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Member Since 09 Jul 2009
Offline Last Active Jul 15 2009 01:24 PM

Topics I've Started

Brooks: Devils will go backwards with Lemaire - just watch

14 July 2009 - 04:07 AM


PAST is prelude and we've seen this movie before. The Devils aren't simply going back to Jacques Lemaire to coach the team that Brent Sutter walked out on. They are going to be going backwards -- backwards into the neutral zone, backwards in the standings.

Lou Lamoriello's decision to hire Lemaire 11 years after the end of a first five-year term that put the Devils on the NHL map but ultimately ended in underachievement is a misplaced reach into the past.

The future belongs to coaches who can, have and will adapt to a game that is evolving into a showcase for offensive talent, risk/reward attack, and creative, puck-possession teams. Lemaire, though, is wedded to the past. He is an obstinate, safety-first zealot whose defensive demands stifle creativity no matter how much he might disagree.

Lemaire was a great coach for two seasons after arriving in New Jersey in 1993-94. He was a guide to excellence who won a Stanley Cup in 1995 and then made the fatal mistake of thinking that he and his system had been more responsible for winning the championship than Claude Lemieux, Scott Stevens, John MacLean, Stephane Richer, Neal Broten and Shawn Chambers.

The Devils trapped in Lemaire's first two seasons, but they also attacked. Indeed, New Jersey finished second in the league in scoring in 1993-94 before losing to the Rangers in the epochal seven-game Eastern Conference finals.

But Lemaire's Devils didn't attack after winning the Cup. They backed up. They changed incessantly on the fly so that Lemaire could match his checking lines (plural) against the opposition's top guns on every single shift in every single game. His scorers got considerably less ice than their peers around the NHL.

That was then. This is almost now -- two years ago when Lemaire was coaching the Wild, winger Marian Gaborik finished seventh in the NHL with 42 goals. He was 43rd in the league among forwards in ice time with 19:35 per game and fourth among Wild forwards, trailing Brian Rolston, Mikko Koivu and Pavol Demitra.

And that stat wrapped in Lemaire's philosophy explains why Gaborik rejected Minnesota's contract extension offer this past October of 10 years at $78 million. The winger instead signed a five-year, $37.5M free agent contract with the Rangers.

Lets make clear the Messier "guarantee"

13 July 2009 - 12:58 AM

As long as we're taking care of some off-season house cleaning, I want to encourage any Devils fan out there to refute the claims, whenever running into a Rangers fan who likes to take heart in the alleged guarantee that made Mark Messier a legend of epic proportions - to not only Rangers fans - but to the boot licking Rangers media dorks who have perpetuated this myth since it allegedly happened.




The facts: Heading into Game 6 of the 1994 ECF, with the Rangers down 3 game to 2, with the Devils having all the momentum on their side going into that game - reporters circled around the Rangers Captain after their last practice before Game 6. The question? "Mark do you think you guys will win Game 6?" The Answer: "Yeah, I do".

No bravado like; "Yeah I do, we'll win, I know we'll win, in fact I guarantee we'll win."

Now the above line is what Rangers media, the Rangers organization, and the Rangers fans like to make you think is what happened.

Not even close.

Messier was asked if he thought the Rangers would win Game 6. What was he gonna say, "no I don't think so?" Or; "Well I hope so?" Or; "probably not...maybe if we're lucky?"

That'd be like someone asking Scott Stevens prior to Game 6 if he thought the Devils would win the game. What would Stevens have said? "I hope so?" Or; "Maybe?"

Please shout down any Rangers fan or any Ranger media lackey you may run into who likes to proclaim that Mark Messier made a stone cold guarantee lock, that the Rangers would beat the Devils in Game 6 - IT NEVER EVER HAPPENED.



Three days before the game, Namath responded to a heckler with the now-famous line: "We'll win the game. I guarantee you." His words eventually made headlines across the country, but were dismissed as mere bravado by most observers.




Gimme the three (3) worst losses in Devils franchise history

11 July 2009 - 01:44 PM

Mine include:

Game 7 this past season first round playoffs versus Carolina

Losing Game 7 Stanley Cup Finals to Colorado

Unquestionably for me, the Game 7 OT loss to the Rangers in 1994.

Morrison to the Caps

10 July 2009 - 10:02 PM

If this was already announced, I get a double minor for repeating an announcement.

Anyone know where the best ever Devilscaster is these days?

10 July 2009 - 08:45 PM

I'm speaking of course about, Mike Miller, the very best radio broadcaster they've ever had.

Of course I'm kidding.

I am speaking of The Master Blaster himself, the one and the only, Larry Hirsh.

Anybody know what he's doing these days?