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Cowutopia

Disturbing Trends

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For about six to eight games now there have been a few really disturbing trends aside from the play of Oduya.

1) Turnovers at our own blue line/clear failures from the half boards up. The Rangers game had the Rangers taking away the boards and the Devils had to make passes to the middle to get out of the zone from the goal line, but for a stretch here the Devils have been making very poor plays higher up in the zone. Too many fancy pass attempts, soft pass attempts, and bad clears. Way, way too often, they are not making the strong play. They need to be able to execute here. This is a major reason why there have been so many quality chances against of late. Get the puck DEEP and pressure. Aside from the top line, Rolston, Zharkov and Bergie have all brought good forecheck pressure, so why have we gotten away from the deep play? It's the bread and butter of the team...I thought.

2) Defensemen troubles: From the blue line down, there are two defensemen and ONLY two who will try to skate it out of the zone: Oduya and Greene. Oduya hasn't been any good at it.

Mottau can't skate it out of the zone. White isn't that great at it either but he does almost always make a solid play to get the puck far...sure you can't really call it an outlet pass but it gets the job done and doesn't create turnovers. Oduya gets caught a lot trying to do too much from BEHIND THE NET. Mottau doesn't have the speed. Just today in the first period he got caught behind his net and couldn't make a pass OR skate it out.

3) Salvador playing such low minutes. I thought this guy was in the top 4 before he went down? Is he still hurt? Whoever plays with Fraser is going to get low minutes, and at this rate I feel like it ought to be Oduya, though Mottau could go down too. Salvy was playing wonderfully before the injury and was a key to our success. So why is Salvador stuck on the third pair?

4) The Power Play. I don't know what's going on here, but nothing's working lately and that wonderful PP% is dropping like a rock, not to mention the 5 on 3 is still awful. Guys have to execute, execute, execute on their passes, I don't care how bad the ice is!

So basically, I'd just like to see the Devils get back to making the STRONG play more often than the DUMB or SOFT play, ESPECIALLY around their own blue line.

Thoughts?

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My thought is teams never play at peak form over a whole season.

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My thought is much of what we've talked about here. Injuries. Martin is the best skater we have, plays 25 minutes, and is the best PP guy we have. Also, on the PP, we haven't seen last years decent PP of Martin-Jamie Elias-Zajac-Parise...

Zubrus and Clarkson do great board/cycle work. They've been gone for a long ass time now.

This roster has been holding the tent up for months and months. THis is also like the. what? 6th game in 8 days.

We need to get healthy/get some rest. Unfortunately it doesn't get any easier until the olympic rest.

Until then, I'm going to reserve judgment. I wouldn't be opposed to perhaps inserting a different rookie for a breath of fresh minutes. How's Vasyunov doing?

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Well we're not getting healthy with Elias likely to miss a long time, plus the Olympics, after getting taken off the ice on a stretcher. Edit: Guess not: "Through a team spokesman, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Elias is “OK” and “has all of his faculties.” Elias is back in the locker room and, apparently, was not taken to the hospital. "

But yeah, I'm ready for Zubrus to come back.

Edited by Cowutopia

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Peters stinks.

There is no doubt that the man sucks but until today I really thought the guy was ragged on way to much for someone who plays so little. But now I have seen the light. His reaction after that penalty in the 3rd period says it all. The play was clearly still going on the other way and he basically stood there and had a conversation with the referee! You couldn't make this sh*t up.

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there's alot more than those.

basically lately, everything other than Marty has been a "disturbing trend". how about usage? when do we figure out that Parise is a PP garbageman and not Elias? sh!t, thank god we didn't reup Gio, because we'd having dualing wings on the halfboards throwing pointless shots on net and botching passing plays

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What about the lines? I love McAmmond but not as a second line center. Bergfors should be playing on the top two lines. It's that simple.

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We've been talking about those.

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There is no doubt that the man sucks but until today I really thought the guy was ragged on way to much for someone who plays so little. But now I have seen the light. His reaction after that penalty in the 3rd period says it all. The play was clearly still going on the other way and he basically stood there and had a conversation with the referee! You couldn't make this sh*t up.

Yea, WTF was that?

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Some grade A bull. Lemaire has seen enough of this guy to bench him forever I think but just isn't comfortable without a sacrificial goon to take the five minutes. Our D will fight but apart from that he wants the other forwards on the ice I think, and I don't think he enjoys having 5 d.

Edited by Cowutopia

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I also think coaching might be a little bit of the problem. The powerplay needs adjusting.

Send Peters to Siberia, call up Pikka. Send Pandawful to Lowell, bring up Halischuk or Sestito until Zubrus and Clarkson get back.

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Pando has been a bright spot in my mind, though not really on the scoresheet, which is a shame. He's produced a lot of good opportunities that he can't bury or his linemates can't bury (same old song I know) but he STOPS in front of the net. This is key. KEY. A lot of Devils don't do that often enough. It seems like the chemistry is off, they work the cycle so much that often a forward will be driving the end boards instead of getting in front for a rebound.

Edited by Cowutopia

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Some grade A bull. Lemaire has seen enough of this guy to bench him forever I think but just isn't comfortable without a sacrificial goon to take the five minutes. Our D will fight but apart from that he wants the other forwards on the ice I think, and I don't think he enjoys having 5 d.

he doesn't really play Fraser as is. he just has a hard-on for goons. luckily Peters is godawful, otherwise he'd really be taking shifts from people that he shouldn't be.

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Was discussing this with someone the other day. It's the Olympic schedule. Every team is playing tons of games with little time for rest or practice time. It's easy to hit a wall. Andy Greene hasn't put up a point this month. It's eight games since Dec.30 2-0 win over Pit. He's never played this much.

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Andrew Peters is an abosolutely worthless player. PL3 does anything he can do but doesn't take completely ridiculous penalties.

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The only positive thing about Peters in my mind is that he's completely disposable. In that, he's one guy who lemaire can send out there to take the 5 minutes, and he won't be missed. Much better than, say, salvador or a top-6 forward.

That being said, I think PL3 plays this role in a much better fashion. Pelly also fills this role (granted, he's a lightweight), but still...I can't imagine why Peters plays over PL3. Maybe it's just a feeling lemaire has (simliar to how sutter treated greene).

The power play 'worries' me, but again...it's a little over the half way point. I'll take a .500 record for a few weeks, if it means the team can peak (or..re-peak?) in april. I'll honestly be disgusted if this team takes another first round exit.

Hope to god elias doesn't miss much time. I'm comfortable missing him until after the olympic break if it means he won't suffer a relapse. How refreshing would that be for the team's morale...getting martin, clarkson, and elias back at once (and potentially a deadline addition...)

Edited by Devsfan118

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Andrew Peters is an abosolutely worthless player. PL3 does anything he can do but doesn't take completely ridiculous penalties.

Agreed 100%

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The only positive thing about Peters in my mind is that he's completely disposable. In that, he's one guy who lemaire can send out there to take the 5 minutes, and he won't be missed. Much better than, say, salvador or a top-6 forward.

That being said, I think PL3 plays this role in a much better fashion. Pelly also fills this role (granted, he's a lightweight), but still...I can't imagine why Peters plays over PL3. Maybe it's just a feeling lemaire has (simliar to how sutter treated greene).

The power play 'worries' me, but again...it's a little over the half way point. I'll take a .500 record for a few weeks, if it means the team can peak (or..re-peak?) in april. I'll honestly be disgusted if this team takes another first round exit.

Hope to god elias doesn't miss much time. I'm comfortable missing him until after the olympic break if it means he won't suffer a relapse. How refreshing would that be for the team's morale...getting martin, clarkson, and elias back at once (and potentially a deadline addition...)

Like it was said earlier, teams can't play at the pinnacle of their game every game of the season. It just happens. I think we, as fans, should be grateful that these were our first two consecutive losses since mid-November, and even more so, the first consecutive regulation losses since the first two games of the season, come on people! The Devils simply didn't get "the bounces" in the last two games. They played their gosh-darn-harts out at times, but when you don't get "the bounces", it just doesn't happen. They had 7 SHOTS on the final power play at the end of the game. It's not like they aren't trying.

Now for the individuals not trying...

Pando, I love you man, but you can't stay on your skates to save your life. That, and the 40 mph shots, that when on goal, are straight into the goalie's chest.

Mottau, thanks for your service. The greatest college players don't make pro athletes, ask Ryan Leaf. Also, see Pando.

Peters, I really am the biggest fan of the pugilist, but not for what you bring. Cam ate your lunch and brought 10x of what you did, even though he didn't bring much.

White, I've been hating on you for the last couple of years, but you've kinda changed my mind the past few weeks... as long as when you're not paired with Mottau. You're hits have been good and not out of place (a la last year's playoffs) and I really like the idea of you upfront on the PP today. Maybe it will work out with more practice.

Edited by manbearpig

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Like it was said earlier, teams can't play at the pinnacle of their game every game of the season. It just happens. I think we, as fans, should be grateful that these were our first two consecutive losses since mid-November.

...it just seems the team is leveling off. Over our past 11 games, we're 6-5. I didn't expect the Devs to stay white-hot 'till the olympic break.. although the break itself may be the best thing for the Devils. We've played 6 games in a 9 day span. You gotta believe this team's tired.

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It's pretty clear the team is very mentally, and probably quite physically, exhausted. Our passes have been very soft lately and we've been absolutely dominated in board play - dominated - even our best guys like Zach aren't getting it done along the boards, and that's usually where our offense gets started.

The schedule has been ridiculous, and we've been missing key guys for an amount of time that I now feel comfortable referring to as "forever". It was bound to catch up to us eventually.

That said, it's not like we're getting dominated in this rough stretch. We've played some awful first periods, but we've usually come back to at least make it competitive after that.

-I agree that Peters is awful. I tried to defend him earlier on in the year because I thought his physical abilities would be useful. Clearly, I was wrong on that one. His fights in the first five minutes of the game do absolutely nothing to help the team. Staged fights like that are totally useless. That's pretty much all he brings to the table - a staged fight with the other team's goon. Obviously his scrap didn't do much to "boost" the team or generate any kind of excitement, as we got totally flattened in the first.

-White/Mottau need to be permanently separated. Three or four times now they've been split up in the middle of the game because of poor play. They've never really been good together and lately they've been completely abused. I think both are useful defensemen, just not when they're together.

-We desperately need Martin, Clarkson, and Zubrus back. The fill-ins haven't been getting it done like they were before. The offense needs a boost and all three of these guys will help immensely just with their presence in the line-up. Too bad it looks like it'll be another few weeks before we see the first two. Here's hoping to a healthy return for Zubrus and no re-injuries (*vomit*).

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complaining about peters is like complaining about the long man in the bullpen. in the end, it's almost totally irrelevant. peters standing there complaining to the referee in a one goal game should hopefully get him out of the lineup, and that'll be that.

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complaining about peters is like complaining about the long man in the bullpen. in the end, it's almost totally irrelevant. peters standing there complaining to the referee in a one goal game should hopefully get him out of the lineup, and that'll be that.

But there are times that a long man in the pen can be useful to have. I have yet to see Peters be useful.

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But there are times that a long man in the pen can be useful to have. I have yet to see Peters be useful.

that isn't the point of the analogy - the point is that peters makes very little difference with regard to winning and losing. he's obviously a player that contributes much more to losing than winning, but his contributions are ultimately tiny.

Edited by Triumph

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