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Another Playoff Series/Season Flashback


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#21 devilsrule33

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 12:59 PM

The major change of course was that they lost Bobby Holik who was probably the team's best forward in 2002.  But yeah, the 2002 Devils were +553 shots overall, 2003 they were +672, with a lot of the difference likely coming because of penalty differential.

 

No, that Sykora trade didn't work out that well - the Devils ultimately ended up with 2 years of Friesen, 1 year of Tverdovsky, and a 3rd round pick (who subsequently didn't sign with NJ).  Of course the Ducks only ended up with 2 1/2 years of Sykora and they dealt Sykora and a 4th for Maxim Kondratiev, so maybe the trade didn't work out for both sides from a pure asset perspective.

 

Of course. Missed saying Holik was gone. So you lose your best forward on a below average scoring team. You really don't get a great season from Nieuwendyk. No young player comes in and steps up offensively (Berglund and Bicek combine for 9 goals in 82 games). Elias and Gomez have down years offensively. None of them find much chemistry with anyone all season. The real upgrade was the great season by Langenbrunner. All that and the team slightly improves offensively.

 

But it goes to show, you have a good goalie and a great defense, you got a very good chance. It really helped that the Devils not only got hot, but ran into the opposite of Irbe/Weekes 2002. You got some Steve Shields in the 1st round with the Bruins. Then Khabibulin crapped the bed in round 2. Second straight series with a goalie change mid-series. In round 3, Lalime was pretty awful. Ottawa was the better team by far, but Lalime killed them in that series. Finally, Giguere, after being so good, was really crappy in the Finals. Got beat on a ton of bad goals.


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#22 SMantzas

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:03 PM

he was an odd Duck too, gotten in the deal for Teemu Selanne. I don't think Friesen was a very smart player and when his skills declined he was through as a regular NHLer. Also he was probably propped up by NJ which was a shot factory at the time - once he was released into the NHL proper, he was lost.

I've often wondered if there's some correlation between starting earlier and finishing earlier - both Sykora and Friesen played their Y18 seasons in the NHL, but both guys were basically through at 32 - Sykora was propped up by the right teams in his mid 30s, but he was at best an average NHLer after his 30th birthday when you considered everything he couldn't do. Sergei Samsonov was a Calder winner and was done at 32, and that after having his best seasons in his early 20s (which seem now to have been propped up by Joe Thornton, who is amazing). Scott Gomez, Calder winner, in the NHL at age 19, his Y30 season was his last good one. Dunno, seems like for non-superstars like this there's a clock on them - this is something to consider with free agents. It wouldn't surprise me a bunch if Nathan Horton suffered a big decline in his game, say (wow, looking at his numbers for this year, which I didn't do before I wrote the first half of this sentence, it looks like it already happened)


Hmm, yeah that actually makes sense when you factor in the grueling NHL schedule and physicality. The AHL is somewhat close but even then, they play ten less games and often have 4 days off between games. Since most guys enter the league at 20-22 those extra two-four years are likely a killer
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#23 Triumph

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

Another guy going through the 'I'm old' transformation is Vincent Lecavalier who is a below average NHLer at this point - haha, remember all the crying here when he signed with Philadelphia?


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#24 Triumph

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:11 PM

Of course. Missed saying Holik was gone. So you lose your best forward on a below average scoring team. You really don't get a great season from Nieuwendyk. No young player comes in and steps up offensively (Berglund and Bicek combine for 9 goals in 82 games). Elias and Gomez have down years offensively. None of them find much chemistry with anyone all season. The real upgrade was the great season by Langenbrunner. All that and the team slightly improves offensively.

 

But it goes to show, you have a good goalie and a great defense, you got a very good chance. It really helped that the Devils not only got hot, but ran into the opposite of Irbe/Weekes 2002. You got some Steve Shields in the 1st round with the Bruins. Then Khabibulin crapped the bed in round 2. Second straight series with a goalie change mid-series. In round 3, Lalime was pretty awful. Ottawa was the better team by far, but Lalime killed them in that series. Finally, Giguere, after being so good, was really crappy in the Finals. Got beat on a ton of bad goals.

 

Yeah I remember thinking that year that the Devils were extremely lucky to miss out on playing Philadelphia.  Joe Thornton was playing hurt in that 1st round, as I recall.  It just shows you how many breaks you need sometimes to win a championship - it's easy to look at years where you have a great team and think 'man, we got hosed', but harder to look at a Cup run and say 'well that was a great team but it sure did get lucky at the right time'

 

I just went over that Ottawa series and I don't think Ottawa was the better team 'by far'.  Seemed about even in shots and considering score effects that's where it hsould've been.  NJ was also super lucky to face such a rotten team in the Finals - that Anaheim team was outshot by 140 in the playoffs.  They rode good goaltending and that was about it.


Edited by Triumph, 28 April 2014 - 01:18 PM.

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#25 devilsrule33

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:18 PM

Another guy going through the 'I'm old' transformation is Vincent Lecavalier who is a below average NHLer at this point - haha, remember all the crying here when he signed with Philadelphia?

 

I've seen this in the NBA for a while with many high school players or one-and-done college guys looking so washed up at 31-32. Age really can be just a number and miles/games played could be the key thing. For the most part that's been the case in the NBA, and I think you are onto something in the NHL, but I feel you could find some veteran doing very well who started young for one struggling at a similar age and games played.

 

Lecavalier turned 34 days ago and has over 1000 games played already. His longtime teammate St Louis is almost 39 and has played less than 1000 games. A player like Daniel Alfredsson is still an effective NHLer at 41, and he was 23 during his rookie season (only 1178 games played). That almost a season less games than Patrick Marleau (34 and 1247 GP), but he is playing some of his best hockey after this much hockey.


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"It goes to the captain and then there are handoffs during a skate around the ice" Mike Emrick as Scott Stevens is being presented the Stanley Cup.


#26 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:25 PM

The kids who are rushed up and play in the league early are 90% of the time offensive dynamos. They don't learn the game well. It's an organizational flaw. The second their skills diminish, their careers are over.
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#27 thefiestygoat

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:35 PM

Love these threads DR33.

I remember coming into the season that I thought Pierre Dagenais was going to be the real deal due to his hot streak in a small sample size the year prior - but I was young and ignorant at the time.

I'll always remember feeling shocked when I found out they traded McKay and Arnott, especially since it didn't come out til after the deadline had passed. Of course the trade ended up working out really well the next year but as a young fan, McKay was one of my favorites and hard to see go. Grew up watching him win 2 Cups with the Devils.

That was also the last time I ever wished for a specific opponent for the Devils. I really thought it would be an easy series. I've since learned to respect everyone and that any G can get hot. I had nightmares of Weekes/Irbe for a while after that series.

Whether it was right or wrong I remember being pissed at Sykora at the time and wanting him gone. I was thrilled when the Friesen deal happened.


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#28 sundstrom

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:56 PM

 

 

I just went over that Ottawa series and I don't think Ottawa was the better team 'by far'.  Seemed about even in shots and considering score effects that's where it should've been. 

 

i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.


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#29 MadDog2020

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:01 PM

i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.

Alfredsson?
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#30 devilsrule33

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:15 PM

i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.

 

I'm surprised 03 over 06. The 2007 Senators lost Hasek, Havlat and Chara (gained nobody really) from the 06 team and still cruised to the Cup finals.

 

Th 2003 team had Hossa, and he was such a beast. Him vs Stevens was as entertaining a matchup to watch. Not many players ever gave Stevens that much trouble. 

 

Watch Hossa fly down the wing against Stevens in Game 6 in OT. Why did Muckler make that trade?

 

 

What a bad play by White there.


Edited by devilsrule33, 28 April 2014 - 02:19 PM.

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#31 Triumph

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:21 PM

Haha, such a reflex to see a guy w/ #24 and a last name beginning with S and thinking he's responsible for the goal against.  But yeah that was terrible.


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#32 '7'

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:58 PM

The ottawa series was another that shouldn't have even reached a game 7 panic attack mode. But again, those Devils didn't win in overtime in the playoffs very much.

 

Brodeur did a nice job on that OT winner. How many whacks are you going to allow a team before one eventually gets through though.

 

where the hell was white going?


Edited by '7', 28 April 2014 - 02:59 PM.

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#33 Devils Pride 26

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:15 PM

i can tell you one guy who says it was the best team he ever played on.

Volchie
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#34 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:23 PM

The ottawa series was another that shouldn't have even reached a game 7 panic attack mode. But again, those Devils didn't win in overtime in the playoffs very much.

 

Brodeur did a nice job on that OT winner. How many whacks are you going to allow a team before one eventually gets through though.

 

where the hell was white going?

 

Please tell me you're not extending your Brodeur hatred to Cup runs where he was terrific:

 

Boston (5 games):  .940

Tampa (5 games):  .942

Ottawa (7 games):  .932

Anaheim (7 games):  .925 (and that includes Game 6, where he gave up 5 goals on 22 shots)

 

TOTAL:  .934


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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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#35 '7'

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:26 PM

Please tell me you're not extending your Brodeur hatred to Cup runs where he was terrific:

 

Boston (5 games):  .940

Tampa (5 games):  .942

Ottawa (7 games):  .932

Anaheim (7 games):  .925 (and that includes Game 6, where he gave up 5 goals on 22 shots)

 

TOTAL:  .934

 

no I was defending him. He had guys whacking at the puck with nobody in sight. He did the best he could to keep that goal out.


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^7^ is just defending his sport sheeps.. as Alcibiades the exiled Athenian rationalizes in his speech to the enemy Spartans, he wants to take revenge on Athens because he loves it and can't stand to see the state it's in now - Triumph
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#36 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:55 PM

no I was defending him. He had guys whacking at the puck with nobody in sight. He did the best he could to keep that goal out.

 

OK, my fault, misunderstood...thought you were ripping on him.


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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 NJDevs4978

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:06 PM

where the hell was white going?

 

lol I never noticed that until seeing the clip...he's the one that practically took out himself and Stevens behind the net?  Yeah looked like he was going for the hit on Hossa.  I liked Whitey but sometimes he could go for the hit at an inopportune moment and get way out of position to do it (cough 2009 Game 7 cough).  I was at the 2003 ECF Game 6, I was actually fully expecting to see an ECF celebration.  I figured that had to be the night and we'd come through since we came through every other time this season.  Of course as it turned out it set up an even more dramatic Game 7, oh well...and I got to see a better celebration a couple weeks later.

 

The 2002 team, I was just mad at the team for getting Larry fired (or so I thought), mad at Lou - although the TG tweets recently about how Larry quit that time too cast a new light on that situation.  But it was just an unhappy year all around.  I think to a certain extent I felt they were done for after Game 5, but the only time I've ever felt something comparable to CR where I was at the arena and 'knew' they weren't going to win from early on was Game 5 against the Flyers in '10.  After five minutes it was obvious that team was done too, a similar feeling to the one CR described for the Kevin Weekes game.  

 

And yeah it was an open secret in '02 that not only the fans but the Devils themselves wanted the Canes too and we paid for that hubris, but to a degree the way they finished the '01 series against us gave them confidence in '02 I think.


Edited by NJDevs4978, 28 April 2014 - 07:11 PM.

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#38 devilsrule33

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:20 PM

lol I never noticed that until seeing the clip...he's the one that practically took out himself and Stevens behind the net?  Yeah looked like he was going for the hit on Hossa.  I liked Whitey but sometimes he could go for the hit at an inopportune moment and get way out of position to do it (cough 2009 Game 7 cough).  I was at the 2003 ECF Game 6, I was actually fully expecting to see an ECF celebration.  I figured that had to be the night and we'd come through since we came through every other time this season.  Of course as it turned out it set up an even more dramatic Game 7, oh well...and I got to see a better celebration a couple weeks later.

 

The 2002 team, I was just mad at the team for getting Larry fired (or so I thought), mad at Lou - although the TG tweets recently about how Larry quit that time too cast a new light on that situation.  But it was just an unhappy year all around.  I think to a certain extent I felt they were done for after Game 5, but the only time I've ever felt something comparable to CR where I was at the arena and 'knew' they weren't going to win from early on was Game 5 against the Flyers in '10.  After five minutes it was obvious that team was done too, a similar feeling to the one CR described for the Kevin Weekes game.  

 

And yeah it was an open secret in '02 that not only the fans but the Devils themselves wanted the Canes too and we paid for that hubris, but to a degree the way they finished the '01 series against us gave them confidence in '02 I think.

 

I consider it a firing. It was announced as a firing. Robinson disagreed with some of the things Lou said at the time of the coaching change etc. What possible reason would Lou/Larry call it a firing if it wasn't? So it would be a bigger wake up call to the players?

 

Lou obviously had a ton of respect for Robinson, and this is just a guess, but perhaps during the half-season slump, Robinson just couldn't be the bad guy all of a sudden. He probably tried everything he felt he could do with this group. He and Lou had many discussions throughout the rough stretch and Larry was probably candid with Lou telling him he couldn't change who he was to fix this team. If it's both agreeing someone new was needed to turn the ship around, I still think it's a firing or an organizational reshuffle. It was still determined right after the firing that Larry would stay in the organization. Then weeks later he is back behind the bench.


Edited by devilsrule33, 28 April 2014 - 10:34 PM.

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"The Stanley Cup has fallen from the Stars. The new millennium has its first Stanley Cup Champion, and it's the New Jersey Devils." Mike Miller calling the Devils winning the Stanley Cup.

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#39 95Crash

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:33 PM

The 2002 playoff series versus the Canes: wasn't that the playoff series where the Devils tried to get a White Out going so they gave free T-shirts to everyone that actually said, "Wear White," LOL.


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#40 skeeter

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:22 PM

The 2002 playoff series versus the Canes: wasn't that the playoff series where the Devils tried to get a White Out going so they gave free T-shirts to everyone that actually said, "Wear White," LOL.

 

What a fail that was.  Half the crowd didn't wear them and there was more purple with all the empty seats at every game.  The cheapskates also only gave them out for the first game too.  That was the last time they gave out pom-poms too.  As stupid as it sounds, 2003 just doesn't look right with those stupid thunder sticks at every game.


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