That list of backups would be more depressing if NJ didn't start a guy who is worse than most of those guys 35 times this year.
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Posted by Triumph on 07 April 2014 - 10:40 PM
That list of backups would be more depressing if NJ didn't start a guy who is worse than most of those guys 35 times this year.
Posted by Triumph on 03 April 2014 - 03:31 PM
I still am of the opinion that if Gelinas defensive play continues to be a major problem, looking into switching him to wing would not be a bad option. You're not going to see too much in the way of big slap shots during normal even strength play anyhow so losing that on your even strength blue line isn't a major headache. Wingers still get those opportunities off offensive zone faceoffs. It was responsible for a decent number of Sykora and Rolston goals in their careers.
My major motivation for starting my version of this thread was that I wanted Gelinas to stay in the lineup for games so he could play powerplay time because I think that his presence there is vital to this team's success. It would also help given that we're relatively weak up front and if done right he does have natural talents that could lend themselves to being an effective power forward.
I think part of the problem is the immediate assumption that once a player chooses a position that they become a "natural whatever." Obviously if that were true, Gelinas would still be a forward since that's what he started as. The skills involved in playing a non-goalie hockey position be they defense or forward are absolutely translatable. "Quickness" is a skill that can be improved with agility training and let's be honest, most power forwards struggle with quickness. The guy has speed, size and offensive talent. Those things are useful no matter where you are in the offensive zone. His lack of certain defensive instincts may be minimized by him playing forward.
Now on the flip side, if he does improve his defensive play to the point where a coach doesn't need to hesitate to put him out there against a second liner, I have no objection to him going full speed ahead as a defenseman because having a good weapon like that on the blue line during even strength is an enormous asset if it isn't a liability.
DeBoer's system and any heavy forecheck/puck control system requires people who can shoot the puck at the point. Gelinas has more shots/60 than anyone on this year's team. It's not just about the big slapshot - Gelinas has a very good release and he has a good wrist shot too.
Gelinas's biggest potential skill at 5 on 5 is not his shot, it's his ability to knife through the neutral zone and either lead the rush/get the puck into the zone or be available for drop passes on the rush. I'm not convinced that his decision making in this regard will ever be elite but this is an ability that players like Kurtis Foster do not possess. It's a skill that frankly NJ hasn't really had since Scott Niedermayer. It's a skill that most defensemen don't have and one that's pretty useless as a forward.
Posted by Triumph on 31 March 2014 - 03:47 PM
[quote name="Devils Pride 26" post="257330" timestamp="1396278552"]
Callahan would be a NIGHTMARE[quote]
No he wouldnt. Top player that would fit our system and like I said, would automatically become our best player the second he walks in the door. And that "hes only got a few years left" is bullsh!t. No validity behind it whatsoever. That what the sour grapes people tried saying about parise and theres ZERO evidence that holding true.
GO. GET. CALLY.
If Callahan is your best player, you are not going to win many games. He is not a top player, and he never really was, and now he's on the decline. In addition, since GMs love thinking players like Callahan are top players, he will be massively overpaid.
Parise's decline will begin - he still hasn't matched his numbers from 08-09 and 09-10. He's holding up better than I thought he would so far, but he's only played 100 games so far. Talk to me when he's played 300.
Posted by Triumph on 29 March 2014 - 12:26 PM
Buying out the final year only saves the Devils money because it's a 35+ contract. I could see them convincing him to walk.
It's not mileage, it's just that Zubrus was never a great player and players who aren't great tend to slow down at Zubrus's age. Like Edge said, he just doesn't get in on the forecheck as fast and so that really limits what good he's doing out there. He's still a smart player with the puck and on defense but he's basically contributing at a 3rd/4th line level at this juncture. I'm not concerned about the salary, but I am concerned that coaching/management usually takes at least a year what shrewd people can see in 20 games - this is why old players suck, it isn't just because they start to get worse, it's that the coaching staff doesn't notice until it's already cost the team points.
Posted by Triumph on 26 March 2014 - 01:26 PM
pete looks for excuses to play marty. different strokes for different folks. i'm furious that marty is starting. his rust should be of no concern.
like a disobedient child, this toy must be taken away from the coach. this is punting the season plain and simple.
Probably thinks about how much his puck handling helps the breakout. His puck stopping also helps the breakout - with a few Brodeur softies, the other team stops forechecking and the puck just flies out of NJ's defensive zone.
Posted by Triumph on 23 March 2014 - 01:00 PM
Beat the Leafs because them missing the playoffs would be the best thing ever.
Yeah this, NJ isn't getting in, but please don't let awful Toronto into the playoffs. Beat them one goddamn time.
Posted by Triumph on 20 March 2014 - 12:49 PM
It's closer to real hockey than the shootout.
How many times to random shootout derbys break out during the course of a season? Where free shots are given for no reason whatsoever. Where the sport of NHL hockey is completely suspended and a different sport is played.
of course 3 on 3 was voted down. The fans wanted it and are clearly getting fed up with the shootout. Why would the give the fans what they want?
Haha, projecting as usual. A penalty shot happens way, way more often than 3 on 3 hockey if we exclude the already gimmicky 4 on 4 OT.
Posted by Triumph on 16 March 2014 - 12:37 PM
What makes the scoring/forward problem worse is other than Jagr (who's essential to bring back), Ryder and Brunner we have a TON of highly-paid forwards signed for another two plus years. They've pretty much locked themselves in long-term to most of this group. The only lineup forwards that are FA's this year are Jagr and CBGB. Next year it's Ryder and Brunner.
They haven't really locked themselves in, but that depends on their willingness to employ Dainius Zubrus as a 4th line player, because that's quickly what he's becoming. If they're willing to move Boucher to RW (which I would hope they are, given that they do have a bunch of crap LWs signed), they could move one of Ryder or Brunner and get better that way. Basically Ryder, Brunner, Zubrus, or Ruutu all would move, some with a little kick via retained salary, but I think someone would be interested. The trouble with Zubrus is that he has an NTC.
Posted by Triumph on 11 March 2014 - 10:30 AM
That's how the business world works sometime, the person with more experience gets special treatment. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm not going to sit here, bitch, and point the finger at Brodeur for simply wanting to play his sport. We shouldn't be wasting time bitching and moaning when Schneider is clearly our starter, now and in the future.
How is Schneider clearly the starter? After tonight, Brodeur will have started 32 games, Schneider 34. That doesn't seem clear to me, and given NJ's inability to divorce themselves from Brodeur, it doesn't seem like it's clear in the future either.
Brodeur can complain about playing time all he wants. He doesn't deserve more playing time. He deserves much less. And if his preferred destinations really did include Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, as Chris Stevenson reported on deadline day, he's utterly lost his mind. If he's the face of the franchise, it's a franchise content to miss the playoffs to serve one man.
Posted by Triumph on 09 March 2014 - 09:55 PM
One thing interesting to me at least about the Tuomo Ruutu acquisition is that he's from Finland, and while the Devils have a long history of successful European players (including countries that seldom produce NHLers like Poland and Lithuania) they have really never had a good Finnish player. Ruutu's signed for 2 more years - the question is, does he break the franchise record for points scored by a Finnish born player? I decided to examine the team's history with Finnish players using the very helpful hockey-reference resource - I generated this list of players.
The franchise leader in points by a Finn is Tapio Levo with 69 - Levo scored over 200 goals in the Finnish league and I know he used to be a common punchline around these parts, seems like he just couldn't play defense.
Next is the timeless Janne Ojanen with 44. Ojanen, like Levo, never played for another NHL franchise and went back to Finland and ended up with 283 goals in the Finnish league. He was still playing in that league in 2009-10 despite being 41 years old.
Then it gets dire. Veli-Pekka Kotela apparently played for Colorado - he too crushed the Finnish league, but ended up with only 14 points for the Rockies.
Next is Anssi Salmela with 13 - say what you will about Salmela, but his two goals for the Devils are both pretty memorable - the one, he got concussed by Jeff Carter in a hit that would've drawn a suspension now (and it was a short-handed goal in a big divisional game), and the second was an OT winner in 2010-11 that had the Devils the closest to the playoffs that they would get that year. He played two years in the KHL and hasn't played anywhere this year, but I'm not sure why - hockeydb lists him on two rosters in the Swedish Hockey League, but he hasn't been in a game.
Jukka Porvari and his 12 points are next - Porvari made the trip from Colorado to New Jersey and ended up playing in Austria the same year. When guys off your NHL team go to Austria to play hockey later that year it's not a good sign.
Reijo Ruotsalainen had only 7 points as a Devil - he was acquired by NJ in 87 via the since-mothballed waiver draft but played that year and the following one overseas. He came back to Jersey for 31 games, got traded back to Edmonton, and won another Stanley Cup with the Oilers. He played 26 games for the Oilers in the regular season and 43 in the playoffs. Weird career. For years afterwards Glen Sather would list him as available in the waiver draft for reasons only known to him.
Ilkka Pikkarainen had 4 points and is the player more Devils fans should point to when people complain about the 4th line because this guy was not an NHL player but somehow got into 31 games in 2009-10. This year he has 6 goals in 47 games for the Pelicans of the Finnish league.
Tuomas Pihlman played parts of 3 seasons in NJ, the bulk of which was in 2005-06, scoring 2 points in 15 games. The Devils' forward depth in the minor leagues was ghastly at the time - Pihlman played 4 seasons in the AHL and scored 39 goals. Pihlman appears to be a 4th liner in the Finnish league now.
Timo Blomqvist had 2 points in 20 games for NJ and appears to have been some kind of depth defenseman. He's mentioned in some really old New York Times article that you can google about NJ basically being too broke to call players up from their AHL affiliate.
Next is of course Esa Tikkanen who was acquired in 95-96 and then summarily dispatched the same year without scoring a goal. Never quite found out what went on there but I guess he and Lou did not see eye to eye - NJ got him for a 3rd round pick and then dealt him for a 2nd which is sort of nuts. No doubt he's the best Finnish player ever to play for NJ but that's a lot like saying the best Canadian player to play for the Coyotes franchise is Brett Hull.
And then the two pointless guys - Olli Malmivaara is the tallest player to ever play for the Devils, which I guess is an achievement of sorts, and Harri Pesonen looked okay in a 4 game callup but will probably return to Finland at the end of the year and crush that league for the next 10 seasons. Let's hope Tuomo Ruutu can accomplish more than this sorry bunch - he'll need 68 points spread over this season and the next 2 to make it as the franchise leader, let's hope he gets there.
Posted by Triumph on 07 March 2014 - 01:05 PM
I like to imagine Brodeur sitting on the bench while Cory's losing 2-1 yet again and thinking to himself 'Wish I could get out there and help this team more, I'd be doing a better job for sure'
Posted by Triumph on 07 March 2014 - 12:22 AM
Guys, guys, c'mon. Brodeur isn't going to play in the playoffs, let's not be ridiculous. His play so far has already cost the team the playoffs.
Posted by Triumph on 05 March 2014 - 12:58 PM
Brodeur was never going to go to Montreal - why does Montreal want that mess? They have a good goalie, so let's acquire the 2nd best Quebecois goalie of all time who can't stop talking about how much playing time he needs.
Posted by Triumph on 04 March 2014 - 11:38 AM
There's no evidence that anything more is happening than what was said yesterday.
Posted by Triumph on 24 February 2014 - 08:04 PM
Devils ratings seem to fluctuate wildly, making me believe the ratings system doesn't work well to measure this instance.
Yeah, this is the first thing I thought when I saw these numbers. If many teams in the NHL are gaining 50%+ and losing 50%+ year to year, I don't think these numbers are particularly meaningful.
I mean the implication is that there are fewer people watching on TV than at the games. That's insane to me.