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GDT: Bolts at Brodeur-Lead DEVILS 7:30


ThreeCups
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While I agree that Zajac has been good, I can't exactly blame them for saying something like that when the first things they see about Zajac are <.5 pts/game at nearly a $6mil cap hit. I think he's worth it for what he brings, but I definitely hope he can develop some more creativity or scoring touch. As it is now, he seems to be very far from our more offensively gifted players.

It just irks me a bit that a lot of analyst and fans tend to just look at Zajac's point totals. I mean he's struggled to point up the big numbers lately but he's still nearly .6 pts/game for his career. Especially with nationally televised games, I feel like analyst don't pay attention to the whole defensive aspect to Zajac's game.

 

To call him out tonight the way they did was ridiculous, when he played mainly against Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis and a decent amount against D like Hedman and Carle. His line with Zubrus and Brunner had favorable zone starts but I feel a lot of that was due to how much they were driving play against Tampa's best. Zajac ended up 2nd on the team tonight in Corsi For% at 68.8% (11/5 CF/CA) and Fenwick For% 76.9% (10/3 FF/FA). Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis had 0 shots at 5v5 which is outstanding.

 

I also feel like people put too much of an emphasis on a $5.75M cap hit. The cap is only going to go up, perhaps to even $80M in a few years. For what he brings to the table and what other FA C's will sign for, his deal is excellent for the Devils. That cap hit is only going to become less of a percentage of the team's cap.

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team looked pretty dominant the first couple periods of the game i thought and then the momentum started to change.. thought marty played pretty well i think he wouldve had a shut out if he didnt lose the puck on the one goal but it happens team walks with a 2nd straight win and another two points. glad i decided to go down and see the game ill be there again saturday.. anyone else get stuck in that sh&#33;t traffic on 21 trying to get out of there?

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This is the way they are going to win games.  It's about time for this ship to turn around but it is turning around.  There was one breakaway against but that was it really for outmanned chances.

 

Brodeur played well tonight but he is a disaster waiting to happen - tremendous save in the 3rd, but he is slow reacting to the play and he is just not able to ever recover if he's moved out of position.  There is no way he could start both games on the weekend - Kinkaid would have to start one of them.

 

Gelinas didn't have a great game tonight, but he was due for that.  He started losing some of thsoe 50/50 battles.    Larsson came out with a shift in the first where he showed what he is going to look like in 3 years and it is going to be quite a good defenseman.

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This is the way they are going to win games.  It's about time for this ship to turn around but it is turning around.  There was one breakaway against but that was it really for outmanned chances.

 

Brodeur played well tonight but he is a disaster waiting to happen - tremendous save in the 3rd, but he is slow reacting to the play and he is just not able to ever recover if he's moved out of position.  There is no way he could start both games on the weekend - Kinkaid would have to start one of them.

 

Gelinas didn't have a great game tonight, but he was due for that.  He started losing some of thsoe 50/50 battles.    Larsson came out with a shift in the first where he showed what he is going to look like in 3 years and it is going to be quite a good defenseman.

 

Pete started Hedberg nine million games in a row last year (and it was like a 7-in-11 stretch too), he'd start Marty two in a row if he had to.  I agree with you it'd probably be a disaster, but it's not like we're out of the woods yet where it's reasonable to expect them to experiment with Kinkaid.

It just irks me a bit that a lot of analyst and fans tend to just look at Zajac's point totals. I mean he's struggled to point up the big numbers lately but he's still nearly .6 pts/game for his career. Especially with nationally televised games, I feel like analyst don't pay attention to the whole defensive aspect to Zajac's game.

 

To call him out tonight the way they did was ridiculous, when he played mainly against Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis and a decent amount against D like Hedman and Carle. His line with Zubrus and Brunner had favorable zone starts but I feel a lot of that was due to how much they were driving play against Tampa's best. Zajac ended up 2nd on the team tonight in Corsi For% at 68.8% (11/5 CF/CA) and Fenwick For% 76.9% (10/3 FF/FA). Malone-Stamkos-St. Louis had 0 shots at 5v5 which is outstanding.

 

I also feel like people put too much of an emphasis on a $5.75M cap hit. The cap is only going to go up, perhaps to even $80M in a few years. For what he brings to the table and what other FA C's will sign for, his deal is excellent for the Devils. That cap hit is only going to become less of a percentage of the team's cap.

 

Zajac's been awful in the offensize zone period and he hasn't even done well at faceoffs this year (he's around 50% iirc).  I was pitching a tent when Pete had Henrique out for the final faceoff but was shocked when I saw the numbers on NHL.com with Henrique actually being better on faceoffs tonight.

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There are a bunch of guys on the Devils D that really can shoot. Maybe not all as well as Gelinas, but I really wonder why they tend to be hesitant all the time. I think both Zidlicky and Larsson should both be throwing some hard shots on the net more often. Larsson has a pretty nice shot, but no one knows it because he rarely ever uses it.

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Zajac's been awful in the offensize zone period and he hasn't even done well at faceoffs this year (he's around 50% iirc).  I was pitching a tent when Pete had Henrique out for the final faceoff but was shocked when I saw the numbers on NHL.com with Henrique actually being better on faceoffs tonight.

I don't really put too much stock into single game faceoffs though due to sample size. Zajac's not a great faceoff man but neither is anyone on the Devils (min. 80 FO's: Zajac 51.0%, Loktinov 44.8, Gionta 44.6, Elias 43.4%, Henrique 40.8%). Plus Zajac has taken 200 draws while the next most for a Devil player is 147.

Zajac struggled tonight but oddly enough had his most success (3/4) against Filppula who is TB's best faceoff man at 56.2% whom he faced more than any other TB player. At the end of the day it just wasn't Zajac's night in the circle while Henrique did much better than usual.

Zajac had the best FO% (min. 300 draws) last year for any Devil at 57.4% while taking 201 more of them than Henrique who had the 2nd most attempts and 2nd best FO% at 49.0. Zajac pretty much missed 2011-12. In 2010-11 Zajac took 1,278 draws, 528 more then Arnott who had the 2nd most attempts and 3rd best FO% (min. 400 draws) at 51.3 while Zajac's was 55.3 which was 2nd on the team, though Zubrus who led only took 449 draws. Trend tends to keep repeating in the preceding years as well. Zajac may not be great when it comes to faceoffs, but he doesn't hurt the Devils. Add in what he does during the play after the draw and that's why I am such a believer in the contract Lou gave him.

Another thing is I feel like FO% can be a bit misleading in a general sense. I do value it, but maybe not as much as others. The main reason for this is there are occasions where you intentionally lose by pushing the puck forward (neutral zone draw push puck into offensive zone) so that you can try to create a turnover on the forecheck or get setup in the neutral zone to create a tough zone entry for the opposition. I know this isn't the case most of the time but teams I played for often used set plays like that.

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Zajac has struggled in the offensive zone but SH% suggest he and the Devils in general have been a bit unlucky. So far this season at 5v5, going by team SH% ranking, teams ranked 7-16 have been shooting somewhere in the 8% range. The Devils are 23rd at 6.3%. For some context, last year teams ranked by 5v5 SH% from 6-18 shot in the 8% range or close to it. The Devils finished with a dismal 6.3% and I think we can all recall how unlucky they were, especially during that long losing streak, where they would out-shoot and out-possess the opposition but have nothing to show for it. I wouldn't expect a repeat of that again over the course of a 82 game season. Zajac's SH% have been lower than normal in recent years and I would expect that to regress (in a good way) and when it does, the goals will come. My only complaint with him is he needs to be more selfish and shoot more rather than always try to make the unselfish play to a teammate.

Still it's worth noting how much Zajac does to contribute to a win even when he's not putting up the points. The game vs Tampa was a great example of that.

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  Larsson came out with a shift in the first where he showed what he is going to look like in 3 years and it is going to be quite a good defenseman.

 

Yep. I haven't seen him this confident since his rookie year I think. He had his head up, both with the puck and when shooting it, made some savvy turns in his own end when the forechecker was on him and generally looked comfortable out there.

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Good win for Marty and the Devils.

They are now 25th out of 30 teams; 12th in the Eastern Conf but are only 2 points away from second place in the Metro division. Just goes to show how weak the Metro Div is only 1 team over 500% out of 8.

Marty plays in goal Saturday against Philly another win. Way to go Marty.

Go Devils

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Brodeur played well tonight but he is a disaster waiting to happen - tremendous save in the 3rd, but he is slow reacting to the play and he is just not able to ever recover if he's moved out of position.  

 

Yeah, he won, and every Brodeur win feels like it should be treasured (like Yankee fans felt with each Mariano Rivera save this past season), but I saw the same exact thing...Devils' D did a nice job snuffing out potential near-empty net scoring chances. 

 

But since Marty does need some help at this stage of his career, it was great to see the Devils give him some.

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