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Member Since 09 Sep 2002
Offline Last Active Mar 05 2003 07:42 PM

Topics I've Started

Request Re:posting

13 December 2002 - 10:58 AM

Is it possible for folks who post articles to cite the source as well as provide a link to where it can be viewed.

I don't mean to sound like a pain but I know DM had requested this in the past and I had gotten accustomed to it. But, not too many people do this any longer I just find it handy to be able to go and read the article before anyone puts in their own editorial views, so I can achieve my own uninfluenced opinion. Plus it is easier to send the link furnished to my friends who may be interested in the article. I try to do it whenever i have something to share but unfortunately I have been too busy to participate as I had in the past.

Do as you may. These are my reasons for wanting to get the links. Maybe the administrators have additional reasons for links to be posted along with the articles. I'm just asking you all to simply hook a brotha up.

Hope you all have a great holiday season.

And the Devils start putting the puck in the net and begin playing good dominant hockey on more consistant basis and stop taking nights off all the time.

Devils - Habs Media Guide

15 November 2002 - 04:10 PM

Not sure if any of you ever check this stuff out or are aware of it but the Devils usually post this media Guide on their site on the day of the game. It provides rosters and a complete statistical analysis of the matchup. I find it pretty cool. So Enjoy.

Btw It is like 6 printed pages so I'll only give the link.


Jiri Dopita

12 November 2002 - 11:22 AM

I am pretty surprised that Dopita has lasted this long on waivers.

I never really had too much faith in his ability to adapt his game to the NHL style of play once I had seen him in a few games with Phily. This on top of his age being 34, having the major knee injury which kept him out of much of his 1st year in the NHL, and aparent inability to use his size and play the physical side of the game are my reasons for not keeping him in high regard.

Perhaps I am not the only one who take these things into account since the rest of the NHL seems to be hesitant to use a roster spot and pick him up. This surprises me because all I have ever heard about him is how good he is and how how was the best european player to not play in the NHL. I guess his stock has hit rock bottom.

BTW does anyone know how long a player remains on waivers before the original team is allowed to demote that player to their minor league team?
If I remember correctly it's 4 or 5 days. But I am not sure.

Devils Have Evolved

11 November 2002 - 09:16 PM


Devils have evolved
Breaking up A line one of the team's best moves

By DARREN (N)Đ„verson
Faceoff.com correspondent
It's been eight months since the A Line was broken up for good, but we're still talking about it. That line was that good.

And yet, splitting up the trio of Jason Arnott, Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora -- the latter two of which will face each other for the first time Nov. 12 at the Meadowlands -- was one of the wiser moves the Devils have made of late.

The overwhelming success of the A Line, a combination first put together by ex-Devils coach Robbie Ftorek, has much to do with the players Arnott, Elias and Sykora have become. Arnott was in the midst of a down season when the Devils acquired him from Edmonton in 1998.

Elias and Sykora hadn't blossomed into top-line players yet.

"When Arnie came here," Sykora said in 2001, "we felt we had a chance. We said, 'This is our time.'"

They combined to score 73 goals during the 1998-99 season, 82 the season after that. They scored a combined 24 goals in the 2000 playoffs, in which the Devils won the Stanley Cup.

And yet, the Devils -- who were 8-4 going into their game Nov. 12 against Sykora and the Mighty Ducks -- may be a stronger team now, with Arnott in Dallas and Sykora in Anaheim. The Devils have retained the most complete player of the three, and the team has moved on.

The Devils began to do so last season in the wake of the 2001 Finals collapse against Colorado. As the team plummeted from first in the league in goals in 2000-01 to 20th last season, in part because Arnott, Elias and Sykora all suffered a significant decrease in production from the season before, Arnott was traded to the Stars along with Randy McKay at the trading deadline for Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner. Sykora, after a disappointing first-round playoff series against Carolina in which he had a right ankle injury and one assist, was dealt to the Ducks in July for, principally, Oleg Tverdovsky and Jeff Friesen.

Regardless of whether the 36-year-old Nieuwendyk, a potential free agent, returns as a Devil next season or not, the Devils have gained a skilled defenseman in Tverdovsky, a hard-working all-around winger in Langenbrunner and a speedy forward in Friesen who, in the right environment, can score 60-70 points like Sykora. They have a center in waiting in Elias, who can play there or on the wing.

And the Devils are no longer reliant on one line combination.

On Nov. 5, after the Devils lost at home to the Flames, it was evident that Elias misses playing with Sykora and Arnott. "I don't know if I'll ever get the same feeling that I had with Jason and Sykkie," Elias said. "I played with those two guys for two and a half years. So far I'm still looking for it."

Once he does -- and he will, with his talent -- the Devils will truly be better off.

GARDEN STATE REUNION: While Elias was looking forward to seeing Sykora at the Meadowlands, Jeff Friesen was anticipating his first game as a Devil against his former team.

But it didn't stir the same feelings as did playing against San Jose, Friesen's first team. For one, Friesen was a Duck for only a little more than one season. And for another, he felt fortunate to be traded out of Anaheim to a winning team.

"It was just totally different from San Jose," Friesen said. "I think that was just a big shock. The whole atmosphere there -- San Jose, if you lost, it was just death. It was life or death whether you won or lost. There, if you lost, you just put your helmet in your stall and if you got mad, people would look at you and say to you, 'Why are you mad?'

"That's not everybody, but it's certain guys. If you get a few guys doing it that way, guys start going their separate ways and forming cliques. If you keep losing, nobody really comes together."

Friesen and Oleg Tverdovsky, whom the Devils also acquired in the Sykora trade, were frustrated while with the Ducks, who were coached last season by current general manager Bryan Murray.

"Bryan was the coach," Friesen said. "He has a way of believing; I have a way of believing as well. The coach is always the boss, but every now and then you run into a coach that doesn't believe in you, and it's tough to believe in him. You try to work hard, but if you're not rewarded, you get frustrated. I think that things just didn't work out for both me and Ollie, with our relationship with our head coach. We probably were two of the more frustrated people last year."

THE LINES: With Jay Pandolfo out with a groin injury, Pat Burns juggled the lines Nov. 9 against Edmonton for the first time in weeks. Pandolfo will likely replace rookie Christian Berglund in the lineup, but not alongside Elias and Scott Gomez.

Christian Berglund-Scott Gomez-Patrik Elias.

Jeff Friesen-Joe Nieuwendyk-Brian Gionta.

Sergei Brylin-John Madden-Jamie Langenbrunner.

Jim McKenzie-Mike Danton-Turner Stevenson.

Extra forwards: Steve Guolla, Jay Pandolfo (injured).

Scott Stevens-Brian Rafalski.

Colin White-Scott Niedermayer.

Ken Daneyko-Oleg Tverdovsky.

Extra defenseman: Tommy Albelin.

Power play: Berglund-Gomez-Elias, Friesen-Nieuwendyk-Gionta.

Penalty kill: Elias-Nieuwendyk, Madden-Langenbrunner.

The Petr Principle -- The Return Of Petr Sykora

11 November 2002 - 05:13 PM


November 11, 2002
The Petr Principle -- The return of Petr Sykora

By Raymond Galis
Author Laurence Johnston Peter defined his Peter Principle as: “The principle that members of a hierarchy are promoted until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent.”

It was in relation to this principle that the Devils front office felt former A-line member Petr Sykora no longer provided the quality of performance to which they were accustomed. They decided to trade Petr Sykora at the height of his perceived trade value for two underachieving players from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Petr Sykora was among the long list of surprise/ingenuous draft picks from the David Conte scouting crew. Considered damaged goods by most general managers in the 1995 draft, Lou Lamoriello stepped up to the podium and took Sykora with his first round pick (18th overall).

After a brief stint with the minor league affiliate Albany River Rats, Sykora immediately made an impact with the big team scoring 18 goals in his rookie season in only 63 games. After struggling early in the season in 1997, he spent most of the season in Albany.

The 1997-98 season was a pivotal one in the career of Petr Sykora and the Devils. After a rash of injuries to the New Jersey line-up early in the 1997-98 season, Sykora and the Devils first round draft pick of 1994 and fellow Czech Patrik Elias were called up from Albany. The two-showed signs of great potential and under the tutelage of Jacques Lemaire learned how to play a strong positional game.

Midway through the season Lou Lamoriello banished avaricious holdout Bill Guerin and dealt him to Edmonton in exchange for struggling and underachieving Jason Arnott.

Although winning successive Atlantic Division Championships in both 1996 & 1997, the Devils had limited playoff success. In May 1998 after Ottawa eliminated the Devils, who had had the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference, in the first round of the playoffs, Robbie Ftorek was named new head coach of the New Jersey Devils replacing franchise savior Jacques Lemaire.

One of the first moves made by Ftorek was too augment the trapping system employed by Lemaire into a more offensively opportunistic style of play. He succeeded in this by utilizing the youthful talents on his bench. He put Elias and Sykora together on a line centered by Jason Arnott and the A-line was born.

They soon provided the Devils with an infusion offensive skill within the established defensive system the team was built on. The line excelled in converting opposition errors into goals and their freewheeling, cycling style became their trademark.

Sykora finished the season with 29 goals, Elias with 17 and Arnott with 27. The following season the Devils won the Stanley Cup and the A-line became legend. Sykora finished the 2000 season with 25 goals, 2001 season with 35 goals en route to salary arbitration.

Before the 2001-02 Season Petr Sykora was awarded a record increase in salary through the arbitration process and his attitude seemed to change. Rumors began to circulate in the swamp about Sykora’s newfound wealth and complacency in the locker room.

Sykora didn’t seem to care that inherent with a big contract comes heighten expectations to perform. In this regard Sykora’s last season with the Devils was an abysmal failure. His salary increase led to production decrease: in points (81 to 48) and goals (35 to 21).

Compounding matters was the team was still stinging from the loss in the Stanley Cup finals in 2001. Frustration remained behind the scenes between the A-line and some of the veterans. A-line leader and center Jason Arnott was traded to Dallas and Sykora sulked at the loss of his friend.

During last seasons playoffs the team questioned his heart and durability for not playing while “allegedly” hurt. His relationship with all teammates, including Patrick Elias soured which lead to his trade to Anaheim.

The legendary Petr the Great will return to the CAA tomorrow night for the first time since this summers blockbuster trade.

Week in review:

Week 5: 1-2-0
6 GF/ 9GA
PP: 02-11 (29%)
PK: 13/14 (93%)

Season: 8-4-0
30 GF/ 23GA
PP: 05-58 (8.6%)
PK: 50/56 (89.3%)

NHL Rank: PP: 30th (last) PK: 2nd

Played a flawless game against the best team in the east in the Flyers and gave away two games to struggling Calgary and Edmonton. Defense still played sound giving up on average only 21 shots a game for the week.

The Good:

The Madden-Langenbrunner-combo still playing great (one goal/two assists this week).
Kenny Daneyko and the Penalty killing units killed 13 of 14 chances against.
The return of Scott Gomez.
The PP finally scored 2 goals in a game after going 0-13 in previous games.
The Bad:

The Devils powerplay is still dead last in the NHL.
Marty showing signs of fatigue and being overplayed.
Joe Nieuwendyk is struggling on offense and had a very bad week defensively (-5).
Brian Rafalski had a rough time against Edmonton (-3).
Jay Pandolfo and Steven Guolla are back on the injured list.
This week:

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are at the CAA on Tuesday. Friday and Saturday the Devils embark on a home-and-home series against the Montreal Canadians.
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