They can't really afford a bad year next year, on or off the ice. Off the ice they're already risking losing all the gains they've made in ticket selling the last couple of years with no playoffs. On the ice, you've got Marty and Elias coming towards the end of the line, they gotta at least try to make another run before we're having number-raising ceremonies for them and who knows what comes after Marty in net at that point.
Improvement comes after Marty. So tired of this 'win one more for Marty' business. Martin Brodeur is gone. The guy who's in net now is an average to below-average goalie. If Brodeur had a .920 SV%, the Devils wouldn't be in this mess.
I used to believe in this logic, but looking back since the lockout ended, Lou hasn't exactly adapted.
He's continuously grabbing old scraps and rusty parts, with a few exceptions, and hoping his coaches can polish them to something formidable.
He has done EPIC things for this hockey club, but the knee jerk reactions of retaining/overpaying Salvador and keeping Moose out of pure loyalty are dumbfounding.
Yes, losing The Homesick Baby has hurt this team and hurt Lou's approach but I'm getting tired of the "well he knew he couldn't get anything great without giving up the farm and knew he could wait" excuse after every trade deadline-free agency period.
Lastly, I'm done with Matt Shaw. Our power play is exactly the same as it was last year. They still don't shoot. They're still looking for the perfect shot. Even if its not his system that's causing this, he's the freaking power play coach that is not adjusting. Sure, this isn't our only problem, but when you have 2-two man advantages and CANNOT get a shot on goal, including a brutal turnover at the blue line at the end of the game...ugh
Hedberg was one of the best backup goalies in the league, and the power play gets nearly 10 shots more per 60 minutes than it did last year. I don't love the Hedberg signing - it could obviously go this way - but he was a .913 goalie for us over 2 years, that's very difficult to find. Salvador signing you'll find no disagreement from me on that one, but you can live with that. At least Salvador is piling up the minuses so maybe they will take notice, since it seems like that's what they based their decision to give him 3 years on.