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#1 mort4345

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:34 PM

Ok, coming into this season I thought I was being in a realist in lowering my expectations. The Devils were coming off horrible memories from last year's playoffs. We had a new coach who was a) going to be a good teacher for the youngsters or b) hold the team back offensively and try to rehash strategies of a time gone by. In any event, the players were going to have to adapt to a new coaching philosophy - which always takes time anyway. Then we had to deal with losing MadDog and Gionta to free agency - both moves which I approved of but was saddened by to a certain extent - Madden being one of my all-time favorite Devils players for his pure moxie alone. Then we lose P. Martin, Oduya, Pandolfo, Zubrus, and Clarkson ... had a gimpy recovering P. Elias, had a multi-million dollar player who couldn't hit the side of a barn (Rolston), and had a host of unproven kids including Bergfors who did nothing to indicate that he was going to amount to anything special. In addition, we've heard for years, if not the past decade, that the Devils' farm system was the worst in the league. So what do we get? We get a Devils team that is starting multiple kids/rookies/journeymen who are excelling when considering any hockey metric. We have the best record in the Atlantic Division, are a real power in the East and are now legitimately being considered as a threat to contend for a Stanley Cup title. And then there's Andy Greene ... again, regarding his accomplishments this year, what are the odds? Taking into consideration where we are with injuries, this current situation is easily better than any best-case scenario I could have envisioned. And for that I'm truly thankful. I realize the season can change on a dime, blah, blah, blah, but I have to say, I couldn't be more impressed by this team and this organization right now. And that's the triple truth Ruth.

Edited by mort4345, 09 December 2009 - 11:35 PM.

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#2 DevilNurn

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:37 PM

Don't forget the loss of Shanahan. That meant a lot too. But, my friend, it isn't odds. It's:

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#3 Devs3cups

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:04 AM

If they work hard they can win it

Edited by Devs3cups, 10 December 2009 - 07:07 AM.

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#4 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:59 AM

Ok, coming into this season I thought I was being in a realist in lowering my expectations. The Devils were coming off horrible memories from last year's playoffs. We had a new coach who was a) going to be a good teacher for the youngsters or b) hold the team back offensively and try to rehash strategies of a time gone by. In any event, the players were going to have to adapt to a new coaching philosophy - which always takes time anyway.


I didn't really think last season would have had anything to do with this one. There's enough vets on the team that know how to shake that sort of thing off...and many of the Devils' players have played for multiple coaches, so I think they can adjust to new systems fairly quickly. As for Lemaire, I felt those who assumed that he was the same coach who left here in '98 weren't being fair. I thought he at least deserved a chance to show what he could do first, before writing him off as some holdover relic from the old NHL.

Then we had to deal with losing MadDog and Gionta to free agency - both moves which I approved of but was saddened by to a certain extent - Madden being one of my all-time favorite Devils players for his pure moxie alone. Then we lose P. Martin, Oduya, Pandolfo, Zubrus, and Clarkson ... had a gimpy recovering P. Elias, had a multi-million dollar player who couldn't hit the side of a barn (Rolston), and had a host of unproven kids including Bergfors who did nothing to indicate that he was going to amount to anything special. In addition, we've heard for years, if not the past decade, that the Devils' farm system was the worst in the league. So what do we get? We get a Devils team that is starting multiple kids/rookies/journeymen who are excelling when considering any hockey metric. We have the best record in the Atlantic Division, are a real power in the East and are now legitimately being considered as a threat to contend for a Stanley Cup title. And then there's Andy Greene ... again, regarding his accomplishments this year, what are the odds? Taking into consideration where we are with injuries, this current situation is easily better than any best-case scenario I could have envisioned. And for that I'm truly thankful. I realize the season can change on a dime, blah, blah, blah, but I have to say, I couldn't be more impressed by this team and this organization right now. And that's the triple truth Ruth.


I agree that it was time for Madden and Gio to move on. Madden looked like a player on the decline, and Gio just isn't that good. I like that some new blood is on the team.

You're not really being fair w/Bergfors. He got hurt in Game 1 of his first stint, and was getting minimal ice time in his 8-game second stint (less than 6 minutes of ice time per game). He had a very good year in his final AHL campaign, and that as much as anything else is why Lou didn't even attempt to bring Gio back. He's definitely exceeding what I thought he'd produce though...20 points in 29 GP is terrific for a rookie.

Re: Rolston, I hadn't yet given up on him, but I was definitely starting to lose hope. Some guys have a knack for coming up with big goals, and others are more of the "pitch-in" types. I think Rolston is closer to the latter, and in big spots I can't say he scares me, but it looks like he's going to pop in 25-30 goals this year...at the very least his contract is no longer potentially dead money.

As for Greene, gotta give a ton of credit to a guy who was clearly on the outside, got an opportunity, and hasn't looked back. I just hope this lasts...one thing that it truly amazing about the Devils organization is how they squeeze the absolute most out of so many unheralded, unwanted, and/or unknown defensemen. The Devils actually managed to get decent minutes out of Sheldon Brookbank at one point.

Yeah, as much as I'm enjoying this season, there's a part of me that wonders how long this will continue, though I don't see a massive drop-off coming...if anything, a 20-game stretch where they play around .500 or so wouldn't surprise me, but when you're 21-7-1 a stretch like that won't kill you.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 10 December 2009 - 08:01 AM.

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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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#5 PaDevsFan

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:13 AM

Ok, coming into this season I thought I was being in a realist in lowering my expectations. The Devils were coming off horrible memories from last year's playoffs. We had a new coach who was a) going to be a good teacher for the youngsters or b) hold the team back offensively and try to rehash strategies of a time gone by. In any event, the players were going to have to adapt to a new coaching philosophy - which always takes time anyway. Then we had to deal with losing MadDog and Gionta to free agency - both moves which I approved of but was saddened by to a certain extent - Madden being one of my all-time favorite Devils players for his pure moxie alone. Then we lose P. Martin, Oduya, Pandolfo, Zubrus, and Clarkson ... had a gimpy recovering P. Elias, had a multi-million dollar player who couldn't hit the side of a barn (Rolston), and had a host of unproven kids including Bergfors who did nothing to indicate that he was going to amount to anything special. In addition, we've heard for years, if not the past decade, that the Devils' farm system was the worst in the league. So what do we get? We get a Devils team that is starting multiple kids/rookies/journeymen who are excelling when considering any hockey metric. We have the best record in the Atlantic Division, are a real power in the East and are now legitimately being considered as a threat to contend for a Stanley Cup title. And then there's Andy Greene ... again, regarding his accomplishments this year, what are the odds? Taking into consideration where we are with injuries, this current situation is easily better than any best-case scenario I could have envisioned. And for that I'm truly thankful. I realize the season can change on a dime, blah, blah, blah, but I have to say, I couldn't be more impressed by this team and this organization right now. And that's the triple truth Ruth.


One correction : Best record in the league not the Atlantic Division!! 21 - 7 - 1!!
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#6 Prucenterrules

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:53 AM

If they work hard they can win it

+1. They need to give 100% every night.
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#7 peteyvegas

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:21 AM

I think we have to realize that this organization will put a good regular season team on the ice. I'd like to think that the last 6 yrs are our down years and that we'll be in contention once again sometime soon. It depends on Marty's playoff ability. It has certainly fallen off in recent years.
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#8 ZeroGravityFat

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:24 AM

they need to push hard towards the end, and not slump again, but they have all the drive they need to win this time. and the coach does not take sh!t and is blunt. i think this coach is what we needed, ironically.
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#9 thiswontwork

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:55 AM

I have just come to accept that I am a spoiled fan that expects a winning season in which we compete to be the best in the division every year. I still remember in 95 not being given a shot against Detroit and that seems to the way the outside world views the organization. I am perfectly fine with a workman like attitude that the org takes and the "everyone is replaceable" approach Lou has created. I am proud to say that this is "Jerseys Team" and as a Newark resident very proud to call this team my hometown team. Oh and I forgot, I also love being able to tell Ranger fans they suck =-)

Edited by thiswontwork, 10 December 2009 - 09:55 AM.

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#10 iamtheprodigy

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:19 AM

Agreed. Love the character of this team. Big guys go down, nobody mopes. Nobody says "Oh well, we're going to lose because we have injuries." Everybody just steps up and keeps playing. Young guys come up with great attitudes too - to take advantage of their opportunity and respect their place in the organization. Nobody, not even our star player, plays for personal point or goal totals. Devils are getting dominant wins and "found a way" wins, which are both important in the regular season. It's just a matter of keeping up this level of play and elevating even more come playoff time. I believe the team has the character to do it, and we have more depth in forward talent than recent years. It's just a matter of performing in the big lights. That's a long way off of course, and in the mean time we just have to keep grinding our way through the season picking up as many wins as we can.

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#11 njdevil26

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:29 AM

I try not to think about it too much... but when I do... you have to figure some things:

0-2 against the Flyers (the home opener had the Devils just looking over matched and slow)

2-0 against the Islanders (one close win and one blowout)

3-0 against the Caps (two wins without Ovechkin)

2-0 against the Pens (second win had the Pens without Talbot, Gonchar, Malkin, and Crosby was playing hurt)

9-1 against the Southeast. (2-0 against the league worst Canes, 3-0 in close games against the Lightning, 0-1 against Atlanta, 1-0 against Florida in a close game)

5-1 against the Northeast (No Toronto or Montreal yet, 1-1 against Buffalo, 2-0 against Ottawa, 2-0 against Boston in close games)

2-2-1 against the West. Close game win against a struggling Red Wings team, Bad game loss to Dallas, Shootout loss to Nashville, bad game loss to Vancouver, 3-1 win over Anaheim..


I think that's about it. But the most convincing win the Devils have had were the 6-1 wins over the Islanders and the 3-0 win over Buffalo.


-------------------

The thing that makes the Devils such a good story is what they've been able to do with young guys and injuries. Elias, Niedermayer, Clarkson, Zubrus, Martin, Oduya, and Pandolfo have all missed significant time. Clarky, Zubes, and Martin are still out. Langenbrunner has been playing with an injury.

I think there are two games from now until the olympic break that will really tell us how the Devils are.

12/26 against the Capitals. Barring an injury or suspension they'll have Ovie in the lineup... so we'll see Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Green, Fleishmann and their other good players. The only player the Devils have a shot at getting back is Martin. So we'll see.

12/31 at Chicago. The Hawks are playing really well especially at home.


Then after the olympics in San Jose. They are a complete power house.
---------------------------

I want to see the Devils beat a GOOD team that is playing a good game. We'll see what the Flyers present Saturday.
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#12 MantaRay

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:32 AM

The Devil have a trend of looking unbeatable in Nov/Dec and disappear Feb-April. I remain a playoff doubter until Marty gets more rest and we get healthy.
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#13 Devil Dan 56

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:48 AM

12/26 against the Capitals. Barring an injury or suspension they'll have Ovie in the lineup... so we'll see Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Green, Fleishmann and their other good players. The only player the Devils have a shot at getting back is Martin. So we'll see.

12/31 at Chicago. The Hawks are playing really well especially at home.


Then after the olympics in San Jose. They are a complete power house.


This makes me think back to last year, when we wanted to see if the Devils were for real and they beat Boston and San Jose back to back. I think we all honestly thought that team could beat anyone at that point. To this day I wonder what would have happened if they didn't drop off after 552 and Sutter didn't panic and start playing Madden and Pando every other shift.
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#14 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:55 AM

I try not to think about it too much... but when I do... you have to figure some things:

0-2 against the Flyers (the home opener had the Devils just looking over matched and slow)

2-0 against the Islanders (one close win and one blowout)

3-0 against the Caps (two wins without Ovechkin)

2-0 against the Pens (second win had the Pens without Talbot, Gonchar, Malkin, and Crosby was playing hurt)

9-1 against the Southeast. (2-0 against the league worst Canes, 3-0 in close games against the Lightning, 0-1 against Atlanta, 1-0 against Florida in a close game)

5-1 against the Northeast (No Toronto or Montreal yet, 1-1 against Buffalo, 2-0 against Ottawa, 2-0 against Boston in close games)

2-2-1 against the West. Close game win against a struggling Red Wings team, Bad game loss to Dallas, Shootout loss to Nashville, bad game loss to Vancouver, 3-1 win over Anaheim..


I think that's about it. But the most convincing win the Devils have had were the 6-1 wins over the Islanders and the 3-0 win over Buffalo.


-------------------

The thing that makes the Devils such a good story is what they've been able to do with young guys and injuries. Elias, Niedermayer, Clarkson, Zubrus, Martin, Oduya, and Pandolfo have all missed significant time. Clarky, Zubes, and Martin are still out. Langenbrunner has been playing with an injury.


Geez...you're not just looking at the glass half-empty, you've got it shattered in a million pieces all over the floor.

The Devils are tied for the league's 2nd best goal differential at +23 with Chicago, and only Washington's +26 is better (the "powerhouse" Sharks are at +21). What you just did in picking apart the Devils' schedule you could do with every other team with a top record, because with such low goal differentials it's obvious that ALL of the upper-tier teams are winning their share of close ones. And don't be so quick to knock the Devils winning against the 'Canes...the 'Canes did manage to beat Vancouver at home, and Pittsburgh on the road before facing the Devils. The idea is to WIN, and the Devils are doing plenty of it...the way the Devils play there aren't going to be too many blowout-type wins. But at least you were fair about mentioning the Devils' injuries...if anything that makes what the Devils have managed to do that much more impressive.
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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!

#15 Marshall

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:14 AM

I remember looking at the roster at one point a few weeks ago and we were playing five rookies who all got a decent chunk of ice time, and we still won.
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#16 njdevil26

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:42 AM

Geez...you're not just looking at the glass half-empty, you've got it shattered in a million pieces all over the floor.

The Devils are tied for the league's 2nd best goal differential at +23 with Chicago, and only Washington's +26 is better (the "powerhouse" Sharks are at +21). What you just did in picking apart the Devils' schedule you could do with every other team with a top record, because with such low goal differentials it's obvious that ALL of the upper-tier teams are winning their share of close ones. And don't be so quick to knock the Devils winning against the 'Canes...the 'Canes did manage to beat Vancouver at home, and Pittsburgh on the road before facing the Devils. The idea is to WIN, and the Devils are doing plenty of it...the way the Devils play there aren't going to be too many blowout-type wins. But at least you were fair about mentioning the Devils' injuries...if anything that makes what the Devils have managed to do that much more impressive.


I just don't want to be a fan that looks at our team in early December and says "hey we're going to win the cup!"
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#17 Devil Dan 56

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:05 PM

I just don't want to be a fan that looks at our team in early December and says "hey we're going to win the cup!"


I can understand that. Personally, I'm just enjoying a season that I originally thought was not going to be very good. On paper, this team looked mediocre. I'd never, ever say anyone will win the cup (after 2001, how could any Devils fan?), but I am pleasantly surprised with how this group is playing right now. Especially since it's my first season ticket year :evil:
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#18 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:27 PM

I just don't want to be a fan that looks at our team in early December and says "hey we're going to win the cup!"


That's fair, and I don't think anyone's really doing that...how can we? Like DD56 said, I think it's more about enjoying a season where no one was really sure what to expect. It's just when I read your analysis it seemed like you were going out of your way to affix some kind of asterisk to what the Devils have achieved so far, which I didn't think was fair.
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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!

#19 iamtheprodigy

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:27 PM

I just don't want to be a fan that looks at our team in early December and says "hey we're going to win the cup!"


But you are a fan that looks at all the teams in September and says "Montreal's going to win the cup!"

Sorry, couldn't resist. :P

Obviously I agree though that thinking that our current success will translate to the playoffs at all is stupid. There's nothing wrong with enjoying our little run while it happens though. At least when the Devils are winning like this we don't have to deal with the doom-and-gloom fans that think the season's over and Marty's a has-been and fire Lou, etc., the second the Devils lose two in a row.
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#20 PaDevsFan

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:36 PM

But you are a fan that looks at all the teams in September and says "Montreal's going to win the cup!"

Sorry, couldn't resist. :P

Obviously I agree though that thinking that our current success will translate to the playoffs at all is stupid. There's nothing wrong with enjoying our little run while it happens though. At least when the Devils are winning like this we don't have to deal with the doom-and-gloom fans that think the season's over and Marty's a has-been and fire Lou, etc., the second the Devils lose two in a row.



As I said in a post yesterday, I am also not going to talk about Cup Contenders etc etc. But that being said if you look at how the Devils play this style translates perfectly to the playoffs, tight close hard fought 1 goal games, and the Devils record in 1 goal games so far has been outstanding compared to the last few years when they couldnt (or wouldnt) hold a lead. This style as well as Lemaires "accountability" aspect of Coaching style will (in my opinion) help this team drastically come playoff time!
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