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Two interesting anecdotes re: NJ in Canadian papers


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#1 Triumph

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:20 PM

This from the Winnipeg Sun:

 

http://www.winnipegs...russian-players

 

It won't paste right, but the gist is that Loktionov was offered $3M in Russia and Larionov advised him to stay with NJ for what he got paid there.

 

 

This, from Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts:

 

 

8. Martin Brodeur on the New Jersey Devils: "We've lost that identity of what Devils hockey is all about ... [Ilya Kovalchuk, now in KHL,] took a lot of minutes off of everybody and everything had to go through him -- like the two-minute power play. It was hard to adjust yourself sometimes because he needed his minutes. We never had that in New Jersey. Everybody was playing on the same page. We had some great players -- Zach [Parise] -- they played the way we played ... I think we'll be able to get back to that."

9. Brodeur was one of Kovalchuk's biggest defenders while they were teammates. Was he disappointed about the departure? "Oh, definitely ... Look what [the Devils] did to get him to New Jersey. Losing some of the draft picks, some of the current players, the money that was thrown at him, for him just to walk out like that ... I know him and it's just not like him to do that. The lockout created everything -- the taste of what his life would be in Russia and he liked it ... But it affects us, so that's why I'm disappointed ... As a guy, he's a great guy, still going to have a lot of fun with him, but at the end of the day, it's a tough one for what the organization did to get him."

 

There's more about Kovalchuk in the article, but those are the most relevant NJ quotes.  Some sour grapes, but Brodeur can't really mention cap hits and the like.


Edited by Triumph, 09 September 2013 - 02:23 PM.

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#2 DevsMan84

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:31 PM

For Larionov who is getting commission to advise a young player to take less money to be in a better league is admirable.  Like he even said he could have taken his paycheck but instead was more interested in his client's best interests.  Hats off to him.

 

Brodeur does have some sour grapes it seems, but what he speaks is the truth.  These past 3 years have been extremely fun and a giant headache at the same time.  Now it feels like with the way the team is shaping up to be and the fact we have owners with deeper pockets the ship is now finally stable.


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#3 SMantzas

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

I guess Larionov really believes Loktionov is the real deal, so thats reassuring although we know that he certainly has the skill and IQ. If Loktionov can maintain his possession numbers and put up 35-45 points, he will probably earn a 4/13 if he wants it.

 

I read the Brodeur part earlier and it's refreshing to see someone not give the standard answers. I'd like to see Elias' unfiltered opinion of IK 


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#4 ZeroGravityFat

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:52 PM

i prefer star-less devils that glue together with the sum bigger than its parts. that's devils hockey and that's what makes me proud to support this team. i would love to have kovie and parise still here, but i would love to win without them to show the real team work.


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#5 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:57 PM

Kovy and his game were definitely a major departure from the way the Devils did biz.  I think there was definitely a bit of "cross our fingers and hope this works" going on throughout the organization...and in fairness, it almost did.  Devils' 2012 playoff run was their deepest since winning the '03 Cup. 

 

That being said, I think guys like Elias and Brodeur, while maybe not having anything personal against Kovy the person, might not have been huge fans of Kovy the player...and now that he's gone and because of the way he's gone, wouldn't surprise if little quotes of varying derogatory degree come out here and there.  I don't intepret Brodeur's words as sour grapes...I think he's being pretty fair about how Kovy affected the team and franchise.  It's interesting to hear it from a player perspective. 

 

I don't see Elias ever saying how he truly feels about Kovy for the media to hear, but I have a feeling there's not much love lost. 


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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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#6 devilsrule33

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:21 PM

Kovy and his game were definitely a major departure from the way the Devils did biz.  I think there was definitely a bit of "cross our fingers and hope this works" going on throughout the organization...and in fairness, it almost did.  Devils' 2012 playoff run was their deepest since winning the '03 Cup. 

 

That being said, I think guys like Elias and Brodeur, while maybe not having anything personal against Kovy the person, might not have been huge fans of Kovy the player...and now that he's gone and because of the way he's gone, wouldn't surprise if little quotes of varying derogatory degree come out here and there.  I don't intepret Brodeur's words as sour grapes...I think he's being pretty fair about how Kovy affected the team and franchise.  It's interesting to hear it from a player perspective. 

 

I don't see Elias ever saying how he truly feels about Kovy for the media to hear, but I have a feeling there's not much love lost. 

 

I do not agree with this at all:  "We've lost that identity of what Devils hockey is all about ... [Ilya Kovalchuk, now in KHL,] took a lot of minutes off of everybody and everything had to go through him -- like the two-minute power play. It was hard to adjust yourself sometimes because he needed his minutes"

 

Firstly, Kovy didn't need these minutes. The Devils staff wanted or needed him to play 24+. He didn't have to play all 2 minutes on the power play. But once he was hurt, it was shown that it was probably for the best that he played all 2 minutes. And Kovy getting 4th line minutes instead of Janssen or Peters or Boulton. What a loss for the team. "Getting back to Devils hockey" just means that we don't have enough offense so we desperately need everyone to contribute to have a shot. But one of the main reasons the Devils did so poorly and missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years is because of garbage goaltending from Brodeur and last year Hedberg. The Devils defense was excellent last year and the offense struggled putting the puck in the net, but not from chances. Kovy being there didn't hurt anyone. And if the offense improves, it won't because Kovy is gone either.


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#7 NJDevs4978

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:30 PM

The fact that it's Marty saying it gives it credence...and yeah there's a little bit of sour grapes in it, with good reason.  

 

But that said, if the Devils are so much better off without 17 then they'll prove it the next few years.  If they just go back to making the playoffs with offensively mediocre teams and lose easily in the first round the way they were pre-17 that doesn't really do much for me.  It'll do plenty for ownership, keeping October-April semi-relevant but sometimes Devil fans and even the Devils themselves act like talent doesn't matter at all, which is a fallacy.


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"The Devils have high standards, that's the difference. We have a standard to live up to every year, and a couple of teams in our area don't have the standards we do." - Pat Burns

The New Jersey Devils win Stanley Cups everywhere:
-NHL record for most road wins in the playoffs - 10-1 in '95 and 10-2 in '00
-NHL record for most home wins in the playoffs - 12-1 in '03

#8 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:43 PM

The fact that it's Marty saying it gives it credence...and yeah there's a little bit of sour grapes in it, with good reason.  

 

But that said, if the Devils are so much better off without 17 then they'll prove it the next few years.  If they just go back to making the playoffs with offensively mediocre teams and lose easily in the first round the way they were pre-17 that doesn't really do much for me.  It'll do plenty for ownership, keeping October-April semi-relevant but sometimes Devil fans and even the Devils themselves act like talent doesn't matter at all, which is a fallacy.

 

What some of the fans forget is that the previous Cup winners had tremedous talent...it just didn't come in the form of 100-point offensive dynamos.  One HOF goalie, two HOF defenseman...and though there's a perception that the Devils were constantly winning 2-1 games, they could score as well...much more so than people give them credit for.  Those teams weren't a bunch of no-names who were somehow better than the sum of their parts.   


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THE NHL MUST LOVE THE DEVILS - from who else? A RANGER fan!
[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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20 out of 1,946 njdevs.com members agree: CR1976 is the Most Knowledgable Poster of 2008! Victory is mine...oh yes, victory is mine!

#9 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:49 PM

I do not agree with this at all:  "We've lost that identity of what Devils hockey is all about ... [Ilya Kovalchuk, now in KHL,] took a lot of minutes off of everybody and everything had to go through him -- like the two-minute power play. It was hard to adjust yourself sometimes because he needed his minutes"

 

Firstly, Kovy didn't need these minutes. The Devils staff wanted or needed him to play 24+. He didn't have to play all 2 minutes on the power play. But once he was hurt, it was shown that it was probably for the best that he played all 2 minutes. And Kovy getting 4th line minutes instead of Janssen or Peters or Boulton. What a loss for the team. "Getting back to Devils hockey" just means that we don't have enough offense so we desperately need everyone to contribute to have a shot. But one of the main reasons the Devils did so poorly and missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years is because of garbage goaltending from Brodeur and last year Hedberg. The Devils defense was excellent last year and the offense struggled putting the puck in the net, but not from chances. Kovy being there didn't hurt anyone. And if the offense improves, it won't because Kovy is gone either.

 

Not saying this is wrong, more saying that it's interesting how Brodeur sees it all...I'm sure others on that team do as well.

 

The 2010-11 team had SO many issues, there's blame, blame and more blame to go around.  But yeah, we all know goaltending was a major issue last year. 

 

If there ARE sour grapes on Brodeur's (and others') part, I think Kovy seemingly having to be dragged back to the Devils probably rubbed some guys the wrong way (we know it did with Elias).  We'll obviously never know, but I wonder what Kovy was like around his teammates, in the lockerroom...was it obvious to the players that he really didn't want to be there?


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THE NHL MUST LOVE THE DEVILS - from who else? A RANGER fan!
[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.

#30 FOREVER!

20 out of 1,946 njdevs.com members agree: CR1976 is the Most Knowledgable Poster of 2008! Victory is mine...oh yes, victory is mine!

#10 DevsMan84

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:49 PM

What some of the fans forget is that the previous Cup winners had tremedous talent...it just didn't come in the form of 100-point offensive dynamos.  One HOF goalie, two HOF defenseman...and though there's a perception that the Devils were constantly winning 2-1 games, they could score as well...much more so than people give them credit for.  Those teams weren't a bunch of no-names who were somehow better than the sum of their parts.   

 

That's the thing and for example the 2003 team.  They won because of a HOF goalie and possibly the best defense group the NHL has seen in the last 20 years and have not seen since.  However, their offense was anchored by Elias (ok he is a legit star) and then it drops off to Friesen, Langs, Gomez and even Marshall was a lifesaver in that run.

 

Given that, I am not sure in today's NHL you can win with a HOF goalie and a HOF defense group with the way the game is played now.


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#11 NJDevs4978

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:52 PM

Not saying this is wrong, more saying that it's interesting how Brodeur sees it all...I'm sure others on that team do as well.

 

The 2010-11 team had SO many issues, there's blame, blame and more blame to go around.  But yeah, we all know goaltending was a major issue last year. 

 

If there ARE sour grapes on Brodeur's (and others') part, I think Kovy seemingly having to be dragged back to the Devils probably rubbed some guys the wrong way (we know it did with Elias).  We'll obviously never know, but I wonder what Kovy was like around his teammates, in the lockerroom...was it obvious to the players that he really didn't want to be there?

 

In hindsight, the fact Salvador was named captain when everyone and their grandmother figured it HAD to be Kovy showed that at the very least they didn't want to risk making waves in the room.


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The New Jersey Devils win Stanley Cups everywhere:
-NHL record for most road wins in the playoffs - 10-1 in '95 and 10-2 in '00
-NHL record for most home wins in the playoffs - 12-1 in '03

#12 NJDevs4978

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:55 PM

That's the thing and for example the 2003 team.  They won because of a HOF goalie and possibly the best defense group the NHL has seen in the last 20 years and have not seen since.  However, their offense was anchored by Elias (ok he is a legit star) and then it drops off to Friesen, Langs, Gomez and even Marshall was a lifesaver in that run.

 

Given that, I am not sure in today's NHL you can win with a HOF goalie and a HOF defense group with the way the game is played now.

 

Well it's very hard to have two HOF'ers on defense at the same time period with the cap.  Every Cup-winning team since the lockout has had at least one stud forward though - Staal, Zetterberg/Datsyuk, Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews.  Maybe you could argue Boston didn't have a star forward but they sure had a HOF anchor on defense with Thomas playing out of sight and an insane amount of good/role player forwards.  They're kind of the closest paradigm to the 'ideal' Devils team, but there's no Chara walking through our door anytime soon so it's not enough to have four lines of semi-talented, workmanlike players.

 

I suppose you could argue LA didn't have a stud forward either aside from maybe Kopitar, but they made two big-name trades for forwards, neither guy really played like it though them getting Carter put them over the top from a good team struggling to make the playoffs to a championship contender.


Edited by NJDevs4978, 09 September 2013 - 03:58 PM.

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"The Devils have high standards, that's the difference. We have a standard to live up to every year, and a couple of teams in our area don't have the standards we do." - Pat Burns

The New Jersey Devils win Stanley Cups everywhere:
-NHL record for most road wins in the playoffs - 10-1 in '95 and 10-2 in '00
-NHL record for most home wins in the playoffs - 12-1 in '03

#13 DevsMan84

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:59 PM

Well it's very hard to have two HOF'ers on defense at the same time period with the cap.  Every Cup-winning team since the lockout has had at least one stud forward though - Staal, Zetterberg/Datsyuk, Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews.  Maybe you could argue Boston didn't have a star forward but they sure had a HOF anchor on defense with Thomas playing out of sight and an insane amount of good/role player forwards.  They're kind of the closest paradigm to the 'ideal' Devils team, but there's no Chara walking through our door anytime soon so it's not enough to have four lines of semi-talented, workmanlike players.

 

True about the cap and I could only imagine what that kind of defense the Devils had back in 2000-04 would cost in today's salary cap era hockey.

 

Also that kinda makes my point as the Devils teams that won the cups back in 1995 and 2003 simply cannot exist anymore without some soft of high-end talent which the Devils seem to lack this year.  I think the Devils have a good shot of making the playoffs this year, but not sure how they will do once they reach that point.  The 2000 team is the only Devils team I can point out of the 3 cups that won because they had high end offense in addition to great goaltending and defense.


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#14 Triumph

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:03 PM

The fact that it's Marty saying it gives it credence...and yeah there's a little bit of sour grapes in it, with good reason.  

 

But that said, if the Devils are so much better off without 17 then they'll prove it the next few years.  If they just go back to making the playoffs with offensively mediocre teams and lose easily in the first round the way they were pre-17 that doesn't really do much for me.  It'll do plenty for ownership, keeping October-April semi-relevant but sometimes Devil fans and even the Devils themselves act like talent doesn't matter at all, which is a fallacy.

 

You make it sound like making the playoffs and losing in the first round is really easy, and as if there's a magic formula to winning in the playoffs.  It's not easy to make the playoffs and there isn't a formula to winning there, either.


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#15 SMantzas

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:07 PM

Well it's very hard to have two HOF'ers on defense at the same time period with the cap.  Every Cup-winning team since the lockout has had at least one stud forward though - Staal, Zetterberg/Datsyuk, Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews.  Maybe you could argue Boston didn't have a star forward but they sure had a HOF anchor on defense with Thomas playing out of sight and an insane amount of good/role player forwards.  They're kind of the closest paradigm to the 'ideal' Devils team, but there's no Chara walking through our door anytime soon so it's not enough to have four lines of semi-talented, workmanlike players.

 

I suppose you could argue LA didn't have a stud forward either aside from maybe Kopitar, but they made two big-name trades for forwards, neither guy really played like it though them getting Carter put them over the top from a good team struggling to make the playoffs to a championship contender.

Christ that LA team was/is stacked up front. Kopitar, Carter, Brown, Richards and Williams are all responsible defensively too. 

 

We all know the NHL playoffs are a major crapshoot that requires luck and health. The Devils have a goalie who is capable of putting up a .930 for 25 games (no, not Marty) and have a top defense. It's all about getting the breaks in the playoffs.


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#16 ATLL765

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:19 PM

In hindsight, the fact Salvador was named captain when everyone and their grandmother figured it HAD to be Kovy showed that at the very least they didn't want to risk making waves in the room.

I never thought they would make Kovy captain. I think a lot of other people would have been upset to see a guy who hadn't been part of the team that long get the C too.


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#17 NJDevs4978

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:26 PM

You make it sound like making the playoffs and losing in the first round is really easy, and as if there's a magic formula to winning in the playoffs.  It's not easy to make the playoffs and there isn't a formula to winning there, either.

 

I'm just saying some people act like 17 was a detriment and all the Devils need is to go back to the days of having 60 point players on the top line and they'll be a championship team again because of 'depth', ignoring the fact we don't have two HOF'ers on defense or a HOF goalie in his prime when we won with those kind of lineups pre-lockout.  Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention.


Edited by NJDevs4978, 09 September 2013 - 05:29 PM.

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"The Devils have high standards, that's the difference. We have a standard to live up to every year, and a couple of teams in our area don't have the standards we do." - Pat Burns

The New Jersey Devils win Stanley Cups everywhere:
-NHL record for most road wins in the playoffs - 10-1 in '95 and 10-2 in '00
-NHL record for most home wins in the playoffs - 12-1 in '03

#18 Triumph

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:44 PM

I'm just saying some people act like 17 was a detriment and all the Devils need is to go back to the days of having 60 point players on the top line and they'll be a championship team again because of 'depth', ignoring the fact we don't have two HOF'ers on defense or a HOF goalie in his prime when we won with those kind of lineups pre-lockout.  Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention.

 

NJ basically didn't have an HOF goalie in his prime when they won 2 of their Stanley Cups.  It's time we retired the idea that Brodeur was substantially better than other goalies when the Devils were winning a lot.  He wasn't.  His best years were mostly after the Devils had their best years.

 

'Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention'

 

This simply isn't true.  What is true is that scoring in the playoffs is harder than scoring in the regular season.  The Devils don't have a very good offensive team all the way around and it's going to be a real challenge to score.  Still, given how not great Kovalchuk was in general (and I don't mean bad, but he was legitimately Not Great), I think the team will be about the same.  Kovalchuk simply doesn't help a team generate more shots on goal.


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#19 NJDevs4978

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:55 PM

 

'Depth doesn't score for you in the playoffs if you don't have at least one upper-echelon scorer to command attention'

 

This simply isn't true.  

 

The late '90's Devils were terrible offensively in the playoffs because they had a nice depth guy (Holik) as their top-line center.  When they got the A-line and traded for Mogilny then guys like Holik could return to being good depth players again.  And guess what Holik actually scored a little in the postseason when he was a third/fourth line player.


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"The Devils have high standards, that's the difference. We have a standard to live up to every year, and a couple of teams in our area don't have the standards we do." - Pat Burns

The New Jersey Devils win Stanley Cups everywhere:
-NHL record for most road wins in the playoffs - 10-1 in '95 and 10-2 in '00
-NHL record for most home wins in the playoffs - 12-1 in '03

#20 Triumph

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:20 PM

The late '90's Devils were terrible offensively in the playoffs because they had a nice depth guy (Holik) as their top-line center.  When they got the A-line and traded for Mogilny then guys like Holik could return to being good depth players again.  And guess what Holik actually scored a little in the postseason when he was a third/fourth line player.

 

There's no compelling reason why Holik would be able to score in the regular season and unable to score in the playoffs.  The late 90s Devils had Doug Gilmour as their top-line center whenever they entered the playoffs, and then Jason Arnott in 99 (and one of the top scoring teams in the NHL, at any rate).

 

The Bruins won a Stanley Cup with their top scorer having 62 points during the regular season and they made the Finals this year with their top scorer averaging 65 points per 82.  It can be done - it's difficult, but it can be done.  I'm not saying the Devils are as good as the Bruins, but if you have 3 scoring lines and a great goalie you can go places even if none of those lines is particularly dominant.


Edited by Triumph, 09 September 2013 - 06:23 PM.

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