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Everything posted by nessus

  1. This is the real purple bar. I don’t think we have lost a game with this purple bar in the OP. LGD!
  2. I am so thankful we have Vitek. He has made some big saves all year, and has far exceeded any expectations I had for him. Once again, amazing trade by Fitz. On another note, Ilya Samsonov, who was splitting starts with Vanecek in Washington, is having a strong season as well. Really sucks for the Caps that they traded away two good goalies. As far as the Devils' goaltending situation goes, it really goes without saying that even once Blackwood is healthy, Vitek is the starter moving forward. If I had to guess, I would say that Blackwood's time with the Devils is over. Fitz hanging on to Bernier for so long may suggest otherwise, but I also believe that Fitz understands that you need at least 2 solid goaltending options to consistently win games in the NHL. Blackwood's track record is not good enough to warrant continuing to pencil him in when he cannot stay healthy. I also think Schmid is making a case for himself, and likely deserves that backup spot more than anyone else in the system at the moment. And to be honest, a tandem of Vanecek/Schmid might be the best I've felt about the team's goaltending since pre-injury Schneider.
  3. Matt Loughlin's questions are hilarious. "So Jesper, I saw you really working hard on that back check. How much work does it take to make a play like that?" Uhh...a lot?
  4. Honestly, this wasn't the worst way for the streak to end. I was nervous that a rival team would end it, which would not have been fun. Instead we got a dominant effort for the majority of that game, especially the second half of the 3rd period. The way they were playing at the end made that Leafs team look helpless, and they're no pushover of a group. The streak didn't end because the Devils burned out, it ended while they looked hungrier than ever. As far as fans throwing things on the ice, I won't tell people how they should feel. To be quite honest, I thought that 3rd waived off goal would've counted too, and I was pretty frustrated about it. But that's the kind of thing Flyers fans would do, and I don't want to be associated with them in any way.
  5. Thank you CR for your dedication to the cause. The purple bar shall prevail, I have faith. @NJDfan1711 I hope you’re ready for the commitment that @Colorado Rockies 1976was. Purple bar is a requirement for every GDT btw! LGD.
  6. Interested to see what the lines will look like. Last time against the Leafs, they went with Nico, Jack, and Bratt on different lines. Now that all the top Leafs defensemen are out, and with the Devils having the last change, maybe they frontload a bit at times and terrorize bottom six forwards and/or bottom pairing D. Either way, if we see a full effort tonight, we should be in good shape. As a side note, at the start of the year, I felt that Toronto was a perfect fit for Severson at the deadline. With all of their injuries on defense, I can’t imagine they aren’t targeting him. However, it’s the Devils who might not be able to move him. If Nemec looked like he would be ready by midsession, then maybe. But there really isn’t a feasible option to replace Severson unless via another trade. Assuming the Devils continue winning at a reasonable rate, I can’t see them entering the postseason without that bottom pair solidified, so I’m not so sure what they’ll do at this point.
  7. It will be interesting to see what Holtz does in the AHL this season. Utica’s center depth is trash, and they’re overall a much worse team than last season. Holtz will have to learn to do more on his own. It would be cool to see him and Nemec on the power play though. Nemec is still on unit 2 at the moment.
  8. All of those other teams have to play the Devils, of course their schedule seems stronger. Jokes aside, there is some truth to the fact that the Devils' schedule hasn't been the strongest. But at the same time, many of us have acknowledged that this win streak is not sustainable. The wins won't be as easy next month, when there are games against teams like Florida, Carolina, and Boston (although they haven't been a tough opponent in recent years IIRC). It's also important to note that the losses haven't come against the strongest teams on our schedule. It would be one thing if we were winning against Arizona, Anaheim, and Columbus, but losing to Colorado, a desperate Calgary team, and Toronto. But the losses have come against mid-tier teams.
  9. Has anyone else been very impressed with Zetterlund? I initially thought he would limit Nico on the top line, but he has played very well. Pretty amazing development curve for him. It wasn't long ago that he was a bottom 6 AHL player.
  10. Matt Murray when he heard he’s getting the start:
  11. That blue stripe is just so anti-Devils to me. They really could have used that space on the jersey for something more fitting for the team, maybe something like a purple bar.
  12. Time to try Mercer with Bratt and Hughes. Too many missed chances by Haula lately. We know Mercer has a lot of offensive upside, which he can unlock by playing with those two. Faceoffs and defensive play might take a hit, but it's probably worth it for the offense Mercer can add. On another note, it's pretty amazing that Hughes, Bratt, and Hischier are all >1 point per game. Dougie is just off that pace. What a great core.
  13. Breakaway for Cole Caufield, but John Marino says "not a chance". What a play by him.
  14. Nico, Bratt, and Hughes all have around 1 point/game or better. Dougie not too far behind that. What a great core we've got. After tonight's game, I once again can't say enough good things about Nico. We are really missing Palat, who should be the missing piece for Hughes and Bratt. It's not Haula's fault, but you've got to imagine someone else buries at least one of those chances.
  15. Would love for this to be a dominant effort. Kick these guys while they’re down. LGD!
  16. Another game with a defenseman scoring a big goal. Spaulding made a comment about how Graves had 6 goals in all of last season, compared to 3 already this season. I don't think this necessarily has to do with Graves turning a corner in his offensive ability - he's always had a good shot. The Devils' system this season seems to really include the defensemen in the attack. I've noticed on multiple occasions that Siegenthaler gets a really nice look, but his shot is neither powerful nor accurate, so it rarely leads to anything (or it gets deflected in, but gets called off anyway). He's obviously not known for his offense, but if he worked on his shot, he could probably score quite a few goals in this system. I'm just as excited about this team as anyone, so I don't mean to make this sound negative, but I had a couple of observations... That second power play unit is just atrocious. Tatar looked decent, but Severson doesn't have his normal confidence, and it is otherwise a group of players that haven't scored much all season. Sharangovich must really not be good on the power play, because he's the best shooter on the team, and they still won't put him out there. I really wonder when Ruff is going to shuffle the lines. Probably not until a loss, but a game like this could have easily gone the other way, and you wonder whether the lineup could be optimized. Is Haula adding much to the Hughes/Bratt line other than faceoffs? I'm not sure it's much more valuable than what Mercer could add. I think Mercer could play a role similar to Palat, which would complement Bratt and Hughes well IMO. And as great as Nico has been, he really needs some better linemates. I really like Zetterlund, but I think Shara might be a better option in that spot. Or if Tatar goes invisible again, he could be swapped with Sharangovich. I'm all in favor of balanced lines, but not when it leaves one of our star centers with little to work with. And it's not like that third line has been contributing all that much, other than a couple of disallowed goals. As for Smith, he's still not getting all that much ice time. I really think he is holding Severson back. Severson does not seem like his normal self lately, even if his normal self has those glaring mistakes. It does seem time to give Bahl a try. It's not like Smith is another Lovejoy who is at least somewhat reliable defensively. At worst, there's hardly a difference there between Bahl and Smith. Shara-Hischier-Tatar Bratt-Hughes-Mercer Boqvist-Haula-Zetterlund BMW Siegs-Hamilton Graves-Marino Bahl-Severson Overall, couldn't have said it better than Nico did at the end of the game. Definitely was not a pretty win, but we will take it. Nico is just such a beast. He had an interesting development curve, which started with him on an offense that ran through one player for a couple of years. Then he had to develop a complete game on an absolute garbage team that needed him to be defensively reliable. Not much liberty or opportunity to become that major scorer that we were hoping for. And then there were injuries that never allowed him to gain momentum. He always showed flashes of what he could be, just a monster on the puck. But now that the team has taken a step, it has allowed him to blossom into the offensive threat that he is. Outside of Makar, is there anyone from that draft we are still taking over Hischier? First it was Pettersson, Heiskanen, and Makar (and Suzuki?). Then just Heiskanen and Makar. Now are we at a point where it's just Makar? Didn't mean for that to turn into a novel. LGD.
  17. nessus

    Blackwood update

    To be fair, I admittedly am not great at evaluating goalies. But it's based on a few things. First, it's from watching Brennan: he's very athletic, composed, and positionally strong. But also, I'm just not as high on Daws as I'd like to be. He was drafted as an overager after really just one good season. And I wouldn't say he's definitely the best AHL goalie we have either. Currently Schmid has been better this season. Most of last season, they were neck-and-neck with a slight edge to Schmid. But Marty really likes Daws, so I have hope that he sees something special in him.
  18. nessus

    Blackwood update

    There doesn't seem to be a front runner yet for who the next Devils starting goalie will be (unless Vanecek turns out to be a mid-long term solution, which would be amazing). But, there are some solid options. Schmid and Daws are both developing pretty well. Schmid could end up surprising us, he has looked good when I've watched him. Tyler Brennan is having a good start in the WHL this season, and is probably the best bet of the Devils' prospect pool to have a solid NHL career. Cole Brady is the other guy - hasn't had a ton of starts in the NCAA over the past 2 years, but he has done well so far this season with a new team. Not as hopeful for him, though. Malek and Senn seem pretty far away from making any kind of impact. I think the ideal situation is Vanecek proves to be at least an average starter, while Schmid takes the role of an adequate backup until Tyler Brennan is ready to take that spot and eventually transition to a starting role. Lots of things have to go right for that to happen, of course. It also assumes Blackwood isn't in the future plans.
  19. If Lindy isn't going to play Bahl or Holtz, why not just send them down the the AHL at this point? I'm not sure what the team (or either player) is benefiting from having these two guys scratched when they could be getting game experience, even if it's at a lower level.
  20. After Draisatl's goal on Vanecek on the power play, he had this look on his face like "let's bury these guys now". In previous years, that game quickly becomes 6-1. Instead, our guys put an impressive win together. There was a moment in the second period, toward the end while it was 3-1, where one of the Oilers forwards (I forget who) received a pass alone in front, and VV came up with a huge save. If he allows a goal there, it's the type of thing where you say "well you can't really blame him for that one". But man is it nice to have a goalie who can make some of those big saves - saves that our post-healthy Schneider goaltenders never have been able to make. If the Devils go into the 3rd down 4-1 against the Oilers, that's a tough deficit to overcome. Credit to Vitek for coming in cold and really shutting the door. As exciting as the start to the season has been, just wait until Jack goes on a tear.
  21. The top Devils prospects right now are Nemec, Hughes, and Casey - probably pretty obvious to most of us, but these guys have a very good shot of being impact NHL players. For Hughes and Nemec is nearly a sure bet that they'll be high end guys. Casey has a bit to prove, but so far is looking like he could be something special too. I would say the next best prospect is Mukhamadullin. He is playing a very good, complete game in the KHL, and has been doing it for his second consecutive year now. I would rank Tyce Thompson somewhere around here as well, but we know him pretty well already. After him, there's the Gritsyuk, who I would have ranked much higher last season, but has struggled so far this season. We will see if he can redeem this season later on. Last season, he looked like he was making a case for himself for the next NHL star out of the KHL. I have liked Okhotiuk a lot in the past, but he clearly is not ready yet. For all of the above players, I would be more surprised if they didn't get some serious NHL time than if they did. After this group, there's Josh Filmon who could be a big time sleeper pick from the previous draft. Tyler Brennan could very well be the team's best goalie prospect after this season. And I think a lot of us were impressed with Topias Vilen, who is starting to look like a late bloomer. I also like Daniil Orlov as a future solid bottom pairing guy. Everyone else, I feel has a long way to go still (Barabosha, Edwards, McCarthy, etc.), or else I'm not very high on. There are a bunch of other guys like Stillman, Foote, and Pytlick who seem to be falling down the list, and don't seem to have the NHL future that once seemed more likely. I would say it's a pretty impressive group, especially when you consider that there will hardly be room for many of these players over the next several years. And for a young and up-and-coming team, it's a pretty good sign that the cupboard is still stocked.
  22. Of all the crazy stats I've seen about the Devils so far this season, this one seems most insane. He is head and shoulders above the next guy. Bratt is now consistently a top 5v5 producer in the league. Truly elite. I won't be surprised if he gets signed for $9m+, and he'll absolutely be worth it. The guy has more than double the points of anyone on this team not named Jack or Nico. And he's not too far from that for the other two.
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