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Colorado Rockies 1976

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  1. The second sample is boosted by the 84-game stretch that I’ve mentioned many times. If he disappears at roughly the rate he’s produced over his last 20 GP for the remainder of this season, that’s absolutely concerning…especially since he is playing with better linemates now. Zacha hasn’t done quite enough to fully earn the benefit of the doubt among most fans. Until he gets it going again, they’re understandably going to be skeptical about him.
  2. I only have one Ahonen memory...when Marty missed a little time in 2005-06 (think it was knee-related?), Clemmer filled in and Ahonen was called up as a back up (obviously never got into a game). Maybe he was just nervous, but good lord, during warmups I immediately thought "OK, so that's why he's never gotten a look". Let's just say pucks had a way of missing him and finding the net. A LOT. The Devils drafted Damphousse and Ahonen because they weren't 100% sure about Marty's future (remember that his first round of contract negotiations, with Gilles Lupien as his agent, were very acrimonious...this was after winning the '95 Cup)...both Marty and Lupien were so pissy about how it all went down that Marty went on record as saying that he'd never sign another deal with the Devils. Cooler heads clearly prevailed, and by the time Marty was up for another deal, Lou and Marty's relationship was much improved, to the point where Lou told Marty that he wouldn't deal with Lupien again, Lou and Marty were able to negotiate a deal without Lupien's involvement, and then Lupien and Marty parted ways. (Lupien was furious with Marty for coming to terms without him...how it all went down is in Beyond The Crease). Also, not like there were any guarantees that Marty would enjoy such insane longevity...if anything, he really helped the Devils get off the hook, in that those failed goalie picks REALLY could've bit them in the ass if not for Marty's prime being so damned long...no one could have predicted he'd basically be the same player right through his Age 37 season. By the time that season ended, he had already played more games than any other goalie in history, without having lost a step (that changed starting with his Age 38 season)...all the while continuing to play 70+ games most seasons. Damphousse and Ahonen were first-rounders...if they don't play for you, that's OK (and at least Damphousse went as a throw-in in a deal that that would help the Devils in 2003), but you'd at least like to see Ahonen do enough in the AHL that a team would be willing to give you something for him, so that he might play with a big club (even it's just a middle-round pick). I mean, those two combined to play 6 NHL games. Long story short: the Devils were extraordinarily lucky that Marty bucked a more typical decline trend for so long...they couldn't have banked on that, and if they were that sure that he could be that effective for as long as he was, they don't use a pair of first-rounder to select goalies. Frazee's failure to develop was felt by the time Marty's decline was in full swing...think the Devils couldn't have used a decent young goalie by the 2013 season? You had old and rickety Marty and Hedberg handling most of the netminding at that point...Frazee could have at least pushed Hedberg out. Yeah I don't hold Crawford and Bernier against the Devils...but really would be nice to see them finally draft a goalie who has a real chance to become a legit star. 1990 was a friggin' long time ago.
  3. It's been discussed, but man have the Devils failed mightily at selecting goalies, for YEARS now. Goalies drafted in the first three rounds not named Martin Brodeur since 1990: 1990 Round 3, #53 OA: Mike Dunham (394 GP) 1997 Round 1, #24 OA: JF Damphousse (6 GP) 1999 Round 1, #27 OA: Ari Ahonen (0 GP) 2005 Round 2, #38 OA: Jeff Frazee (1 GP) 2010 Round 3, #84 OA: Scott Wedgewood (57 GP) 2015 Round 2, #42 OA: Mackenzie Blackwood (127 GP) 2020 Round 3, #84 OA: Nicholas Daws (2 GP) And of course, several goalies picked in the 4th round or later who haven't done much, though Akira Schmid (2018 Round 5, #136 OA) can't be written off yet (same for Daws). Kinda scary that the Devils got more out of undrafted Kinkaid than they did from so many drafted goalies.
  4. He did produce like one for an extended period...doesn't mean that I think he's a lock to become a consistent one (or one who won't frustrate the hell out of his team's fanbase when he disappears) but he did just enough that I'm guessing even if the Devils gave up on him, there's a handful of teams that think he might still have it in him to be a second-liner.
  5. The good news is that Zacha's done just enough over the last three seasons (and there's those 84 games of course) that some team who thinks they can get more out of him might be willing to give up something decent for him, if it comes to that. Of course that means signing him to another deal (doubt his RFA rights alone would bring much back, especially if he doesn't ever pick it back up this year)...still very curious to see if the Devils let this get to arbitration, and if they don't, what they sign him to...more and more, I feel like it's going to be two years...a final "Show Us Already!" deal that should be movable. With the lack of games lately, it's really hard to try to decide what the hell Zacha is...is this 20 games just a brutal slump? Is the 84-game sample of production that came before just the ultimate tease, in a career that's seen its fair share of teases? At any rate, Zacha should have about 380 GP or so by the end of this season, heading into his Age 25 season...I'm sure some would like to continue to be patient with him, but if doesn't get back on track by the end of the season, I say it's time to move on. I know it's not like the Devils have tons of Top-6 forwards in their system, but when do you say enough is enough? When does a guy stop being an intriguing prospect with upside, and simply is who he is? How long does a guy get to stick around and never consistently take steps? Six seasons seems like it's enough to decide if this guy should be in the Devils' plans...if anything, I hope behind the scenes someone, anyone (Fitz, Ruff, etc) is telling this kid "We really need to start seeing more from you, now!"
  6. He's got one year left...he's playing for his Devils future next season (well, duh, not like Fitz is going to be bullish on extending him if he continues to be a .900ish save% guy). But if the Devils decide to pursue an upgrade this offseason, I won't exactly be heartbroken...I can't pencil in Blackwood for anything other than a question mark at this point. Sucks, in that the Devils have had a hell of a time developing goalies since Marty. Sadly the Rangers have run absolute circles around the Devils, as far as finding netminders goes.
  7. Yeah, BB got spoiled by Brady being able to make do with whatever he was given to work with...the Pats clearly had some killer receiving corps from time to time, but there were also seasons where Brady's #1 was a Reche Caldwell-type. Or a firmly "pretty good" guy in Deion Branch. BB still has something to prove, in terms of not having Brady around, who had a way of making a lot of people look good during his time as a Patriot (here's looking at you, Josh McDaniels). What was most concerning about this season was the way the defense completely fell apart down the stretch...yes, the Pats had a rookie QB and I never thought that this was a "Boom or Bust" year by any stretch, but at the same time, BB did spend a lot on his team...I fully had the Bills winning this game, but it's the WAY that the Pats lost that is concerning. 7 possessions and 7 TDs?! Can't find a way to stop them ONCE?! This is where Brady was SO valuable to everything they did...he helped to cover up for a lot of meh to poor Patriots Ds through the years...the Pats probably still don't win on Saturday night with Brady under center, but I'm guessing they would have found a way to hang around for a bit...they probably at least come close to matching the Bills in points through the first 2-3 quarters. And I'm not knocking Mac here...Brady turned out to be a one-of-a-kind, that guy who's put himself into the "GOAT" conversation, as much as I've never been much of a fan of any of that (football's changed so much from era to era I don't know how you can really make comparisons). I think Mac will turn out to be solidly good, and a guy who you can win with as long as everything's in place around him, which let's face it, most of the time that's what you hope for from your QB. If you get so much as one ring from your "He's Our Guy" QB, you take it...obviously it's great to have Brady play for your team, but many fans would happily take, say, Joe Flacco's career. Or Eli Manning's. I won't be surprised to see the Pats take a step BACK next season, honestly...they need a lot more pieces than a 10-7 team with a solid rookie QB suggests. I think the team that couldn't stop ANYONE not named the Jaguars over their last five games is the "real" Patriots. There's much work to be done, and I'm not sure one offseason will be enough to address them all. And like I've said previously, it's OK...after the run that they had, any Patriots fan not willing to show some degree of patience is not being fair. But now I'm convinced that the only real "trending up" part of the Pats is Mac Jones...I think the rest is a lot of question marks.
  8. Definitely expected a loss, but definitely not a blowout to that degree. Pats had absolutely no answers on either side of the ball. Game was effectively over at 14-0.
  9. Both Keith and Gary came here late enough that neither could really expected to have extended runs of success here…and neither really did. Agree that with Keith at this point, his number being retired has to do with what he meant to the Mets as a player, and what he means to them now as a broadcaster and a guy who really seems to “feel” our pain when the Mets struggle, and our joy when they actually don’t get in their own way and have a little success. He’s truly and fully a Met and always will be. Don’t really think Carter should get his number retired…he had two Carter-like years here, and then it went downhill very quickly.
  10. Subban’s Devils days hopefully end around the deadline at best, and this offseason at worst.
  11. Parise with 5 assists in 25 games...against everyone else. Of course he's scored his only goal of the season and added two assists in 3 games against the Devils. I never really had much against Parise for leaving, but something just really bothers me about that.
  12. I’m past the point of going game-by-game with Zacha…I still give him the balance of this season to right himself. If he doesn’t, I’m absolutely open to the idea of moving him.
  13. Got pretty blitzed last night, so I wasn't as clued into individual player performances as usual. Was great seeing my nephew and bro though. The Isles' new building is OK...it looks nicer from the outside than it really is...I found the interior kinda bland, honestly.
  14. The above says a lot...I interact with a very small group of collectors, so I have no idea what goes on in other circles. Would love to pick up a legit Rockies gamer one of these days, but not finding any out there. I'd only want one that had twill on it...none of that screened-on sh!t for me.
  15. Yeah I'm REALLY hoping to pleasantly surprised as I'm leaving the Isles' new digs tonight. But it's just tough when you have a goalie who really has very little chance of getting the job done...goddamn, what a fvcking mess.
  16. Yeah it's not like Utica's really been playing any worse, outside of now getting well-below-average goaltending. They were actually down 7-2 at one point...to pull to within one is pretty impressive. If Mitens isn't in net, I'm sure that would've been another win for the Utes.
  17. Yeah I feel bad for him too…he’s clearly not up to the task of playing in the AHL, but such is the state of the franchise goaltending at the moment (injuries, Covid, etc).
  18. Seems to mean more to the Blackhawk fanbase than to the Devils faithful. He didn’t even have a full season of NHL games with those teams combined (43 with the Blackhawks, 33 with the Devils).
  19. Mitens is becoming a serious problem…he’s put up an .859 save% so far. Comets almost bailed him out…they were down 7-3 entering the third, and pulled to within one with almost four minutes left, but the comeback stalled there. As long as Mitens to be in net (and the Comets may not have much choice in the short term), the losses are going to start piling up for Utica.
  20. It’s a horrible idea. You’re signing up for his Age 35 and beyond years, for FOUR MORE YEARS beyond this one, when he’s already showing clear signs of decline. I’m open to the idea of bringing in a goalie from outside the organization, but not one whose best days are long behind him, and who only figures to get worse in the seasons to come.
  21. A guy who will be 35 years old and has managed a .909 save% over the past four seasons? For a first-rounder? Yeah that makes sense.
  22. I have this game on DVD...check out how big the nets look behind Chico and Liut. Back then it felt like there was SO much more to shoot at. And back then I don't think goalie cuts were as much of a thing...I think goalie jerseys weren't much different than everyone else's. I showed part of this game to my daughter, who asked "When did they make the nets smaller?" I told her that the nets stayed the same, and goalies and their equipment got a lot bigger. She also got a kick out of all of the helmetless players...and some of the still-70s hairstyles and mustaches that were fully on display as a result. I still remember January 1982 pretty well (I was 11 and in the middle of sixth grade)...this video makes everything look so damned "oldern". Which I guess over 40 years later makes sense...boo... And on one last side note, it's kinda funny...for all of the nostalgia about the 80s and what they were, the "80s" that people think of really didn't start until 1983 or so, at the earliest...1980-82 was still very 70s in a lot of ways, with 70s trends slowly phasing themselves out over those few years. The "80s" were really those 80s from about 1983ish - 1991...1990 still felt very 80s. Nirvana and grunge really just seemed to take a wrecking ball to so much of it...and then the 90s just kicked right in, full swing.
  23. Wearing my white Rockies Resch jersey to the game tomorrow...which of course got me thinking... Why not Chico between the pipes?
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