Msweet and I have always believed in self moderation. I have recently removed two long term members who just couldn't post positively. It is hard to make a correction to the discussion if the general sentiment is negative. The Devils season hasn't been great the last two years so you are bound to have more negative Nellies.
If you see or feel someone is crossing the line send me or Msweet a message. I agree the GD threads are unreadable at times which is why I like the chat crowd. Personally I don't want to ban everyone who posts a negative thread but when it becomes a trend yes it is time to correct it.
In bold: I think that sums up a lot of it. You have a whole generation of younger Devils fans who've known nothing but winning hockey since they became fans, until last season. And though there are clearly older fans who do remember the darker days, that doesn't mean anyone is in a rush to go back to them. I'm a Met fan, and years like 1986 were a hell of lot more fun than the present. Struggling teams aren't fun for anyone involved.
It's a rough time to be a Devils fan. We're watching an all-time great and the long-time face of the franchise nearing the end of his career. We keep reading stories about the Devils' financial struggles. A fan favorite and one of the most popular players ever to play for the Devils might be leaving after this season. I think deep down, with the exception of the pot-stirrers and the trollers (not really many of 'em in the grand scheme), everyone here wants to enjoy the Devils and talking hockey...it's just that there's been so little to be positive about.
A lot of this is a slow build...despite the Devils putting up good records the last several seasons (until last), it has often been an ugly team to watch...a team that, by the time the season was over, you looked at their point total and wondered how they managed to amass as many as they did. For years that tricked us all (me included) into thinking they were better than they were...and then they'd get exposed in the playoffs yet again, and often in the same manner: looking so much slower than their opponents. Making the playoffs is obviously not a right and is very much a privilege, but watching our favorite team get dismissed so easily since the last '03 Cup run takes a toll. It's hard to look at that and say "Well, at least we made the playoffs," especially when rivals like the Hurricanes (twice), the Rangers (once), and the Flyers (twice) are the teams giving you the playoff boot.
And despite this year's respectable 14-13-1 mark, it remains a difficult team to watch...sure, there's positives like Henrique, but there are also so many nights where these guys look like they've never played hockey before. And I think everything I've just posted is wearing just enough on everyone that we have, almost to a member, gotten a little more quick-tempered, a little less respectful, and a little more defensive.