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#21 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:45 AM

C'mon, they weren't going to pay for a new goalie...Hedberg had been good his first two seasons, and Marty was coming off a more-than-adequate playoff.  That being said, with having not one but two goalies who are Marty and Moose's age, where a decline can happen overnight in some cases, Lou definitely rolled the dice that both parties could be roughly what they were the past couple of seasons...in Marty's case, I think Lou was hoping he'd come close to what he did from 2/2 last season on through the playoffs.  (.920 save% over that span...51 GP...that's actually pretty impressive).  If you really think about it, you can understand why Lou thought these guys could defy their age. 

 

But like we've all seen, when guys are around 40, they become real wild-cards, in terms of how they'll perform.  Hedberg was a flat-out terrible puck-stopper this year, and Marty had been inconsistent the last two seasons before this one in that regard (in the first 32 GP before 2/2 last year, he was a good bit below .900 in save% for the season). 

 

Here's how I (and I'm sure many other Devils fans...I'm not breaking any ground here) am hoping Lou handles this:

 

Get Hedberg off the team...nothing against him personally, but I have almost no confidence in him being able to provide competent goaltending, in either short bursts or extended runs.

Come to the realization that the 51-game stretch of .920 save%-play from Marty was probably the last extended stretch of above-average play for his career.  If Lou is hoping that there's one more of those in Marty, I think Lou is making a huge mistake. 

 

So what Lou really has to do is 1) upgrade over Hedberg (which won't be hard), 2) find a guy who is capable of playing half or more of his team's games effectively (think .910 save% or better...he doesn't have to be elite), and 3) sell it to Marty that, in his swan song season, even if he's healthy for the entire season, he really shouldn't expect to start more than 45 games, and if he's performing to the level of the '13 season and the other guy is flat-out outplaying him, he would doing himself, the Devils, and even the fans a service by willing to start roughly 30 games or so. 

 

#1 probably won't be that tough, if Lou is willing to amnesty Hedberg, or Hedberg sees the light and retires.

 

#2 I'll admit I haven't looked to see who's out there, so this may not be easy, and since it seems as though some goalies are year-to-year, even the guy who looks good on paper may not pan out. 

 

#3 will probably be a very hard sell...I think Marty firmly believes he's got more Brodeur-near-his-prime hockey left in him, which means I can't see him envisioning himself as anything other than the #1 guy for one last season...which means if Lou brings in someone who really has a shot to be a #1, and not a caddy or nothing more than a #1B to Marty's set-in-stone #1A (emphasis on A), I have a feeling Marty isn't going to like it.  IF that's the case (and of course, nothing but speculation on my part...I have no idea how this is going to shake out), and Marty continues to decline, he may or may not realize that he risks some of the fanbase (some of whom already feel Marty's been selfish in the past) turning on him, in what preferably be a "Thank you for all you have done, you will be in our hearts forever" sendoff.  


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Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
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It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

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#22 NJDevs4978

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:52 AM

#2 I'll admit I haven't looked to see who's out there, so this may not be easy, and since it seems as though some goalies are year-to-year, even the guy who looks good on paper may not pan out. 

 

Not exactly a deep UFA crop of goalies (and most of the guys who are starter-level like Smith/Backstrom you figure will either re-sign or merry-go-round with the other teams that need starters).

 

http://www.capgeek.c.../?position_id=G


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#23 MantaRay

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:53 AM

If Marty is healthy the PK numbers improve drastically.

 

You can't replace a player like Parise, but Lou didn't even try.   Elias can only do so much to bring players numbers up (Clarkson this year, Sykie last year, Rolston-Arnott the year before, etc.)  I think Lou went to that well too often.

 

Zajac is looking like he benefitted more by being with Langs and Parise, as he looks lost without them.

Henrique, is still young and learning, but he needs a scorer on his wing.

 

Carter-Gionta-Bernier are still a very solid combo.


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#24 LucifersDog

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:44 AM

Goaltending has to be the #1 or #2 problem with this team.  Moose played like absolute garbage (love the guy, he did a great job when Marty went down in the past...but not this year) during Marty's absence.  Then Marty comes back, and he's completely lost a step.

 

I think people will tiptoe around the topic, considering the respect Marty garners (and deserves) league-wide, but it's absolutely not debatable that if he plays this poorly early next year the team needs to look for a replacement #1.

 

Because he will be the #1 goalie next year, folks.  Might as well accept that now and save yourself the frustration next fall. 

 

Absolutely agree the number one reason. Two 40 year old goalies how stupid. And next season they both will be there again.


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#25 sundstrom

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:46 AM

If Marty is healthy the PK numbers improve drastically.

 

You can't replace a player like Parise, but Lou didn't even try.   Elias can only do so much to bring players numbers up (Clarkson this year, Sykie last year, Rolston-Arnott the year before, etc.)  I think Lou went to that well too often.

 

Zajac is looking like he benefitted more by being with Langs and Parise, as he looks lost without them.

Henrique, is still young and learning, but he needs a scorer on his wing.

 

Carter-Gionta-Bernier are still a very solid combo.

 

i think a full season of elias-zajac-clarkson could be a good line for all three.

 

gionta SUCKS. playing him on the PK is brutal. he was outmuscled again last night against a disinterested pens team and missed a clear and was out of position on the PK for no other reason than his size and lack of reach. if they insist on him playing, then it's gotta be strict 4th line sheltered minutes and ZERO PK time.


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#26 SMantzas

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:05 AM

i think a full season of elias-zajac-clarkson could be a good line for all three.

 

gionta SUCKS. playing him on the PK is brutal. he was outmuscled again last night against a disinterested pens team and missed a clear and was out of position on the PK for no other reason than his size and lack of reach. if they insist on him playing, then it's gotta be strict 4th line sheltered minutes and ZERO PK time.

Agreed on Gionta. Josefson would be much better in that role solely because he's not a freaking midget (his above average D doesn't hurt either). 


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#27 sundstrom

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:11 AM

Agreed on Gionta. Josefson would be much better in that role solely because he's not a freaking midget (his above average D doesn't hurt either). 

 

josefson on the PK, yes. in a 4th line role, he's a bit of a waste but the devils do a decent job of giving their 4th line minutes.

 

ideally, next year's 3rd line is henrique-josefson-zubrus


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"This team was never the same once we lost Patrik Sundstrom"- Lou Lamoriello


20082719943.png
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“They’re the ones that makes it happen,” Lemaire said. “It’s not us. It’s not me. It’s not the other guy. It’s not the guy before. It’s not the guy after. It’s them. And they have to take care of business.”
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"I guess I just miss my friend" (#28)


#28 EdgeControl

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:11 AM

Tri alluded to this before it all went to hell, but sentimentality hurt this team. We kept trying to ride guys who weren't succeeding based on past success. If we'd benched Sal, paid for a new goalie in the offseason, broken up CBGB, traded a guy like Greene for a forward, or any number of other painful, but eventually smart moves, this would have been a better season. I tried to defend some of that stuff, but it definitely hurt. I don't know that any of it matters -- they couldn't win without Marty, and when Marty came back, he was a shell of himself, so they couldn't win with him, and just when they looked like they might steal enough points to sneak in, Kovy went down. I doubt any fixes solve those problems, but if we want to get back to being a contender rather than a team that sneaks in, we have to make the little fixes.

Traded Greene? LOL  he was one of our best skaters and defenders period. not a smart move at all


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#29 SMantzas

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:15 AM

josefson on the PK, yes. in a 4th line role, he's a bit of a waste but the devils do a decent job of giving their 4th line minutes.

 

ideally, next year's 3rd line is henrique-josefson-zubrus

Haha yeah, the PK is what I was referring to. JJ should play close to 13-14 minutes a night when you factor in ES and PK time. Unfortunately, I doubt he cracks 35 points, but I still think he'll end up more valuable than Henrique. 

 

(braces for the flaming I'm about to encounter!)


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#30 MantaRay

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:25 AM

i think a full season of elias-zajac-clarkson could be a good line for all three.

 

gionta SUCKS. playing him on the PK is brutal. he was outmuscled again last night against a disinterested pens team and missed a clear and was out of position on the PK for no other reason than his size and lack of reach. if they insist on him playing, then it's gotta be strict 4th line sheltered minutes and ZERO PK time.

 

I don't think Elias and Zajac's style of play mesh.  They are too similiar.     It is possible that Elias and Clarkson are elsewhere next year.


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#31 PacificDevil

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:34 AM


Tri alluded to this before it all went to hell, but sentimentality hurt this team. We kept trying to ride guys who weren't succeeding based on past success. If we'd benched Sal, paid for a new goalie in the offseason, broken up CBGB, traded a guy like Greene for a forward, or any number of other painful, but eventually smart moves, this would have been a better season. I tried to defend some of that stuff, but it definitely hurt. I don't know that any of it matters -- they couldn't win without Marty, and when Marty came back, he was a shell of himself, so they couldn't win with him, and just when they looked like they might steal enough points to sneak in, Kovy went down. I doubt any fixes solve those problems, but if we want to get back to being a contender rather than a team that sneaks in, we have to make the little fixes.


You do realize that when Marty came back and before Kovy went down Devils won 2 games out of 2?

Edited by PacificDevil, 26 April 2013 - 11:35 AM.

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#32 Daniel

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:57 AM

I'll say it again, the problem was scoring goals.  Devils were sixth worst in the league in that department, and could be worse but for goals being scored in meaningless games.  The Devils actually gave up fewer goals than the Isles who we're all told were getting incredible goaltending from Nabakov.  You can point to save percentage all you want, what matters is the number of goals that go in the net, and when it came to that, the Devils weren't that bad, and that includes having awful play from Volchenkov and Salvador, and the nightly brain farts from Larsson.  I agree that the day of reckoning for goaltending is coming soon, but the Devils can be good enough next year even with the quality of goaltending they got this year.  Want to upgrade from Hedberg?  That's fine, but don't pretend for a second that it will make the team all that much better.

 

This is why I feel the most important thing this offseason is for the Devils to get a dynamic forward in the draft, and why I would be ecstatic if the Devils could manage to snag someone like Barkov.  While I wouldn't quite go the Ditka route to do it, there is very little I wouldn't pay to move up far enough for that to happen.


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#33 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:45 PM

I'll say it again, the problem was scoring goals.  Devils were sixth worst in the league in that department, and could be worse but for goals being scored in meaningless games.  The Devils actually gave up fewer goals than the Isles who we're all told were getting incredible goaltending from Nabakov.  You can point to save percentage all you want, what matters is the number of goals that go in the net, and when it came to that, the Devils weren't that bad, and that includes having awful play from Volchenkov and Salvador, and the nightly brain farts from Larsson.  I agree that the day of reckoning for goaltending is coming soon, but the Devils can be good enough next year even with the quality of goaltending they got this year.  Want to upgrade from Hedberg?  That's fine, but don't pretend for a second that it will make the team all that much better.

 

This is why I feel the most important thing this offseason is for the Devils to get a dynamic forward in the draft, and why I would be ecstatic if the Devils could manage to snag someone like Barkov.  While I wouldn't quite go the Ditka route to do it, there is very little I wouldn't pay to move up far enough for that to happen.

 

Everyone knows the Devils had problems scoring goals, but the goalies also had problems keeping the other team from scoring.  The Devils managed to keep the shot counts very low in a number of games...their goalies got a LOT of propping up from the team. 

 

How you do you know an upgrade from Hedberg won't make much difference?  Hedberg going forward flat-out looks like a guy who will not be able to step in for Brodeur if he falters or is injured.  You don't think a guy who stops a lot more than 88.6% of the shots coming his way can make a difference?  Think maybe if Hedberg was playing considerably better, that the Devils wouldn't have felt forced to start Brodeur game after game after game, when it was clear that he wasn't providing much more than average goaltending for a team that clearly needed to keep the opposing teams' goal totals down as much as possible? 

 

An upgrade over Hedberg will give the Devils something they didn't have this season:  a viable option.  Next year's "1B" goalie may be asked to pull a Clemmensen '08-'09, maybe even be asked to start 50 or more games...there's no guarantee Marty will be either effective or healthy next year.  Clemmensen clearly wasn't Brodeur, but managed to put up Brodeur-like numbers (before Marty's decline) for an extended stretch.  Hedberg couldn't even match this season's declining Brodeur's numbers.  


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Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
Can the coach do that ? Switch the goalies 5 seconds to go in overtime?
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Martin Brodeur: THE MOST ALL-TIME WINS!, 12 straight seasons of 30+ wins, 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezina Trophies, and zero respect from too many so-called Devils "fans" who are either too young or too bandwagon to remember the much darker days of Sean Burke, Craig Billington, Bob Sauve, Alain Chevrier, and the talented but overwhelmed Chico Resch, among many others.

It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

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#34 Daniel

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:59 PM

Everyone knows the Devils had problems scoring goals, but the goalies also had problems keeping the other team from scoring.  The Devils managed to keep the shot counts very low in a number of games...their goalies got a LOT of propping up from the team. 

 

How you do you know an upgrade from Hedberg won't make much difference?  Hedberg going forward flat-out looks like a guy who will not be able to step in for Brodeur if he falters or is injured.  You don't think a guy who stops a lot more than 88.6% of the shots coming his way can make a difference?  Think maybe if Hedberg was playing considerably better, that the Devils wouldn't have felt forced to start Brodeur game after game after game, when it was clear that he wasn't providing much more than average goaltending for a team that clearly needed to keep the opposing teams' goal totals down as much as possible? 

 

An upgrade over Hedberg will give the Devils something they didn't have this season:  a viable option.  Next year's "1B" goalie may be asked to pull a Clemmensen '08-'09, maybe even be asked to start 50 or more games...there's no guarantee Marty will be either effective or healthy next year.  Clemmensen clearly wasn't Brodeur, but managed to put up Brodeur-like numbers (before Marty's decline) for an extended stretch.  Hedberg couldn't even match this season's declining Brodeur's numbers.  

 

The actual goals against -- the stat that actually matters -- doesn't back up what you're saying.  The goals against is even more meaningful considering the lackluster play of one third of your defensive corps on a night in, night out basis.   

 

The back up goalie, unless it's Corey Schneider, is not going to make a team significantly better, and certainly won't be enough of an improvement to put the Devils back into being a consistent competitor.  Even assuming that Hedberg was as bad as people say, it's not like signficantly better back up goalies are just waiting for a phone call.  Improve on Hedberg if you want.  Just don't be surprised if the wins and losses are about the same because the Devils are struggling to score 3 goals.

 

What very few people are disputing is that this team at least makes the playoffs if Kovalchuk didn't get hurt.  The logical deduction is that the biggest problem was scoring goals, not the goaltending and certainly not save percentage.


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#35 Biggie B

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:03 PM

To sum up the article and answer the question of "what went wrong", the answer is simple: EVERYTHING!


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#36 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

The actual goals against -- the stat that actually matters -- doesn't back up what you're saying.  The goals against is even more meaningful considering the lackluster play of one third of your defensive corps on a night in, night out basis.   

 

The back up goalie, unless it's Corey Schneider, is not going to make a team significantly better, and certainly won't be enough of an improvement to put the Devils back into being a consistent competitor.  Even assuming that Hedberg was as bad as people say, it's not like signficantly better back up goalies are just waiting for a phone call.  Improve on Hedberg if you want.  Just don't be surprised if the wins and losses are about the same because the Devils are struggling to score 3 goals.

 

What very few people are disputing is that this team at least makes the playoffs if Kovalchuk didn't get hurt.  The logical deduction is that the biggest problem was scoring goals, not the goaltending and certainly not save percentage.

 

You are not reading what I am saying.

 

There is a VERY good chance that the "back-up" is going to be asked to be more than a 20-25 GP back-up next season.  He could very well be the starter for an extended stretch.  "Even assuming that Hedberg was as bad as people say"?  It doesn't get much worse than .886 in today's NHL...he WAS bad.  Marty and Hedberg combined for .895.  Also pretty bad. 

 

I never implied the mediocre-to-poor puck-stopping abilities was the one and only reason the Devils didn't make the playoffs, but it definitely factored in.    


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[Mark Messier]: A big, bald attention whore with a stupid Easter Island-lookin face. - from who else? DaneykoIsGod!

Even when Marty comes back maybe Larry should put Clemmensen to be on the goal during the shootouts.
Can the coach do that ? Switch the goalies 5 seconds to go in overtime?
- Most priceless quote ever posted on a message board.

Martin Brodeur: THE MOST ALL-TIME WINS!, 12 straight seasons of 30+ wins, 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezina Trophies, and zero respect from too many so-called Devils "fans" who are either too young or too bandwagon to remember the much darker days of Sean Burke, Craig Billington, Bob Sauve, Alain Chevrier, and the talented but overwhelmed Chico Resch, among many others.

It's easy to support a great player when he's playing at his very best. It takes a true fan to support that same player during those rare moments and stretches when he's not. Babe Ruth went 0-4 some games, and sometimes Wayne Gretzky was held pointless. There may be such a thing as greatness, but no such thing as absolute perfection every single night.

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#37 Daniel

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:39 PM

You are not reading what I am saying.

 

There is a VERY good chance that the "back-up" is going to be asked to be more than a 20-25 GP back-up next season.  He could very well be the starter for an extended stretch.  "Even assuming that Hedberg was as bad as people say"?  It doesn't get much worse than .886 in today's NHL...he WAS bad.  Marty and Hedberg combined for .895.  Also pretty bad. 

 

I never implied the mediocre-to-poor puck-stopping abilities was the one and only reason the Devils didn't make the playoffs, but it definitely factored in.    

 

Fine then.  What significant improvement is out there that is in the Devils price range so far as salary and/or compensation going the other way?   Not much.  And that's not even taking into account opportunity costs.  Wedgewood isn't ready, and I woudln't expect any miracles out of Kinkaid.

 

And again, goals alllowed -- you know the thing that actually goes up on the score board -- wasn't bad.  Save percentage can be intepreted to mean whatever you want it to mean.  Goals against cannot. 


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#38 devilsrule33

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:52 PM

Fine then.  What significant improvement is out there that is in the Devils price range so far as salary and/or compensation going the other way?   Not much.  And that's not even taking into account opportunity costs.  Wedgewood isn't ready, and I woudln't expect any miracles out of Kinkaid.

 

And again, goals alllowed -- you know the thing that actually goes up on the score board -- wasn't bad.  Save percentage can be intepreted to mean whatever you want it to mean.  Goals against cannot. 

 

Are you serious? The Devils allowed the lowest shots in the NHL this season. That has nothing to do with the goaltending. The Devils have the third worst save percentage in the NHL. That mostly has everything to do with goaltending.  I don't get how you can say what you said above. I'd say it is more the other way around.

 

Look around the league and you won't see anything weirder than that contrast between the low amount of shots and awful save percentage. For example the Leafs have given up 4 more goals than the Devils this year in the same amount of games. They have also given up over 400+ more shots. The team has a save percentage 27 points higher than the Devils. Not for one second could you even try make a case that the Devils had better goaltending than the Leafs this year and that James Reimer wasn't a sh!tload better than Brodeur or Hedberg.

 

Like Tri has said before, the Devils as a team be it their defensive play or their offense (being a good defense) gave Brodeur and Hedberg the opportunity to be mediocre at best this year and probably still be a playoff team. 


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#39 Daniel

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

Are you serious? The Devils allowed the lowest shots in the NHL this season. That has nothing to do with the goaltending. The Devils have the third worst save percentage in the NHL. That mostly has everything to do with goaltending.  I don't get how you can say what you said above. I'd say it is more the other way around.

 

Look around the league and you won't see anything weirder than that contrast between the low amount of shots and awful save percentage. For example the Leafs have given up 4 more goals than the Devils this year in the same amount of games. They have also given up over 400+ more shots. The team has a save percentage 27 points higher than the Devils. Not for one second could you even try make a case that the Devils had better goaltending than the Leafs this year and that James Reimer wasn't a sh!tload better than Brodeur or Hedberg.

 

Like Tri has said before, the Devils as a team be it their defensive play or their offense (being a good defense) gave Brodeur and Hedberg the opportunity to be mediocre at best this year and probably still be a playoff team. 

 

If the save percentage were what you claim it could be with an average goalie, the Devils would probably have the lowest goals against in the league, and STILL would have a negative goals against/goals for differential. 

 

And by the same token, if the Devils could have been marginally better at actually scoring goals, there is no doubt this would be a playoff team, and perhaps a fairly high seeded one at that. 

 

It's also hilarious that people are talking about the great defensive help that Marty and Hedberg got, when those very people would not stop complaining that Salvador was not an NHL defenseman and that Volchenkhov was terrible. 

 

Like I say though, go get a better goalie.  When the team can't score goals, don't be suprised that we're having the same discussion next time around.


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#40 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Are you serious? The Devils allowed the lowest shots in the NHL this season. That has nothing to do with the goaltending. The Devils have the third worst save percentage in the NHL. That mostly has everything to do with goaltending.  I don't get how you can say what you said above. I'd say it is more the other way around.

 

Look around the league and you won't see anything weirder than that contrast between the low amount of shots and awful save percentage. For example the Leafs have given up 4 more goals than the Devils this year in the same amount of games. They have also given up over 400+ more shots. The team has a save percentage 27 points higher than the Devils. Not for one second could you even try make a case that the Devils had better goaltending than the Leafs this year and that James Reimer wasn't a sh!tload better than Brodeur or Hedberg.

 

Like Tri has said before, the Devils as a team be it their defensive play or their offense (being a good defense) gave Brodeur and Hedberg the opportunity to be mediocre at best this year and probably still be a playoff team. 

 

Thank you...Daniel is lost on this one.

 

Daniel, Marty and Moose allowed 112 goals on 1068 shots between them (.895 save%). 

 

If they had stopped:

 

.905 (still not very good):  101 goals (11 less goals)

.910 (at least respectable):  96 goals (16 less goals)

.915 (pretty good):  90 goals (22 less goals)

 

At the very least, I'm going to say at .905, they're at least knocking on the 8th seed door.  .910 or better gets the Devils in, and .910 isn't anything to write home about...Pekka Rinne's .910 ranked him 23rd in the league.  Brodeur ranks 35th and Hedberg 43rd. 


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