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Another Playoff Series/Season Flashback


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#41 NJDevs4978

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:26 PM

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 knew 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.

 

It would sort of explain a little more why Lou was willing to ask Larry to come back to be an assistant when Cuniff got sick though, if Larry had been fired it would have taken serious cajones to ask him to come back as an assistant a week later, even considering the circumstances.  Either way he was still on the payroll but if he was on the payroll after stepping aside then he obviously owed Lou a favor anyway.  You said it yourself, they could have called it a firing as more of a shakeup.  It kind of did work for a time, at least the rest of the regular season.  Maybe it was a mutual parting of the ways too.

 

That was just such a weird situation however it went down, especially at the end of the season when Larry was the one shaking everyone's hands as they came off the ice in Game 6 and Constantine was a statue.


Edited by NJDevs4978, 28 April 2014 - 10:44 PM.

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#42 '7'

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:35 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.

 

The home crowds weren't awful in that series. All over 17,000 for all 3 playoff home games. Trouble is when you play in a 19,040 seat arena those 2,000 empties are very visible


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#43 Martyisth3b3st

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:27 AM

So this is reaching back to some of my earlier memories of the Devils (as I was only 11) but correct me if I'm wrong... Did the devils score first in game 6 but it got waived off for something? I could be thinking of something else
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#44 NJDevs26

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:52 AM

So this is reaching back to some of my earlier memories of the Devils (as I was only 11) but correct me if I'm wrong... Did the devils score first in game 6 but it got waived off for something? I could be thinking of something else

 

That was 2001 Game 6 against the Avs.


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#45 HellOnICE

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:47 AM

That Ottawa team was tremendous. I remember that now. It might have been the best team the Devils played in that four year swing. I thought so anyway.

 

White was known for taking himself out of plays just like that. I'll never forget Game 1 against Colorado, I think it was the first goal, it was the same exact play. White goes for the hit behind the net and leaves the barn door open. He got better as years went on, but at first he did that a lot as I recall.

 

As for the Y18 to 30+ guys, Holik and I talked about this a lot on the podcast way back when. it's hard. Especially now, because of the speed of the game - the miles you're getting - it's tough to keep up.


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#46 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 09:51 AM

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)

 

I think in a guy like Friesen's case, he might have gotten worn down from high expectations as well...there was an article in SI about future up-and-coming stars, and he was considered to be a big one coming up.  In SJ, they thought he was going to be a 35-40 goal, point-per-game type...when he scored a career-high 31 goals in his fourth season (he was only 21 going on 22), their fans thought "Finally, OK, here we go."  They didn't realize (or refused to believe) that he wasn't going to be any better than what he was.  After another 2 3/4 seasons of "disappointment", he then goes to Anaheim, like you said, as part of a deal for Teemu Selanne.  He didn't come close to living up to what the Anaheim faithful were hoping for, and even worse, he didn't even produce like he had previously (which probably would've STILL been barely acceptable to Duck fans). 

 

I remember him admitting when he was dealt to NJ that playing for both SJ and Anaheim had been difficult for him, and that he was looking forward to a new start in NJ.  In a lot of ways, like you alluded to, playing here in 2003 was pretty ideal for him...he was replacing a guy in Sykora who some fans were a little sour on, and after Arnott had been dealt, Sykora following him out the door was a lot less shocking.  Friesen playing for the Devils had to be a lot easier than coming in as youngster with massive expectations, as he did in SJ, or having to follow a pure highlight scoring machine, like Selanne.  Here all he had to do was fit in and be a reasonably productive piece to succeed, and for that one season, he was.    


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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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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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#47 devilsrule33

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:27 PM

I had no clue how young Friesen was when he played for the Devils. I know the Devils traded Friesen for cap reasons, but they couldn't have picked a better player...

 

After the lockout, he played 123 games for Washington/Anaheim/Calgary and combined for 10 goals and 13 assists at 29/30.  Looks like he took tried to make the NHL over the next two years but was released from an AHL team and cut from the Sharks training camp the following year. Finished his career by playing two years in the top German league.

 

Pretty weird.


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#48 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:49 PM

I had no clue how young Friesen was when he played for the Devils. I know the Devils traded Friesen for cap reasons, but they couldn't have picked a better player...

 

After the lockout, he played 123 games for Washington/Anaheim/Calgary and combined for 10 goals and 13 assists at 29/30.  Looks like he took tried to make the NHL over the next two years but was released from an AHL team and cut from the Sharks training camp the following year. Finished his career by playing two years in the top German league.

 

Pretty weird.

 

I had posted some info about this in the first page (the 10 goals and 13 assists in the 123 for three teams, etc).  Yeah, very weird, was basically done as an effective NHLer by the time he was 28, even though he still played for a couple more years.  He's been out of the NHL since 2007 and is only 37 years old NOW.   

 

Like Tri pointed out, some of the early starters have had similar paths.  I know Gomez has always been a guy who's relied on his ability, but yeah, look at his numbers, and like Friesen, it's like someone yanked the plug. 

 

Gomez's last four seasons:  203 GP, 13 G, 63 A, 76 Pts, -45, 3.9 shooting% 

 

He just about out of time.


Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 30 April 2014 - 02:49 PM.

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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!

#49 MadDog2020

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:52 PM

Friesen had one of the strangest career paths I've ever seen.
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#50 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:08 PM

Friesen had one of the strangest career paths I've ever seen.

 

I'll always think, in his case, some of it was mental...the high expectations in SJ, and being seen as some kind of replacement for Selanne after being traded for him.  From '96-'97 through '99-'00, he was a nice, decently productive player (averaged about 80 GP and 61 points in that time), but everyone expected more (he also never did much in the playoffs for SJ either...34 GP, 5 G, 10 A).   


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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!




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