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Ten Games In: Initial Impressions?


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Poll: How have the Devils performed so far against your expectations? (75 member(s) have cast votes)

How have the Devils performed so far against your expectations?

  1. Well Above what I expected (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Above what I expected (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. On par with what I expected (28 votes [37.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.33%

  4. Below what I expected (38 votes [50.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.67%

  5. Well below what I expected (9 votes [12.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.00%

  6. I thought the team would be in Kansas City by now (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#21 Pepperkorn

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:17 AM

They are pretty much where I'd hoped they'd be. What I'd like now is to have a little more learning going on. A little more consistent learning and holding on to what you have already learned.

They have far to go to accomplish what they have to in one season - in a sustainable way (season to season) I'd like them to be retaining a little more.

These guys seem to get thrown when things go as they should, you know? When things go their way they (each and every one) seem to get an out of line adrenaline rush that throws them back off -- they can't close right now.

Elias has it together the most. I was shocked Clarkson kept his focus and lifted the puck to score! err I mean scar...

I'm a little disappointed in Chico - he's in that goofy tough/negative love place where he's saying everyone is better but he's still a little shocked his boys didn't come through.

I always expect rotten mindsets to stick but that seems to be gone now -- that's all I've hoped for the past few seasons. just get into a different place they can grown out of. It been such an infertile mindset before last season. Last season was so bad I was pretty certain they were done with that "also ran" mindset they've been in since the lockout. I have always said if you have to move into Loser mode to snap mediocrity so be it then. What I find the absolute worst is mediocrity. I think people don't understand how truly UNSAFE mediocrity is. If I give Manta every benefit of the doubt -- it boils down to he cannot allow this team to stray from mediocrity. It scares the sh!t out of him.... but you never truly succeed on the mediocre path. Personally I find something rather pathetic in mediocrity -- especially the top of mediocre. Unless you're living for yourself in a vacuum as I feel like I've chosen to in my own personal life. Then mediocrity buys you space to exist... not much more though - you have to exceed somewhere else - like support a home and family in a fully present way. ah but I digress....

Edited by Pepperkorn, 03 November 2011 - 10:19 AM.

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#22 El Diablo

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:33 AM

This feels much better than last years horrible experiment ..
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#23 Quinn01

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:35 AM

This feels much better than last years horrible experiment ..


Just out of curiosity, does anyone know where JMac went after the firing?
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#24 Jas0nMacIsaac

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:40 AM

Thats one of the things i don't get, he did it for so long in Atlanta, why cant he do it here?


He had full control in Atlanta. He was allowed to leave the zone early and hover around the centerice line. Their PP didn't fully revolve around his shot as well, they worked it through Kozlov down low quite a bit. He does his best with crafty playmakers. I still think Tedenby is best suited with Kovalchuk but he hasn't done anything to warrant the promotion.

Edited by Jas0nMacIsaac, 03 November 2011 - 10:51 AM.

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#25 Daniel

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

I think the first ten games proves the point Sundstrom has made that Zajac was the player the team could least afford to lose. Losing Josefson has only made it more difficult. Essentially the team is devoid of centers (I still consider Elias more of a winger on a fully healthy team, but I'll concede the point if someone calls me on it).

With Kovy, I just don't understand why the whole plan seems to be having him unload slap shots from the point, especially on the powerplay. Work him down low, to take wristers from the slot area (I know easier said than done). I just pray that he doesn't turn out to be Alexi Yashin.

Bottom line, tread water at or right around .500 until Zajac's return. Puts us in a much better spot to go on a run in the second half of the season.
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#26 aylbert

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:57 AM

I'm tired of people putting the blame for Kovalchuk's play on his linemates. Yes, it would be nice if his linemates were better. The whole reason you sign someone for big money is so that that player can play on an island if need be.

Not true. We signed Kovy for his goal scoring but then decided we wanted him to be an elite two-way forward. We're changing the player we signed for big money and wondering why we aren't seeing the same player we saw in Atlanta. If you want him to score more, while being responsible... you need someone else to get him the puck, since he can't just play on his own blue line waiting for a pass to come his way.

Elias is doing well playing center... but I still think Kovy needs that NHL elite center to pair up with. Parise and Zajac have good chemistry and they will be fine once they both shake their rust.
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#27 Anhkheg

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:12 AM

Here is another point of view. DeBoer needs to get back to the basics, reset the lines to what works and then focus on the one that doesn't. Here is what was working:

Elias-Sykora-Zubrus (works and scores)
Tedenby-Henrique-Clarkson (works and scores)
Janssen-Mills-Boulton-Carter-Pelley (works and brings energy)
Kovy-Parise-Palmieri (not working)

Now you notice one thing, we are getting plenty of secondary support. Devils only need to get their Primary scorers to start scoring. I think its actually that simple with the Devils forwards. Stick with what works, and let Kovy/Parise/Palmieri just rough it out for atleast two games and force them to build chemistry.

The Defense, I really dont know what to say here, so this is just some things I would like to see. Consistency in pinching and jumping into the play, carry the play up the ice instead of looking for that long pass all the time. If they consistently jump up in the play, the forwards will consistently come back to defend and will become a habit, because the D hesitates or become passive at times, it hurts the rhythm and creates a certain level of confusion.

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#28 Marshall

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:22 AM

force them to build chemistry.
[...]
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Right.
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#29 Triumph

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:34 AM

Not true. We signed Kovy for his goal scoring but then decided we wanted him to be an elite two-way forward. We're changing the player we signed for big money and wondering why we aren't seeing the same player we saw in Atlanta. If you want him to score more, while being responsible... you need someone else to get him the puck, since he can't just play on his own blue line waiting for a pass to come his way.


Kovalchuk is not playing that much differently than how he played in Atlanta. Plus, he actually scored more last year when he was backchecking harder. And I'm not willing to chalk that all up to Travis Zajac. Right now Kovalchuk is getting the shots but they're not going in.

One thing I haven't seen Kovalchuk doing is flying the zone when he thinks his team will get the puck - I don't know if that's a good or bad thing (probably neither, honestly)

Elias is doing well playing center... but I still think Kovy needs that NHL elite center to pair up with. Parise and Zajac have good chemistry and they will be fine once they both shake their rust.


Well, you'll have to wait a long time then, because I don't see one of these falling into NJ's lap.
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#30 dantesinferno

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:39 AM

This team is playing exactly how a team built by Lou should be playing. No excitement, no intensity, no individuality and no leadership. I watched the River Rats play for years, they didn’t emphasize winning. The mission was to train players to become part of the machine and weed out the ones who wouldn’t or couldn’t play that way. Now that empty, emotionless philosophy has come home to roost.

Ultimately, this team is going nowhere with Lou at the helm. His smothering, disciplined organizational philosophy sucks the spark and individuality out of players and the team.....no facial hair allowed huh? Great rule, how’s that working out for you Lou?
No creativity on the power play? Maybe players are afraid to break out of their assigned roles for fear of bringing down the wrath of Lou. He might take the tomatoes or lettuce out of their sandwiches. Maybe send them to bed without milk and cookies. Does this team look like they are having fun on the ice? I don’t think so. How does the saying go? “ winning is fun and you have to have fun to win”. The Devils have no chemistry, intensity or excitement. They sign an elite, high scoring forward and immediately begin the process of breaking him down and making him adapt to “Devil’s hockey” instead of working to bring out the player’s individual strengths.

Leadership, intensity, focus, drive to win? I can’t ever remember Scott Stevens giggling and yukking it up on the ice during a face-off like we saw Parise doing last night in the third period. Especially when LOSING. Way to show how much you care. Steven’s nickname was Capt. Crunch, maybe Parise should be Capt. Giggles.

Lou rode the coat tails of some fantastic players. Most have retired and Brodeur is in his achy-breaky twilight years. Three cups made Lou look like a genius....until Stevens and Niedermeyer left.

Times have changed, players have changed and most importantly, the game has changed.

Lou hasn’t changed. Until management gets with the new NHL, expect the same old status quo.

Edited by dantesinferno, 03 November 2011 - 12:38 PM.

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#31 overtime98

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:30 PM

Kovalchuk has 2 goals and is a team worst -7.... that sucks!!! He is supposed to be our goal scorer ? LOL
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#32 aylbert

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:54 PM

Kovalchuk is not playing that much differently than how he played in Atlanta. Plus, he actually scored more last year when he was backchecking harder. And I'm not willing to chalk that all up to Travis Zajac. Right now Kovalchuk is getting the shots but they're not going in.


Except those shots are so predictable that they need to handcuff the goalie to get by. It's almost the same problem we had with Rolston. You see the setup the entire time, and there is no deviation from that plan. chase the puck around along the boards... and then throw it to the point where Kovy will try to fire it in as hard as he can. At least he hits the goalie rather than Rolston's hitting the glass... but it's not going to get the job done.
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#33 MantaRay

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:21 PM

Kovalchuk has 2 goals and is a team worst -7.... that sucks!!! He is supposed to be our goal scorer ? LOL


At least he continues to lead the league in Give-aways with 18.
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#34 Devils Dose

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:23 PM

If only we had kept Trent Hunter :doh1: :doh1: :doh1:
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#35 ghdi

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:33 PM

Kovalchuk has 2 goals and is a team worst -7.... that sucks!!! He is supposed to be our goal scorer ? LOL


Hes got a team leading 5 assists, but if we're looking at stats, take away an EN and Zach only has 3 goals, and only 1 assist. Neither of our offensive "superstars" are performing right now. Patty is the only offensive player who has shown even an iota of consistency. There are also lots of really good players around the league off to slow starts this year. I don't think Kovy nor Zach are solely at fault, but both carry equal burden. Zach has been much better outside of scoring, but thats still a huge part of why we're wanting to keep him around for the foreseeable future.

As for 10 games in, its still too small a sample size. I dont think this team has a lot of talent depth. I think they're going to be really streaky. Its just still too early to say. I am not happy with the production and that has to change.
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#36 CarpathianForest

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:49 PM

If only we had kept Trent Hunter :doh1: :doh1: :doh1:


Trent Hunter is doing okay. I'd prefer him over Janssen or Boulton.

We're pretty much the same as we were last year. Only differences: 2010-2011: Horrible 2nd Period team, Now: Horrible 3rd period team. 2010-2011, Zero dominant wins, Now: 2 dominant wins, 2 by luck, the rest coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Edited by CarpathianForest, 03 November 2011 - 03:49 PM.

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#37 Triumph

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:50 PM

Except those shots are so predictable that they need to handcuff the goalie to get by. It's almost the same problem we had with Rolston. You see the setup the entire time, and there is no deviation from that plan. chase the puck around along the boards... and then throw it to the point where Kovy will try to fire it in as hard as he can. At least he hits the goalie rather than Rolston's hitting the glass... but it's not going to get the job done.


Here's something funny, though - Rolston was 2nd on the Devils in power play shooting percentage. (And we also know that Rolston doesn't miss the net more than league average, at least not at even strength).

I'm not saying the plan to get the puck in to Rolston was a good one, because last year's power play was not very good. Nor am I disagreeing that setting up that particular shot to Kovalchuk is not necessarily a great long-term strategy. But the Devils power play isn't generating enough shots, period. Kovalchuk can beat goalies from out there, but more importantly, his shot can generate rebounds. Last night was a good start - the power play looked different, and perhaps better.

Edited by Triumph, 03 November 2011 - 03:50 PM.

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#38 Devil Fan

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:29 PM

I know this team is wildly inconsistent, but below average is what I think this team is at.
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#39 mmajeski06

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 12:45 AM

On par...not great, but not bad.
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#40 Chimaira_Devil_#9

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:15 AM

Oh i would also like to add I was highly sceptical about Elias at centre, and i am still not 100% sold, and its only been 11 games, but he manages to make things happen wherever he is placed.
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