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Everything posted by Neb00rs

  1. I thought Cory was going to start last game - it felt like it made sense - but I think Nas liked what he saw with Domingue the previous time the Devs played the Caps - his righty glove was useful against Ovechkin's one timer. So it was fitting that in the second game Ovechkin started the scoring with a laser beam over Domingue's glove hand. Cory has looked fairly good so far. But yeah, ya'll are right, we've been suckered too many times to expect Cory to return to form. Hate to say it but Columbus is a really well coached team under Torts - and they're really pretty good defensively, they limit quality shots against. This is not the type of team the Devils have fared well against but then again they've managed to win against all sorts of teams and lose against all sorts of teams. The important thing here is that Columbus isn't some offensive powerhouse, so at least it's a good opportunity for Cory to get himself together. At this point he's playing to not get bought out this offseason.
  2. Yeah, the Devils did some good things but much of the game was the Devils holding on for dear life. Hey, TB is a really talented team and they're very hot right now - it's to be expected. The Devils got a low percentage shot from Greene to go in and got a good deflection from Zajac after a nifty move from Gusev and they got enough to go right for them in their own end to somehow win this game. Oh and of course, Domingue was really good - even better than yesterday I thought. The effort was really there out of the whole team. Miles Wood always gives a full effort and he made a really nice play to corral Hughes' pass, enter the zone and feed Greene the puck for the one-timer goal. In the end, the effort got them wins on back-to-back nights against two of the NHL's best teams. Awesome - hopefully it does wonders for their confidence going forward. Also, I'm not one to complain much about teams playing rough - it's usually better to play rough back than to whine. The best teams make it painful to play them. But watching TB against the Devils the past few years, I mean, they are just such a dirty team - cheap shots galore. Somehow they usually skate by NHL player safety - not sure they should with some of the things they do.
  3. If the question is, "why now?" when it comes to firing Shero well, it may be that ownership didn't want to leave it to Ray to manage the trade deadline decisions. Do they sell? Who do they trade? When do they do it? What do they get back? They wanted Fitz to make those decisions. Salvador alluded to this on the postgame and it's my thinking as well. It's possible there were even "creative differences" between Shero and the owners when it came with what do re: selling or keeping.
  4. Looks like Shero sent Fitzgerald down to the bench to diagnose the problems with team and he came back to the owners and told them the problem is Ray Shero.
  5. Don't really get the outrage here - the Devils' goaltending depth is abysmal and Cory is either the second or third best option right now depending on how heavily you weigh Domingue's last game. It be fitting for Cory to get the start tonight. The last time the Devils played the Lightning, they had one of their best games of the season. But they lost 7-6 because Cory was beyond dreadful and he seemed demoralized in his postgame interview. That was also versus a Tampa team that was slumping. It'd make no sense on paper for the Devils to win such a game tonight with Tampa on fire, but the hockey gods love this kind of sh!t.
  6. Devils played okay - given the opponent, you have to be really happy with a 5-1 win. They took advantage of their chances. I mean Gusev is just the king of making the most of what he gets. With how the Devils are playing, they'll get some quality looks every night, and some nights they're gonna convert and other nights they're not. A bit of luck helps and as always, coming out with a win is going to mean getting good goaltending - and the better the goaltending is, the longer the winning streaks can be. The Caps, despite outplaying the Devils, looked like they were in a bit of a funk. Dano actually mentioned that they looked out of sync and I thought that was on the money. They were cycling the puck and had a lot of o-zone possession time but their passing was just not quite up to their usual standard. They really didn't execute any significantly dangerous one timers despite attempting to set them up quite a few times. Still, they had plenty of good chances and Domingue stood tall. Funny enough, I said to myself going into tonight that if Domingue had another bad game, the team was going to start thinking about bringing Cory back up - especially with his very strong play of late in Binghamton. I guess now we don't have to wonder about that for at least a few more games.
  7. It's not that Nas is necessarily bad at coaching D, it's just that he has only made very simple changes to what the team is doing on the ice. Actually, for the most part, the big change is still, "play faster, make decisions faster." Honestly, first and foremost that's exactly what the Devils needed to do. They were were slow under Hynes and hesitant to make up their minds about what to do with the puck. In today's NHL tic-tac-toe type plays are a requirement for making space and scoring - not a luxury. The Devils were not even able to break out of their zone competently under Hynes - save for maybe PK (who had his own share of mistakes) - the "can't make a five foot pass" thing was spot on. The simplified, sped up game is leading to more chances the other way and yeah, Blackwood is a large part of the reason such has not resulted in disaster but I mean...coaches need good goaltenders to win - that's not exactly unique to Nas. Under Nas the team is passing better, at least to the eye, and at least for a good chunk of the time, aren't limited to a perimeter game in the offensive zone which is rather nice to see - this is something Nas has spoken to in interviews. Going into this season, the Devils needed the glass half full outcome out of their players in order to be as good as expected - and most of us were optimistic that would happen. But the players have all pretty much been glass half empty when looking at the season as a whole. Not enough players took the next step. Vatanen has played at a very high level since the coaching change - I will say that.
  8. It's really too bad, Gusev was possibly the Devils' best or second best player all night tonight - he had a really good game - and then ultimately he went full Gusev at the end and it cost the Devils. A better decision with the puck there probably keeps the game going. That said, the Devils lost their legs in the second period again - big time - but they picked it back up and got enough luck to stay in the game and the chances for the Devils were pretty good at the end there - they weren't limited to a perimeter game. Still, the Islanders were the better team for most of the game.
  9. Playing against Bratt-Hischier-Palms was just not fun for any Bruin today. Including Patrice Bergeron. That line is a thing.
  10. When Gusev was horrendous earlier this season - I simply noted the fact. I wasn't really expressing a bold opinion, formed in the depths of supreme analytical thought. Gusev sucked - he was not NHL playable. That's the way it is and that you can't see that is all emotion - the same emotion that drives you to start turning on our 23 year old goaltender the other day when he has one not so great game after five straight stellar ones. And by the way, back when I was ripping on Gusev, it's not like anyone was making a concerted effort to refute my claims in a substantial way - something that would have been entirely legitimate (but also entirely difficult given how flagrant Gusev's poor play was). Of those who didn't agree with me on Gusev, most of what I got between here and the other places I post was, "But muh KHL MVP!!!" The reality is, when you tell less analytical fans something bad about a player on their team whom they have high hopes for, you're going to elicit a negative reaction and if you defend a player that such fans think sucks, you're also going to be the recipient of an acrimonious response. Both of the previous scenarios usually play out irrespective of the truth. The only way to win is to tell people what they want to hear. And by the way when Gusev doesn't score for a handful of games at a time, people don't seem too happy with him either. In many of those games I thought Gusev played well - created some offense and made some smart decisions. The truth is, he has come a long way since the start of the season - he makes good plays all over the ice at times and he is truly beginning to activate his passing and playmaking skills. However, he's also nowhere near as good as people start saying he is after he has a good game and still makes a good amount of bad decisions. That doesn't mean I think he should be sent back to Russia and condemned to the Gulag - it's simply an observation of things as I see them.
  11. Over the past two weeks the best two goalies in the league have probably been Sergei Bobrovsky and Mackenzie Blackwood with Carey Price in the race too. Right now Blackwood is consistently stopping shots that will go in against other starting NHL goaltenders sometimes. He's playing .965 hockey over his last five games - he's been stellar. He's just tracking the puck so well. Yeah, the Devils are slowly coming along. They still make some bad choices, they still have some trouble coordinating themselves out there, but they generated chances tonight. They might not have generated enough offense overall but what they did generate was better than what they normally have to offer. Their speed and effort is getting them inside and down low - they've had a lot of trouble with that. Based on some of his quotes I think that Nas instantly realized coming in that if the team didn't play faster, they were never going to get the puck to the spots that it needs to get to in order to score. They can still do better and Anaheim is not good at preventing quality chances, but for what the Devils have done so far this season, it counts as a real positive victory. Also, clearly the coaches have asked Nico to step up and become a leader on the team and it's nice to see his obvious effort to do that over the past 48 hours or so.
  12. Half-agree with Daniel here. Both Bahl and the first are important parts of the trade. Bahl is almost certainly going to get an NHL shot and that's more than you can say for now about the pick that the Coyotes' selection will yield us. He's got a fair enough shot to become a good-skating physical presence on our PK. The "this is a deep draft" line gets thrown out pretty wildly year-to-year, but it doesn't seem like the Devils are much more likely to get a hit at 20 this year than any other year. If the Coyotes bomb and it's a top 10 pick then the depth of the draft will matter more. Whether you think Ray has made the right moves along the way or not, he did get us here and obviously his ability to make successful selections in the first round of the upcoming draft and pick who the next head coach is will hold much importance in terms of his future with the team a few years from now. The one thing is that it's still not totally out of the question for the Devils to try and build a competitive team in the near future. Ray may get another late first round pick for Vatanen (could be a second too). He can make the choice to use his abundance of firsts to trade for a roster player come draft time if he so chooses. He has the next few months to decide what this team is and what direction to go in. When people lament, "prospects usually never turn into anything" they're really just saying, "It's hard to draft well." And that's obvious as well. Yeah, you have to draft well to build a winning franchise. Go figure. But you at least need the assets in order to be able to try. For now Bahl is a nice addition to the system - it's not out of the question that he plays some games for the Devils next year.
  13. Before people start ripping into the guy, this is the classic line every player gives when they're traded and it usually is in reference to a team wanting to trade for them and being willing to give up assets for them and is not a shot at the player's former team. Here's some context:
  14. That's right. I saw some reputable writers suggesting Raanta could be coming our way. There's no team with two good NHL goalies that's going to trade one of them in the middle of a playoff race. Well, definitely not the Coyotes.
  15. I mean this was always what it was going to be - something like the Duchene return. Except Ray got three prospects instead of two and a guaranteed third round pick. If you're being reasonable, Ray did just fine.The Devils were the sellers, they had the star player on the expiring contract, they needed to make the trade. And they probably to some degree limited the market a bit further by trading him so early on (though I get the thinking there). Not sure anything ever becomes of Schnarr and Merkley. The latter hits me as having Blandisi-type trajectory. The Devils negotiated hard to get the best out of this they could - I'm sure they asked for Prosvetov, but like I said the other day, I didn't think it was likely Ray could pull that off - at least not without changing the entire dynamic of the trade. Bahl ain't a bad return, he's going to at least get a chance to play in the NHL at some point and he's a big physical guy who's a good skater given his size. There's all of zero chance the Devils are getting the extra first, but the 2020 first round pick could end up being mid-round if we get lucky and Arizona slides and the third helps us fill out picks we lost this past offseason. Ultimately, the Devils needed the assortment of prospects and picks to restock their system. Yeah, prospects often don't ever make it as NHL regulars but when you're on the verge of losing several key veterans and you just lost 50% of your offense, you have to start stocking up and playing the percentage game.
  16. Not the prettiest win - they were solidly outplayed for much of it and didn't generate great chances. But they worked their asses off and won the third for the second night in a row and this time that resulted in a victory for them. Blackwood helped. He deserved to get at least one win out of his .965 save% over his last four games played (111/115). From what we've seen between camp and now, McLeod has the tools to be an NHL player. He's got work to do to build his 200 foot game, but I think he eventually makes it as a full-time NHLer in some form. Not sure what the ceiling is there.
  17. Arizona would make for an interesting trading partner. They have very little cap space. They can fit Hall onto their roster right now given his pro-rated cap hit and the Devils retaining the full 50% of Hall's salary (they would also send Brayden Burke down for a few extra $$$ of space). Typically you'd start to wonder here if Arizona would want to free up a little more room by sending the Devils a roster player as part of the deal. Though, such wouldn't really make sense for a team trying to have all hands on deck for a playoff run - but it's possible. However, it really wouldn't make sense for the Coyotes to be trading away a roster goalie if they're going to give up important assets for a player that likely doesn't re-sign with them all for the sake of making a run this year. When it comes to the actual prospects, yeah, the Coyotes have their share of intriguing defensemen. Soderstrom is most likely off limits, but Kevin Bahl and Kyle Capobianco are likely not. That said, if the Devils are dealing with the Coyotes you can bet they've at least inquired about Ivan Prosvetov - a 6'5 athletic Russian goaltender the Coyotes drafted in the fourth round in 2018. He's quickly emerging into an elite goaltender prospect. He just barely qualifies for the AHL leaderboards (480 TOI min.) but he has the best save percentage in the AHL through his 8 gp (.944) and he also put up a .930 in 5 gp in the ECHL this year. With Adin Hill somewhat stagnating in the AHL I doubt the Coyotes would be pleased to move Prosvetov but if they want to put themselves out in front for Hall that would help. Not sure Ray can pull it off.
  18. Taylor Hall is going to be traded, that's all you really have to know. It's coming.
  19. I'm pretty happy with that effort all things considered. They came out and dominated the first and then got crushed in the second which had me thinking, "Oh here we go, another well played first period followed by and poor second and third." And some of the third was indeed sloppy - especially the PP time which was a big reason the Devils couldn't get back into the game to do anything in time. But ultimately the Devils won that third period at 5v5 pretty handily and came real close to tying it. Or rather, they created chances in which they could have potentially tied it, which is the important thing because that means that in some cases you're going to tie it - even when the opposing goalie is playing as well as Francouz. In the end, despite the fact that the Devils didn't play perfectly, you wonder: if Blackwood played the whole game would the Devils have maybe won? Despite being prematurely thrust into a full-time starter's role, Blackwood is beginning to look really sharp out there on a more consistent basis. He was really on his game tonight on short notice, especially when he first came into the game. He should have played tonight's game and tomorrow's. There's no reason to have started Domingue - even a tired Blackwood is superior enough over Domingue that it's worth playing him at this point. But I get it - slow roll on the young goalie.
  20. I mean, the Devils dominated that period. Wow. Fitting that the PPG goal against came from a penalty they took in the offensive zone.
  21. Who the hell are you quoting/mocking when you keep pushing this sh!t? This is like an advanced version of a straw man where you don't just make up the opponent's argument but you invent the arguer as well. I can only imagine you do this in order to tell yourself that you're capable of winning an argument against the "spreadsheet" people who you think live under your bed.
  22. 7-0-0 is an impressive start. He doesn't have the Flames playing overpowering hockey, but he has the team playing smart and motivated (i.e. effective). That's not to say there's no improvements on paper since his takeover - one place the Flames have improved in a serious way is on the PP. When he left the Devils their PP was certainly trending upwards - a trend that has reversed significantly since his departure.
  23. An offer to Hall of less than six years is akin to telling Hall you don't want to sign him - he's a player who will in all likelihood field multiple seven year offers in UFA this offseason. I think the best of the information out there would suggest that Hall doesn't want to sign anything right now - at least not until he finds himself in a situation that's trending in the right direction. That's not reading between the lines really, it's just listening to what he says. As to your point about it not making any sense for the Devils to be dishing out a long-term contract to Hall right now - yeah, that's right of course given that the season is done for.
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