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devilsrule33

Another Playoff Series/Season Flashback

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The kids who are rushed up and play in the league early are 90% of the time offensive dynamos. They don't learn the game well. It's an organizational flaw. The second their skills diminish, their careers are over.

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Love these threads DR33.

I remember coming into the season that I thought Pierre Dagenais was going to be the real deal due to his hot streak in a small sample size the year prior - but I was young and ignorant at the time.

I'll always remember feeling shocked when I found out they traded McKay and Arnott, especially since it didn't come out til after the deadline had passed. Of course the trade ended up working out really well the next year but as a young fan, McKay was one of my favorites and hard to see go. Grew up watching him win 2 Cups with the Devils.

That was also the last time I ever wished for a specific opponent for the Devils. I really thought it would be an easy series. I've since learned to respect everyone and that any G can get hot. I had nightmares of Weekes/Irbe for a while after that series.

Whether it was right or wrong I remember being pissed at Sykora at the time and wanting him gone. I was thrilled when the Friesen deal happened.

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I just went over that Ottawa series and I don't think Ottawa was the better team 'by far'.  Seemed about even in shots and considering score effects that's where it should've been. 

 

i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.

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i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.

Alfredsson?

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i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.

 

I'm surprised 03 over 06. The 2007 Senators lost Hasek, Havlat and Chara (gained nobody really) from the 06 team and still cruised to the Cup finals.

 

Th 2003 team had Hossa, and he was such a beast. Him vs Stevens was as entertaining a matchup to watch. Not many players ever gave Stevens that much trouble. 

 

Watch Hossa fly down the wing against Stevens in Game 6 in OT. Why did Muckler make that trade?

 

 

What a bad play by White there.

Edited by devilsrule33

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Haha, such a reflex to see a guy w/ #24 and a last name beginning with S and thinking he's responsible for the goal against.  But yeah that was terrible.

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The ottawa series was another that shouldn't have even reached a game 7 panic attack mode. But again, those Devils didn't win in overtime in the playoffs very much.

 

Brodeur did a nice job on that OT winner. How many whacks are you going to allow a team before one eventually gets through though.

 

where the hell was white going?

Edited by '7'

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The ottawa series was another that shouldn't have even reached a game 7 panic attack mode. But again, those Devils didn't win in overtime in the playoffs very much.

 

Brodeur did a nice job on that OT winner. How many whacks are you going to allow a team before one eventually gets through though.

 

where the hell was white going?

 

Please tell me you're not extending your Brodeur hatred to Cup runs where he was terrific:

 

Boston (5 games):  .940

Tampa (5 games):  .942

Ottawa (7 games):  .932

Anaheim (7 games):  .925 (and that includes Game 6, where he gave up 5 goals on 22 shots)

 

TOTAL:  .934

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Please tell me you're not extending your Brodeur hatred to Cup runs where he was terrific:

 

Boston (5 games):  .940

Tampa (5 games):  .942

Ottawa (7 games):  .932

Anaheim (7 games):  .925 (and that includes Game 6, where he gave up 5 goals on 22 shots)

 

TOTAL:  .934

 

no I was defending him. He had guys whacking at the puck with nobody in sight. He did the best he could to keep that goal out.

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no I was defending him. He had guys whacking at the puck with nobody in sight. He did the best he could to keep that goal out.

 

OK, my fault, misunderstood...thought you were ripping on him.

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where the hell was white going?

 

lol I never noticed that until seeing the clip...he's the one that practically took out himself and Stevens behind the net?  Yeah looked like he was going for the hit on Hossa.  I liked Whitey but sometimes he could go for the hit at an inopportune moment and get way out of position to do it (cough 2009 Game 7 cough).  I was at the 2003 ECF Game 6, I was actually fully expecting to see an ECF celebration.  I figured that had to be the night and we'd come through since we came through every other time this season.  Of course as it turned out it set up an even more dramatic Game 7, oh well...and I got to see a better celebration a couple weeks later.

 

The 2002 team, I was just mad at the team for getting Larry fired (or so I thought), mad at Lou - although the TG tweets recently about how Larry quit that time too cast a new light on that situation.  But it was just an unhappy year all around.  I think to a certain extent I felt they were done for after Game 5, but the only time I've ever felt something comparable to CR where I was at the arena and 'knew' they weren't going to win from early on was Game 5 against the Flyers in '10.  After five minutes it was obvious that team was done too, a similar feeling to the one CR described for the Kevin Weekes game.  

 

And yeah it was an open secret in '02 that not only the fans but the Devils themselves wanted the Canes too and we paid for that hubris, but to a degree the way they finished the '01 series against us gave them confidence in '02 I think.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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lol I never noticed that until seeing the clip...he's the one that practically took out himself and Stevens behind the net?  Yeah looked like he was going for the hit on Hossa.  I liked Whitey but sometimes he could go for the hit at an inopportune moment and get way out of position to do it (cough 2009 Game 7 cough).  I was at the 2003 ECF Game 6, I was actually fully expecting to see an ECF celebration.  I figured that had to be the night and we'd come through since we came through every other time this season.  Of course as it turned out it set up an even more dramatic Game 7, oh well...and I got to see a better celebration a couple weeks later.

 

The 2002 team, I was just mad at the team for getting Larry fired (or so I thought), mad at Lou - although the TG tweets recently about how Larry quit that time too cast a new light on that situation.  But it was just an unhappy year all around.  I think to a certain extent I felt they were done for after Game 5, but the only time I've ever felt something comparable to CR where I was at the arena and 'knew' they weren't going to win from early on was Game 5 against the Flyers in '10.  After five minutes it was obvious that team was done too, a similar feeling to the one CR described for the Kevin Weekes game.  

 

And yeah it was an open secret in '02 that not only the fans but the Devils themselves wanted the Canes too and we paid for that hubris, but to a degree the way they finished the '01 series against us gave them confidence in '02 I think.

 

I consider it a firing. It was announced as a firing. Robinson disagreed with some of the things Lou said at the time of the coaching change etc. What possible reason would Lou/Larry call it a firing if it wasn't? So it would be a bigger wake up call to the players?

 

Lou obviously had a ton of respect for Robinson, and this is just a guess, but perhaps during the half-season slump, Robinson just couldn't be the bad guy all of a sudden. He probably tried everything he felt he could do with this group. He and Lou had many discussions throughout the rough stretch and Larry was probably candid with Lou telling him he couldn't change who he was to fix this team. If it's both agreeing someone new was needed to turn the ship around, I still think it's a firing or an organizational reshuffle. It was still determined right after the firing that Larry would stay in the organization. Then weeks later he is back behind the bench.

Edited by devilsrule33

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The 2002 playoff series versus the Canes: wasn't that the playoff series where the Devils tried to get a White Out going so they gave free T-shirts to everyone that actually said, "Wear White," LOL.

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The 2002 playoff series versus the Canes: wasn't that the playoff series where the Devils tried to get a White Out going so they gave free T-shirts to everyone that actually said, "Wear White," LOL.

 

What a fail that was.  Half the crowd didn't wear them and there was more purple with all the empty seats at every game.  The cheapskates also only gave them out for the first game too.  That was the last time they gave out pom-poms too.  As stupid as it sounds, 2003 just doesn't look right with those stupid thunder sticks at every game.

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I consider it a firing. It was announced as a firing. Robinson disagreed with some of the things Lou said at the time of the coaching change etc. What possible reason would Lou/Larry call it a firing if it wasn't? So it would be a bigger wake up call to the players?

 

Lou obviously had a ton of respect for Robinson, and this is just a guess, but perhaps during the half-season slump, Robinson just couldn't be the bad guy all of a sudden. He probably tried everything he felt he could do with this group. He and Lou had many discussions throughout the rough stretch and Larry was probably candid with Lou telling him he couldn't change who he was to fix this team. If it's both agreeing someone knew was needed to turn the ship around, I still think it's a firing or an organizational reshuffle. It was still determined right after the firing that Larry would stay in the organization. Then weeks later he is back behind the bench.

 

It would sort of explain a little more why Lou was willing to ask Larry to come back to be an assistant when Cuniff got sick though, if Larry had been fired it would have taken serious cajones to ask him to come back as an assistant a week later, even considering the circumstances.  Either way he was still on the payroll but if he was on the payroll after stepping aside then he obviously owed Lou a favor anyway.  You said it yourself, they could have called it a firing as more of a shakeup.  It kind of did work for a time, at least the rest of the regular season.  Maybe it was a mutual parting of the ways too.

 

That was just such a weird situation however it went down, especially at the end of the season when Larry was the one shaking everyone's hands as they came off the ice in Game 6 and Constantine was a statue.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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The 2002 playoff series versus the Canes: wasn't that the playoff series where the Devils tried to get a White Out going so they gave free T-shirts to everyone that actually said, "Wear White," LOL.

 

The home crowds weren't awful in that series. All over 17,000 for all 3 playoff home games. Trouble is when you play in a 19,040 seat arena those 2,000 empties are very visible

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So this is reaching back to some of my earlier memories of the Devils (as I was only 11) but correct me if I'm wrong... Did the devils score first in game 6 but it got waived off for something? I could be thinking of something else

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So this is reaching back to some of my earlier memories of the Devils (as I was only 11) but correct me if I'm wrong... Did the devils score first in game 6 but it got waived off for something? I could be thinking of something else

 

That was 2001 Game 6 against the Avs.

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That Ottawa team was tremendous. I remember that now. It might have been the best team the Devils played in that four year swing. I thought so anyway.

 

White was known for taking himself out of plays just like that. I'll never forget Game 1 against Colorado, I think it was the first goal, it was the same exact play. White goes for the hit behind the net and leaves the barn door open. He got better as years went on, but at first he did that a lot as I recall.

 

As for the Y18 to 30+ guys, Holik and I talked about this a lot on the podcast way back when. it's hard. Especially now, because of the speed of the game - the miles you're getting - it's tough to keep up.

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he was an odd Duck too, gotten in the deal for Teemu Selanne.  I don't think Friesen was a very smart player and when his skills declined he was through as a regular NHLer.  Also he was probably propped up by NJ which was a shot factory at the time - once he was released into the NHL proper, he was lost.

 

I've often wondered if there's some correlation between starting earlier and finishing earlier - both Sykora and Friesen played their Y18 seasons in the NHL, but both guys were basically through at 32 - Sykora was propped up by the right teams in his mid 30s, but he was at best an average NHLer after his 30th birthday when you considered everything he couldn't do.  Sergei Samsonov was a Calder winner and was done at 32, and that after having his best seasons in his early 20s (which seem now to have been propped up by Joe Thornton, who is amazing).  Scott Gomez, Calder winner, in the NHL at age 19, his Y30 season was his last good one.  Dunno, seems like for non-superstars like this there's a clock on them - this is something to consider with free agents.  It wouldn't surprise me a bunch if Nathan Horton suffered a big decline in his game, say (wow, looking at his numbers for this year, which I didn't do before I wrote the first half of this sentence, it looks like it already happened)

 

I think in a guy like Friesen's case, he might have gotten worn down from high expectations as well...there was an article in SI about future up-and-coming stars, and he was considered to be a big one coming up.  In SJ, they thought he was going to be a 35-40 goal, point-per-game type...when he scored a career-high 31 goals in his fourth season (he was only 21 going on 22), their fans thought "Finally, OK, here we go."  They didn't realize (or refused to believe) that he wasn't going to be any better than what he was.  After another 2 3/4 seasons of "disappointment", he then goes to Anaheim, like you said, as part of a deal for Teemu Selanne.  He didn't come close to living up to what the Anaheim faithful were hoping for, and even worse, he didn't even produce like he had previously (which probably would've STILL been barely acceptable to Duck fans). 

 

I remember him admitting when he was dealt to NJ that playing for both SJ and Anaheim had been difficult for him, and that he was looking forward to a new start in NJ.  In a lot of ways, like you alluded to, playing here in 2003 was pretty ideal for him...he was replacing a guy in Sykora who some fans were a little sour on, and after Arnott had been dealt, Sykora following him out the door was a lot less shocking.  Friesen playing for the Devils had to be a lot easier than coming in as youngster with massive expectations, as he did in SJ, or having to follow a pure highlight scoring machine, like Selanne.  Here all he had to do was fit in and be a reasonably productive piece to succeed, and for that one season, he was.    

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I had no clue how young Friesen was when he played for the Devils. I know the Devils traded Friesen for cap reasons, but they couldn't have picked a better player...

 

After the lockout, he played 123 games for Washington/Anaheim/Calgary and combined for 10 goals and 13 assists at 29/30.  Looks like he took tried to make the NHL over the next two years but was released from an AHL team and cut from the Sharks training camp the following year. Finished his career by playing two years in the top German league.

 

Pretty weird.

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I had no clue how young Friesen was when he played for the Devils. I know the Devils traded Friesen for cap reasons, but they couldn't have picked a better player...

 

After the lockout, he played 123 games for Washington/Anaheim/Calgary and combined for 10 goals and 13 assists at 29/30.  Looks like he took tried to make the NHL over the next two years but was released from an AHL team and cut from the Sharks training camp the following year. Finished his career by playing two years in the top German league.

 

Pretty weird.

 

I had posted some info about this in the first page (the 10 goals and 13 assists in the 123 for three teams, etc).  Yeah, very weird, was basically done as an effective NHLer by the time he was 28, even though he still played for a couple more years.  He's been out of the NHL since 2007 and is only 37 years old NOW.   

 

Like Tri pointed out, some of the early starters have had similar paths.  I know Gomez has always been a guy who's relied on his ability, but yeah, look at his numbers, and like Friesen, it's like someone yanked the plug. 

 

Gomez's last four seasons:  203 GP, 13 G, 63 A, 76 Pts, -45, 3.9 shooting% 

 

He just about out of time.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Friesen had one of the strangest career paths I've ever seen.

 

I'll always think, in his case, some of it was mental...the high expectations in SJ, and being seen as some kind of replacement for Selanne after being traded for him.  From '96-'97 through '99-'00, he was a nice, decently productive player (averaged about 80 GP and 61 points in that time), but everyone expected more (he also never did much in the playoffs for SJ either...34 GP, 5 G, 10 A).   

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