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Patrick Elias: Where Does He Rank Among the NJ Devils Greats?


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#61 CarpathianForest

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:57 PM

Just had to do it!

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#62 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:39 PM

So basically you are saying that the Wings had better players, but lost to a bunch of non-descript players who sacraficed personal stats for winning.

Basically you just proved my main point that we won that cup in 95 not because of the skills of Steven or Brodeur, but because of the trap. Remember, you just called the team of mostly made up of non-descript players.


You're taking what I said out of context. Its the mix of having good players and using a system that fits the players you have that makes it work. The same theory holds true today. The 1995 Devils had few high powered offensive players that were in their prime. Their best and most talented players were on D and in goal. The players bought into the system and used their strengths to their advantage.

As far as the non-descript comment goes, how many people outside the NY/NJ area could name more than 5 people on that 1995 team? I'm willing to bet not many, as they were a bunch of hard working players that didn't consistently put up gaudy offensive numbers. In essence, they weren't household names. Detroit may have had more talent up and down the roster, but the Devils were a better team with a much better goaltender. That's why they won that Cup.

And if you don't think Stevens sacrificed offensive numbers to play Lemaire's system, take a look at the back of his hockey card and compare his stats pre-1994 to post-1994.

Edited by Chuck the Duck, 23 December 2011 - 01:41 PM.

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#63 MantaRay

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 02:37 PM

And if you don't think Stevens sacrificed offensive numbers to play Lemaire's system, take a look at the back of his hockey card and compare his stats pre-1994 to post-1994.


This is so true. Stevens was noted for his temper and his offensive game back with the Caps and he had almost 80 points in 93-94 pre-Jacques. The same could be said of Elias who could have easily put up 100 points a season on a West Coast team.
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#64 Devil Dan 56

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 02:39 PM

This is so true. Stevens was noted for his temper and his offensive game back with the Caps and he had almost 80 points in 93-94 pre-Jacques. The same could be said of Elias who could have easily put up 100 points a season on a West Coast team.


Well, the 80 points was with Lemaire, but your overall point is dead on. He changed his game for the system. So did guys like Bobby Carpenter, who started his career has more of a scorer.
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#65 DevsMan84

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 03:06 PM

You're taking what I said out of context. Its the mix of having good players and using a system that fits the players you have that makes it work. The same theory holds true today. The 1995 Devils had few high powered offensive players that were in their prime. Their best and most talented players were on D and in goal. The players bought into the system and used their strengths to their advantage.

As far as the non-descript comment goes, how many people outside the NY/NJ area could name more than 5 people on that 1995 team? I'm willing to bet not many, as they were a bunch of hard working players that didn't consistently put up gaudy offensive numbers. In essence, they weren't household names. Detroit may have had more talent up and down the roster, but the Devils were a better team with a much better goaltender. That's why they won that Cup.

And if you don't think Stevens sacrificed offensive numbers to play Lemaire's system, take a look at the back of his hockey card and compare his stats pre-1994 to post-1994.



While Stevens was much more of an offensive-defenseman before Lemaire, you are making it like he was putting up Paul Coffey like numbers before the Devils started using the trap and that is a great exaggeration.

As for the Devils having a better goalie, well in 1995 I beg to differ. Mike Vernon was a 5-time all star and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 while Marty was in his second full year and only had a Calder to his name. A lot of Marty's wins and shutouts would then occur in the dead puck era while a majority of Vernon's stats were during the high scoring 80's and early 90's. Looking at everything, Detroit had a much more proven team and should have swept the Devils but the opposite happened.
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#66 Triumph

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 03:23 PM

Mike Vernon was at best an average goalie and was the main reason why that series was a sweep.
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#67 Neb00rs

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:00 PM

This is so true. Stevens was noted for his temper and his offensive game back with the Caps and he had almost 80 points in 93-94 pre-Jacques. The same could be said of Elias who could have easily put up 100 points a season on a West Coast team.


It is true, but not as many as one might think. The game was already changing and Stevens was lucky enough to come to the team that could best take advantage of the new defensive game. We were lucky enough to get him.
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#68 mouse

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:35 PM

How is there no way? Obviously Stevens is a legit choice but its debatable who the greatest is. Elias only played with us and sacrificed a career of offensive prowess to play a two-way well rounded game and win with the Devils. He also totally defines the Devils in his humility and greatness. He has done things out there on the ice that Ovechkin or Crosby could never do...I've seen him do it many times...and he never needed to dance across the ice like a moron or to have the favoritism and publicity from the league. He just shuts up and plays to win. He has led this team for years and has been a good player every year of his career. Best of all he has always respected the fans. His talent is amazing and his ability to read the ice is unheard of.

When this team lost all its top players, Elias stayed when he could have ran...he didn't run. And he put the team above himself when that idiot sutter took his "C". He has been a constant throughout and stuck with it to be our all time scoring leader. If Elias reaches 1000 points it will be a miraculous accomplishment given his constantly changing linemates and the defense he has had to play.


I'm not bashing Elias, but Stevens was arguably the greatest d-man of his generation (I'd pick Lidstrom or Bourque, but that's for another thread), Elias was the best forward on the Devils most years. Stevens is a first ballot HOFer, Elias is a borderline candidate if everything breaks right for 3 or 4 more years. It's insulting to suggest that Elias is better than Stevens, and I say this even though Elias, Dano and Mad Dog are my favorite Devils of all time.
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#69 Neb00rs

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:44 PM

I'm not bashing Elias, but Stevens was arguably the greatest d-man of his generation (I'd pick Lidstrom or Bourque, but that's for another thread), Elias was the best forward on the Devils most years. Stevens is a first ballot HOFer, Elias is a borderline candidate if everything breaks right for 3 or 4 more years. It's insulting to suggest that Elias is better than Stevens, and I say this even though Elias, Dano and Mad Dog are my favorite Devils of all time.


What? The argument is over the greatest Devil not NHLer.
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#70 DevsMan84

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

Mike Vernon was at best an average goalie and was the main reason why that series was a sweep.


His two Stanley cups, five all star appearances, and his conn smythe (something Marty never won) begs to differ.

Edited by DevsMan84, 23 December 2011 - 04:47 PM.

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#71 Triumph

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:56 PM

His two Stanley cups, five all star appearances, and his conn smythe (something Marty never won) begs to differ.


Okay, well he won 2 Stanley Cups because he played for great teams during the bulk of his career. Grant Fuhr wasn't a great goaltender either.

His five All-Star appearances are because NHL people thought and still think that wins = good goalie. He probably deserved 2 of those appearances.

He won a Conn Smythe because he had a great playoff run and the league didn't see fit to award it to the opposing goalie. Bill Ranford, Ron Hextall, J.S. Giguere, and Cam Ward own a Conn Smythe while Brodeur and Hasek don't. Like we're seeing with Brian Elliott, it's not that unusual for a goalie to go on a 20 game hot streak - to do it in the playoffs is special. But when a goalie plays for great teams year after year, it's inevitable that one year he's going to have a playoff run.

Edited by Triumph, 23 December 2011 - 05:01 PM.

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#72 mouse

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:59 PM

What? The argument is over the greatest Devil not NHLer.


Captain of 3 cup teams, anchor of one of the greatest defenses of all time. Dominated in a way Elias couldn't. Like I said, nothing against Elias, but Stevens and Marty were special, once in a lifetime players, and Elias just isn't.
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#73 Neb00rs

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:23 PM

Captain of 3 cup teams, anchor of one of the greatest defenses of all time. Dominated in a way Elias couldn't. Like I said, nothing against Elias, but Stevens and Marty were special, once in a lifetime players, and Elias just isn't.


I know the basic argument for Stevens, I previously said he's a great choice. My only argument is how is there no way Elias could be argued - which is what you originally stated.

And as per my original posts in support of Elias...I completely disagree that Elias is not a once in a lifetime player.

Edited by ben00rs, 23 December 2011 - 05:24 PM.

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#74 DevsMan84

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:24 PM

Okay, well he won 2 Stanley Cups because he played for great teams during the bulk of his career. Grant Fuhr wasn't a great goaltender either.

His five All-Star appearances are because NHL people thought and still think that wins = good goalie. He probably deserved 2 of those appearances.

He won a Conn Smythe because he had a great playoff run and the league didn't see fit to award it to the opposing goalie. Bill Ranford, Ron Hextall, J.S. Giguere, and Cam Ward own a Conn Smythe while Brodeur and Hasek don't. Like we're seeing with Brian Elliott, it's not that unusual for a goalie to go on a 20 game hot streak - to do it in the playoffs is special. But when a goalie plays for great teams year after year, it's inevitable that one year he's going to have a playoff run.


And you can make the exact same arguement for brodeur. I wonder how he would do if he played a majority of his career on a weak team or in the 80's. I would not be surprised if he would have similar stats to Vernon.
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#75 Neb00rs

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:29 PM

While Stevens was much more of an offensive-defenseman before Lemaire, you are making it like he was putting up Paul Coffey like numbers before the Devils started using the trap and that is a great exaggeration.

As for the Devils having a better goalie, well in 1995 I beg to differ. Mike Vernon was a 5-time all star and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 while Marty was in his second full year and only had a Calder to his name. A lot of Marty's wins and shutouts would then occur in the dead puck era while a majority of Vernon's stats were during the high scoring 80's and early 90's. Looking at everything, Detroit had a much more proven team and should have swept the Devils but the opposite happened.

Is there a link between more goalie wins and the dead puck era?
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#76 Triumph

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:34 PM

And you can make the exact same arguement for brodeur. I wonder how he would do if he played a majority of his career on a weak team or in the 80's. I would not be surprised if he would have similar stats to Vernon.


Brodeur has 6 top ten finishes in save percentage and plays for the biggest shot undercounters in the league. He's gotten some help from his defense, no doubt, but Brodeur was unquestionably a better goalie than Vernon. Whether or not anyone would've guessed that in 1995, I don't know, but I do know that Mike Vernon is colossally overrated.

Edited by Triumph, 23 December 2011 - 05:35 PM.

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#77 mouse

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:58 PM

I know the basic argument for Stevens, I previously said he's a great choice. My only argument is how is there no way Elias could be argued - which is what you originally stated.

And as per my original posts in support of Elias...I completely disagree that Elias is not a once in a lifetime player.


I stand by my original statement. I would love to see Elias in the HOF, and think he deserves more credit than he'll ever get, but Stevens and Marty are a step ahead of anyone else in franchise history. Period. Elias may be a once in a lifetime Devil, but Elias is far from the only offensively talented forward who also knows how to back check. Again, I love him and think he's great, but he's not on that scary level of Stevens.
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#78 Neb00rs

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:59 AM

but Elias is far from the only offensively talented forward who also knows how to back check.


Is that how you sum up Elias?
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