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nessus last won the day on April 9 2020

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  1. Looks like a pretty huge game from Holtz. Between those two goals and the goals he scored in preseason (finding a good rebound and a 2-on-1 where he beat the goalie clean), you can see what a versatile goalscorer he is. With Holtz, I'm hoping we get Tarasenko-lite once he establishes himself in the NHL. Holtz seems to have stretches where he looks totally dominant out there, and others where he is good, but not quite on the same level. Reminds me of how Tarasenko used to go on those tears where he looked like the best player in the league. Obviously expectations for Holtz aren't quite that high, but if he develops well this season, he could turn out to be a somewhat similar player. On that note, it is difficult to find a player who has had a similar development curve to Holtz. An early first round pick who spent his D+2 year as an AHL rookie isn't super common, but the best I've got is Timo Meier. He's a player who is very talented, although probably underperforming on a bad Sharks team. In his AHL rookie season, he scored 23 points in 33 games, and he has since turned out to be a solid first line player. For those that are worried that Holtz didn't make the team, and are under the impression that he may be a disappointment - I don't think that's the case at all. Rather, there simply wasn't a spot for him once it became clear that Mercer was making the team. I think the idea that Zacha was going to play center was in case Holtz ended up making it over Mercer. The truth of the matter was that Mercer was simply more NHL-ready. There wasn't much more that Holtz could have even done during training camp. He was tied for first on the Devils in points in the preseason. Really looking forward to tracking his season in Utica. He might make a case for himself to end up back in NJ soon if he keeps it up.
  2. I really wonder what the actual impact of this Blackwood situation will be. There’s no way he’s the number one goalie this season if he can’t be relied on to be available for every game (not just not being able to play in Canada, but the guy couldn’t even make it to the regular season without needing to be held out). It doesn’t help to hear how frustrated Fitz is about it. There may come a time when Fitz decides it’s time to move on, which would be a major blow to our team’s chances of a successful next few years. Really makes me wish the Devils found a way to trade up for Wallstedt in the last draft.
  3. I don't mean to pile on Amanda because I appreciate her enthusiasm and I don't think she's quite as bad as she's made out to be. But I find it funny how she always gets to be the first to ask players questions in the post-game interviews, and they're always these long winded questions that end up being these simple yes or no questions. It's reminiscent of the Chris Farley Show.
  4. Zacha truly looks like a legitimate power play trigger man. This would never happen, since we kind of need Hughes to be one of the half wall guys, but some time in the future, it would be cool to have Holtz on the left and Zacha on the right on the power play. It would be kind of how Tampa has Stamkos and Kucherov. That bomb of a shot could come from either side. Now imagine if Mukhamadullin becomes your point guy...
  5. I have not been so hyped about a Devils team in ten years. Really trying to keep realistic expectations, but there is so much to love about the way this team is looking. I think there's almost no chance that Dawson Mercer starts the season anywhere but NJ. He has looked better than most of his peers at every level, and preseason games against NHL players have been no exception. If the Devils are fortunate enough to win a Cup in the next 10 years, Dawson Mercer is the guy to win the Conn Smythe. Holtz has exceeded expectations too. His hockey IQ has been on full display in these preseason games. I think he needs to get a bit faster and stronger, and he'll be the perfect winger for Hughes. Looking like it will turn out to be an excellent 2020 draft. Hamilton looks as good as advertised. He's the top defenseman that this team has been lacking for over a decade. And I really like how he seems so connected with the team already, and particularly the young players. He is on board for this team's journey, and he'll be a great leader/locker room guy. Similarly, I think Ryan Graves will find his role as a highly effective shutdown defenseman. It'll turn out to be a good trade for the Devils. There are a handful of prospects who, not too long ago, each would have looked like our top prospect fighting for a spot. All of Foote, Clarke, Thompson, and Okhotiuk have made strong cases for themselves and will be hard to cut from the team. Thompson, especially, showed what kind of NHL future he has ahead of him. Honestly, a line of Foote-Thompson-Holtz in the AHL for a year wouldn't be the worst thing. Bernier's excellent performance against the Rangers shows he could be a 1B. Sharagovich and McLeod look like they have each taken a big step forward. Outside the NHL, I'm only hearing/seeing great things about Luke Hughes and Mukhamadullin. The future of this team is in really great shape. And probably most importantly, Jack Hughes is looking like an absolute superstar out there. I get that it is preseason, but he often looks a cut above literally everyone else on the ice. He made an impact on nearly every play. With all the talent above (and players like Tatar, Bratt, Hischier, Zacha, Smith, and Kuokkanen who we can expect to contribute offensively), he's finally in a spot where he can truly flourish. I think we'll see the Jack Hughes we were expecting when he was drafted. The only things that haven't been so positive are Blackwood's situation and Johnsson still looking like the same old Johnsson to me. Hopefully Zacha moves back to the LW too. When I think about what made the Devils a bad team last season, several things come to mind. One is there was no hope for a win when Blackwood was out. This will no longer be an issue (unless Blackwood's situation goes south) now that Bernier is in the mix. Another reason was how badly the team was hit by COVID-19. Dallas was another team that got hit badly - a team that made the Stanley Cup finals the year prior, but then couldn't even beat out the Preds for a playoff spot the following year. This will not be an issue this time around. The team was young and inexperienced last season, depending heavily on these same young players for production. With everyone being a year older, and bringing in veterans with a good track record, I don't think inexperience will be a weakness for the upcoming season. The team's defense was another big problem last season. Kulikov was one of the best defensemen we had. With the addition of Graves and Hamilton (basically a top pair itself), there's really only one wildcard (Siegenthaler), who already looks like he's better than last season. The rest of the defense is looking pretty solid. Lastly, our team captain and arguably top offensive contributor spent so much time out of the lineup. A healthy Nico will make a big difference. With all of these problems addressed this offseason, I don't think being a playoffs bubble team is that far out of the question. LGD!
  6. PP goal from the circle by Alex Ove- Holtz That water bottle got abused so badly, David Clarkson felt it
  7. Mercer from Holtz and Foote, love to see it.
  8. Mercer looking like a beast once again. Reminds me of Smith in his draft+1 year. I have some things to do today, but I can't stop watching because of Chico.
  9. Thoughts from the game: Really impressed with Zetterlund. Hoping he can start on the 4th line with the Devils this season. Good energy and a fair amount of skill. Holtz: Started off slowly, but began to do what he's supposed to be doing, getting open in the right spots and ripping shots. The goals will come if he continues to do that. I also think he offers a lot more than just shooting, which is all everyone ever talks about. Mercer: Solid, he improved throughout the game. Showing what he will bring to the next level. He's a really complete player. I thought he began to develop some chemistry with Holtz, which was nice to see. Bahl: Still lukewarm on him, but liked him more here than in the other games I've seen. Daws: Made some big saves, he might actually have an NHL future. Clarke and Okhotiuk look most NHL ready on the Devils to me. Walsh was showing why he has struggled to make it to the next level. Chico: I miss this guy so much. He is a ton of fun on the air, always laughing and making jokes.
  10. I'm going to miss the way the old guy said "Damon SeeEEEEEEverson"
  11. It isn't totally fair to refer to Stillman or especially Mukhamadullin as 2nd/3rd rounders when you also assume Makar was in the running for a top 2 spot in the 2017 draft. The Stillman/Mukhamadullin argument is based on the idea that public draft rankings reflect consensus between scouts, while the Makar argument is the total opposite. If you're unhappy with who the Devils took 2017, that's fine. It sucks if Nico never turns out to be a top 3 talent from that draft. But we really can't pretend that anyone is drafting Cale Makar first, or even second, in that draft.
  12. Lundqvist was one of the best goalies in the league every year for most of his career. Zajac was the guy that we all thought we would need to bury on our third line before the Devils would become competitive. I get that most of us aren’t a fan of Henrik, but he was quite a player.
  13. If the Devils miss out on Tarasenko, I'm hoping they go for Tatar on a short term deal. If he has a good season and the Devils are out of playoff contention early on, that's a free pick at the deadline. If the playoffs are in reach, he could be helpful for a playoff push. Not a lot of downside if the term is right, unless more than one of Foote, Holtz, and Mercer are ready to be full-time NHLers and are blocked in the lineup by Tatar.
  14. Man, Marty is really showing how valuable he can be in the front office if he is helping with a Tarasenko trade. That and his insights in goalie scouting and recruiting Jonathan Bernier have been really great. I would be so stoked if the Devils landed Tarasenko. So curious about what the cost is looking like. The Devils can take on the full salary quite easily, which I'm not sure the Isles or Rangers will be willing to do.
  15. That’s really not a baad deal at all
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