') part, I think Kovy seemingly having to be dragged back to the Devils probably rubbed some guys the wrong way (we know it did with Elias).  We'll obviously never know, but I wonder what Kovy was like around his teammates, in the lockerroom...was it obvious to the players that he really didn't want to be there?

 

In hindsight, the fact Salvador was named captain when everyone and their grandmother figured it HAD to be Kovy showed that at the very least they didn't want to risk making waves in the room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the thing and for example the 2003 team.  They won because of a HOF goalie and possibly the best defense group the NHL has seen in the last 20 years and have not seen since.  However, their offense was anchored by Elias (ok he is a legit star) and then it drops off to Friesen, Langs, Gomez and even Marshall was a lifesaver in that run.

 

Given that, I am not sure in today's NHL you can win with a HOF goalie and a HOF defense group with the way the game is played now.

 

Well it's very hard to have two HOF'ers on defense at the same time period with the cap.  Every Cup-winning team since the lockout has had at least one stud forward though - Staal, Zetterberg/Datsyuk, Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews.  Maybe you could argue Boston didn't have a star forward but they sure had a HOF anchor on defense with Thomas playing out of sight and an insane amount of good/role player forwards.  They're kind of the closest paradigm to the 'ideal' Devils team, but there's no Chara walking through our door anytime soon so it's not enough to have four lines of semi-talented, workmanlike players.

 

I suppose you could argue LA didn't have a stud forward either aside from maybe Kopitar, but they made two big-name trades for forwards, neither guy really played like it though them getting Carter put them over the top from a good team struggling to make the playoffs to a championship contender.

Edited by NJDevs4978

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it's very hard to have two HOF'ers on defense at the same time period with the cap.  Every Cup-winning team since the lockout has had at least one stud forward though - Staal, Zetterberg/Datsyuk, Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews.  Maybe you could argue Boston didn't have a star forward but they sure had a HOF anchor on defense with Thomas playing out of sight and an insane amount of good/role player forwards.  They're kind of the closest paradigm to the 'ideal' Devils team, but there's no Chara walking through our door anytime soon so it's not enough to have four lines of semi-talented, workmanlike players.

 

True about the cap and I could only imagine what that kind of defense the Devils had back in 2000-04 would cost in today's salary cap era hockey.

 

Also that kinda makes my point as the Devils teams that won the cups back in 1995 and 2003 simply cannot exist anymore without some soft of high-end talent which the Devils seem to lack this year.  I think the Devils have a good shot of making the playoffs this year, but not sure how they will do once they reach that point.  The 2000 team is the only Devils team I can point out of the 3 cups that won because they had high end offense in addition to great goaltending and defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that it's Marty saying it gives it credence...and yeah there's a little bit of sour grapes in it, with good reason.  

 

But that said, if the Devils are so much better off without 17 then they'll prove it the next few years.  If they just go back to making the playoffs with offensively mediocre teams and lose easily in the first round the way they were pre-17 that doesn't really do much for me.  It'll do plenty for ownership, keeping October-April semi-relevant but sometimes Devil fans and even the Devils themselves act like talent doesn't matter at all, which is a fallacy.

 

You make it sound like making the playoffs and losing in the first round is really easy, and as if there's a magic formula to winning in the playoffs.  It's not easy to make the playoffs and there isn't a formula to winning there, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it's very hard to have two HOF'ers on defense at the same time period with the cap.  Every Cup-winning team since the lockout has had at least one stud forward though - Staal, Zetterberg/Datsyuk, Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews.  Maybe you could argue Boston didn't have a star forward but they sure had a HOF anchor on defense with Thomas playing out of sight and an insane amount of good/role player forwards.  They're kind of the closest paradigm to the 'ideal' Devils team, but there's no Chara walking through our door anytime soon so it's not enough to have four lines of semi-talented, workmanlike players.

 

I suppose you could argue LA didn't have a stud forward either aside from maybe Kopitar, but they made two big-name trades for forwards, neither guy really played like it though them getting Carter put them over the top from a good team struggling to make the playoffs to a championship contender.

Christ that LA team was/is stacked up front. Kopitar, Carter, Brown, Richards and Williams are all responsible defensively too. 

 

We all know the NHL playoffs are a major crapshoot that requires luck and health. The Devils have a goalie who is capable of putting up a .930 for 25 games (no, not Marty) and have a top defense. It's all about getting the breaks in the playoffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In hindsight, the fact Salvador was named captain when everyone and their grandmother figured it HAD to be Kovy showed that at the very least they didn't want to risk making waves in the room.

I never thought they would make Kovy captain. I think a lot of other people would have been upset to see a guy who hadn't been part of the team that long get the C too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You make it sound like making the playoffs and losing in the first round is really easy, and as if there's a magic formula to winning in the playoffs.  It's not easy to make the playoffs and there isn't a formula to winning there, either.

 

I'm just saying some people act like 17 was a detriment and all the Devils need is to go back to the days of having 60 point players on the top line and they'll be a championship team again because of 'depth', ignoring the fact we don't have two HOF'ers on defense or a HOF goalie in his prime when we won with those kind of lineups pre-lockout.  Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention.

Edited by NJDevs4978

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just saying some people act like 17 was a detriment and all the Devils need is to go back to the days of having 60 point players on the top line and they'll be a championship team again because of 'depth', ignoring the fact we don't have two HOF'ers on defense or a HOF goalie in his prime when we won with those kind of lineups pre-lockout.  Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention.

 

NJ basically didn't have an HOF goalie in his prime when they won 2 of their Stanley Cups.  It's time we retired the idea that Brodeur was substantially better than other goalies when the Devils were winning a lot.  He wasn't.  His best years were mostly after the Devils had their best years.

 

'Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention'

 

This simply isn't true.  What is true is that scoring in the playoffs is harder than scoring in the regular season.  The Devils don't have a very good offensive team all the way around and it's going to be a real challenge to score.  Still, given how not great Kovalchuk was in general (and I don't mean bad, but he was legitimately Not Great), I think the team will be about the same.  Kovalchuk simply doesn't help a team generate more shots on goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

'Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention'

 

This simply isn't true.  

 

The late '90's Devils were terrible offensively in the playoffs because they had a nice depth guy (Holik) as their top-line center.  When they got the A-line and traded for Mogilny then guys like Holik could return to being good depth players again.  And guess what Holik actually scored a little in the postseason when he was a third/fourth line player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The late '90's Devils were terrible offensively in the playoffs because they had a nice depth guy (Holik) as their top-line center.  When they got the A-line and traded for Mogilny then guys like Holik could return to being good depth players again.  And guess what Holik actually scored a little in the postseason when he was a third/fourth line player.

 

There's no compelling reason why Holik would be able to score in the regular season and unable to score in the playoffs.  The late 90s Devils had Doug Gilmour as their top-line center whenever they entered the playoffs, and then Jason Arnott in 99 (and one of the top scoring teams in the NHL, at any rate).

 

The Bruins won a Stanley Cup with their top scorer having 62 points during the regular season and they made the Finals this year with their top scorer averaging 65 points per 82.  It can be done - it's difficult, but it can be done.  I'm not saying the Devils are as good as the Bruins, but if you have 3 scoring lines and a great goalie you can go places even if none of those lines is particularly dominant.

Edited by Triumph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The late 90s Devils actually weren't as bad offensively as a lot of us remember, or at least compared to the rest of the league. 96-97 and 97-98, they were middle of the pack, and 98-99 were in the top 5 in goals for.

They faired poorly in the playoffs, but as has been recognized, that doesn't necessarily reflect how good a team actually is. Bryzgolov had a stretch during the 2012 regular season where he was unconscious. There's nothing unique about the playoffs that says he couldn't have gone on that streak a few months later.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will take a team with 4 balanced lines over a team with 2 stacked lines and a weak bottom 6 any day. Depth in all areas is what wins championships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

NJ basically didn't have an HOF goalie in his prime when they won 2 of their Stanley Cups.  It's time we retired the idea that Brodeur was substantially better than other goalies when the Devils were winning a lot.  He wasn't.  His best years were mostly after the Devils had their best years.

 

'Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention'

 

This simply isn't true.  What is true is that scoring in the playoffs is harder than scoring in the regular season.  The Devils don't have a very good offensive team all the way around and it's going to be a real challenge to score.  Still, given how not great Kovalchuk was in general (and I don't mean bad, but he was legitimately Not Great), I think the team will be about the same.  Kovalchuk simply doesn't help a team generate more shots on goal.

 

I've pointed out how many of his best puck-stopping seasons came AFTER the '04-'05 lockout, but he at least showed the ability to raise his game to HOF performance during the Cup runs:

 

'95 reg season:  .902 save%

'95 playoffs:  .927

 

'00 reg season:  .910

'00 playoffs:  .927

 

'03 reg season:  .914

'03 playoffs:  .934 

 

Of course, we all know 2001 is a major exception here (.906 reg season, .897 playoffs), and Marty wasn't so much bad in the '01 playoffs as it was that he started off well, then struggled, then got it going again, then struggled...he was basically great for the first few games, bad for 6 or so, strong again for 7, then bad again for 7 (roughly).  The Devils were able to overcome him during the first bad stretch, but not the second.

 

You tend to be a harder grader of Brodeur than most, but the fact that he had three excellent SC runs is extremely noteworthy, especially considering many goalies fizzle come playoff time.  Goalies, like NFL QBs, often get both too much of the credit AND the blame for their teams' successes and failures, but .927, .927, and .934 over 20, 23, and 25 game playoff runs represents some damned fine puck-stopping.  That is absolutely Hall-of-Fame worthy.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think the devils can easily dominate with the amount of big forwards we signed. if we crack in to the playoffs like we usually do at around 6th spot, we can forecheck with the big guys, tire the defense and score a couple of goals. it worked wonders in 2012, and will work again. we have a great goalie to back up to add to that formula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think the devils can easily dominate with the amount of big forwards we signed. if we crack in to the playoffs like we usually do at around 6th spot, we can forecheck with the big guys, tire the defense and score a couple of goals. it worked wonders in 2012, and will work again. we have a great goalie to back up to add to that formula.

This. Remember, in 2012, #17 was hurting, and Elias and Parise didn't play their best hockey either. They got a ton of goals from fluky guys (Salvador anyone), and wore teams out with 4 tough lines and good d. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0