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The Devils are bad and it's time to tank


Daniel
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Early in the season, our record is better than it was last year, no more Marty, just bench Salvador, blah, blah, blah.

It's over fancy stat people. It's a very, very bad team. Old forwards, bad defenseman, a hugely disappointing goalie who was supposed to be the answer to all of our problems, but maybe shows that you can't plug and play save percentage, and obviously Stevens as defensive coach was not the problem.

Trade Jagr and Zidlicky as soon as you think we can get the maximum value for them. Just tank, and hope for one of those top two picks.

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The bolded is the one thing you're continually off-base on.  What are you saying...that if Marty was still here, the results would have been the same?

 

Look, on some of your other points, I understand...what's scary with this group is that it's not like it's chock full of young kids who are experiencing growing pains...there's a lot of declining vets who are probably only going to get worse.  It hurts not having Henrique and Havlat right now (I can't really say not having Clowe is hurting the team), and the team probably isn't as bad as they've looked over their last four, but how much better can the Devils be expected to play? 

 

Re:  Cory...I'm sorry, but to judge him based on a 15-game sample is absurd.  He's 28 years old and has a track record of terrific puck-stopping.  I'll give you that he might not be a strong "bad team" goalie, but the idea was to put a good team in front of him, so unless the plan is to put 8 years' worth of bad teams in front of him, I'm not going to worry about him.  With the way the Devils are currently playing, I think a lot of goalies would have a tough time succeeding on this team.  I'm not saying Cory is entirely blameless, but it's fair to remember that he's likely still adjusting to a new role (undisputed #1), and that almost EVERY goalie has their valleys.  Lundqvist is a terrific goalie, but I can find you lots of months in his game logs that were very "meh"-worthy.

 

As far as a "blow-up" goes...I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider that option at times, but there's cards you can still play this season before you go that route, and other considerations to take into account.  First off, if you start clearing out the underperforming vets (and trust me, there are some I'd love to see go), who from Albany are you replacing them with?  There's not much down there.  Paul Thompson is a AAAA-type...he's almost 26 and is feasting off a high shooting%.  Timmins and Whitney are also in their mid-20s...basically, there's not much that's going to help you at the NHL level.  Wanna bring up Boucher and Matteau, fine...but you've already seen what Boucher is at this point...he doesn't look like he's ready.   

 

Lou has some time on his side before he'd need to consider taking a wrecking ball to this team, and let's face it, GMs are rarely going to be as knee-jerk as fans are.  You still have the "fire the coach" option...I'm not sure how much of a difference that would make, but this is a classic case of "can't fire the players", and PDB's results (whether they're all his fault or not) aren't so eye-friendly that he should be considered to be an untouchable.  If that doesn't work (and it probably won't long-term), then Lou can start dealing off the guys who won't be here anyway beyond the end of this season (Ryder, Zids, Jagr, etc.).

 

The one thing I think we need to see soon, before anything else, is some accountability.  I understand why Sal has gotten into this many games (salary, which unfortunately will always play into these decisions, and the hope that he'll get it going), but it's enough.  Want to give him tonight too, fvck it, might as well I guess...but if there's continued suckage, then the guy has to be a healthy scratch...I just don't know how long you can keep going with him...he's not just bad, he is costing his team games...he's obviously not alone, but something's gotta give.  I don't want to hear about his skill-set (which is diminished to the point of non-existence) anymore.  I think Zids could use a night or two in street clothes too, but obviously there's only so many guys that can be scratched (especially with Merrill out), and it's not like there's a bevy of defensemen waiting to come up from Albany...those guys are already here.  I don't know enough about Hrabarenka or Helgeson or the current crop of Albany defensemen to know if calling them up makes sense...not going to pretend that I do.  So it's probably going to be Harrold who gets the first call-up...been there, done that, though I'd take a steaming pile of fly-infested dung over Salvador at this point (though it'd be hard to tell the difference).

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Im sticking through november, if we dont win 5 or 6 of the next 9, then I dont care what happens. At that point as most have said, we can move jags, Zids, Ryder, injury settle with clowe, leave zubs on the 4th line, get a good long look at gelanis and larsson, matteau, sislo, bucher, have sal IRd with the mysterious injury. Cory will be fine, he's technically sound. I also need to see which way merrill goes

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My main fear of tanking is building a culture of losing. It's one thing to try hard and fail. You learn from that. It's quite another to throw up your hands and give up for the outside hope of a draft pick savior. It creates a culture of ambivalence that can take a decade to recover from. I don't think the Devils can afford a decade of failure. Not to be mean, but I don't think our fanbase can support it.

 

Besides, the team's drafting record hasn't been exactly sparkling as of late. Sure, it's hard to predict talent when you're drafting in the mid-twenties and a high draft pick in a good year could mean a slam dunk NHL'er, but it's not a guaranteed fix.

 

The main issue we're all realizing is this team is painfully mediocre, which (as somebody else said) is a difficult position to be in. Not good enough to be a Cup contender, not bad enough to rebuild with low risk / high reward studs.

 

As of right now, you have play the cards you're dealt. We all knew if this team had a few injuries, this would be an ugly season. It's not horrifying yet and PDB will fall on the sword as a shake up (if things don't turn around by December. He'll get the Johnny Mac leash) but it won't be the answer. Lemaire isn't waiting by the phone this time around.

 

The best they can do is bust their butt every night and hope our division is average enough to sneak in. If we get in, all bets are off. Anything can happen. With this talent pool, there's no quick fix. I don't feel tanking isn't the answer. It's an emotional "screw these guys" reaction...very fair and understandable but not prudent (again, in my opinion).

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This stretch has been freaking brutal and the fact that we're shorthanded makes it ten times worse. St. Louis x2, Detroit and Boston are all better teams.  When you're playing these games without Cammalleri, Merrill, Havlat and Clowe, these things happen. Schneider isn't this bad, the PK will improve because variance and we saw what a healthy Cammalleri can do.  Aside from the Detroit game, the team really hasn't looked terrible.  They don't look great, but the Devils have been absolutely gutted injury-wise

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I feel like we are at the point now as a team that the Rangers were at in the late 1990s early 2000s. Our legendary players have mostly retired or left and we're trying to plug holes with crusty old vets and poorly drafted overrated prospects. Of our entire youthful defense, Damon Severson is the only guy who to me is a complete defenseman. Jon Merrill comes second at being nearly complete, though I feel he's taken a step back this year. Gelinas needs to either learn how to play defense or get moved to forward. Our forwards are either way past their prime (Jagr, Elias, and Zubrus) overrated products of the system (Henrique, Zajac, Josefson) deeply flawed (Ryder, Brunner, Tootoo, Gionta) or injury prone (Cammalleri, Clowe, Havlat, Ruutu).

 

This is not a good team. It's slow where it needs to be fast; soft where it needs to be tough; tentative where it needs to be agressive; fancy when it needs to be simple; and undisciplined when it can least afford it.

Edited by NewarkDevil5
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How long till the new owners step in? What's scary is they tanked with the Sixers last year so they're fine with it.

At least the Sixers have a plan in place and while they're a horrible team on paper at least they compete and are fun to watch with their young upstarts. Unlike this boring crap squad going through the motions with their country club asses.
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At least the Sixers have a plan in place and while they're a horrible team on paper at least they compete and are fun to watch with their young upstarts. Unlike this boring crap squad going through the motions with their country club asses.

 

As long as Lou is in charge there's a good chance the Devils will be boring. I love Lou but I for one welcome a new identity to this franchise.

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At least the Sixers have a plan in place and while they're a horrible team on paper at least they compete and are fun to watch with their young upstarts. Unlike this boring crap squad going through the motions with their country club asses.

 

I'll give you that the Devils are boring to watch, but I can't abide the implication of their being lazy. They work hard because Deboer's system is based on the idea of outworking the other team every night. Problem is that you're asking a team as old as this and as slow as this to outwork other teams full of young fast players.

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The bolded is the one thing you're continually off-base on.  What are you saying...that if Marty was still here, the results would have been the same?

 

Look, on some of your other points, I understand...what's scary with this group is that it's not like it's chock full of young kids who are experiencing growing pains...there's a lot of declining vets who are probably only going to get worse.  It hurts not having Henrique and Havlat right now (I can't really say not having Clowe is hurting the team), and the team probably isn't as bad as they've looked over their last four, but how much better can the Devils be expected to play? 

 

Re:  Cory...I'm sorry, but to judge him based on a 15-game sample is absurd.  He's 28 years old and has a track record of terrific puck-stopping.  I'll give you that he might not be a strong "bad team" goalie, but the idea was to put a good team in front of him, so unless the plan is to put 8 years' worth of bad teams in front of him, I'm not going to worry about him.  With the way the Devils are currently playing, I think a lot of goalies would have a tough time succeeding on this team.  I'm not saying Cory is entirely blameless, but it's fair to remember that he's likely still adjusting to a new role (undisputed #1), and that almost EVERY goalie has their valleys.  Lundqvist is a terrific goalie, but I can find you lots of months in his game logs that were very "meh"-worthy.

 

As far as a "blow-up" goes...I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider that option at times, but there's cards you can still play this season before you go that route, and other considerations to take into account.  First off, if you start clearing out the underperforming vets (and trust me, there are some I'd love to see go), who from Albany are you replacing them with?  There's not much down there.  Paul Thompson is a AAAA-type...he's almost 26 and is feasting off a high shooting%.  Timmins and Whitney are also in their mid-20s...basically, there's not much that's going to help you at the NHL level.  Wanna bring up Boucher and Matteau, fine...but you've already seen what Boucher is at this point...he doesn't look like he's ready.   

 

Lou has some time on his side before he'd need to consider taking a wrecking ball to this team, and let's face it, GMs are rarely going to be as knee-jerk as fans are.  You still have the "fire the coach" option...I'm not sure how much of a difference that would make, but this is a classic case of "can't fire the players", and PDB's results (whether they're all his fault or not) aren't so eye-friendly that he should be considered to be an untouchable.  If that doesn't work (and it probably won't long-term), then Lou can start dealing off the guys who won't be here anyway beyond the end of this season (Ryder, Zids, Jagr, etc.).

 

The one thing I think we need to see soon, before anything else, is some accountability.  I understand why Sal has gotten into this many games (salary, which unfortunately will always play into these decisions, and the hope that he'll get it going), but it's enough.  Want to give him tonight too, fvck it, might as well I guess...but if there's continued suckage, then the guy has to be a healthy scratch...I just don't know how long you can keep going with him...he's not just bad, he is costing his team games...he's obviously not alone, but something's gotta give.  I don't want to hear about his skill-set (which is diminished to the point of non-existence) anymore.  I think Zids could use a night or two in street clothes too, but obviously there's only so many guys that can be scratched (especially with Merrill out), and it's not like there's a bevy of defensemen waiting to come up from Albany...those guys are already here.  I don't know enough about Hrabarenka or Helgeson or the current crop of Albany defensemen to know if calling them up makes sense...not going to pretend that I do.  So it's probably going to be Harrold who gets the first call-up...been there, done that, though I'd take a steaming pile of fly-infested dung over Salvador at this point (though it'd be hard to tell the difference).

 

The thing is, tanking and "blowing it up" are not necessarily the same thing.  Tanking, I would say, would involve getting rid of players that you don't expect to have for much longer, and good chance not beyond this year, and who still have trade value.  So no-trade clauses aside, it doesn't mean getting rid of players like Zajac, Cammalleri, Elias, Greene, Schneider, etc.  But it does mean eventually, and perhaps sooner rather than later, taking a hard look at trading players like Jagr and Zidlicky. 

 

In the meantime, you can plausibly say that there is a fairly significant shot at getting one of the two top picks, one of whom is a very good bet to turn the team's fortunes around almost immediately.  We're one point ahead of Carolina who has a game at hand.  And most of the other teams that are behind us, are not that far behind us in the standings and are more likely to improve than we are.  It's hard to understate how awful this penalty kill is.  You are going to lose many, many games if you can expect giving up at least one powerplay goal a game. 

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At least the Sixers have a plan in place and while they're a horrible team on paper at least they compete and are fun to watch with their young upstarts. Unlike this boring crap squad going through the motions with their country club asses.

 

Plan in place? LOL. Theyre 0-7 this season. Fun upstarts? Theyve been blown out every game by halftime.

I'll give you that the Devils are boring to watch, but I can't abide the implication of their being lazy. They work hard because Deboer's system is based on the idea of outworking the other team every night. Problem is that you're asking a team as old as this and as slow as this to outwork other teams full of young fast players.

 

Im starting to believe that the problem is the system itself. Puck possession that leads to nothing; defensive coverage that is easy to break.

Edited by devlman
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I thought tanking is flat out losing games to position the team to get an advantage such as better position in the draft.

No one does that. Tanking refers to a GM putting a team on the ice that is so bad, it has little chance of competing night in, night out that you're very likely to get a high draft pick.

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At least the Sixers have a plan in place and while they're a horrible team on paper at least they compete and are fun to watch with their young upstarts. Unlike this boring crap squad going through the motions with their country club asses.

 

their plan is to have a lot of draft picks, then as those get closer to having to be picked, they trade them for more future draft picks while telling their fans about how great things are going. and while i'm not thrilled with lou and some of his moves, look at what harris and co. have done with the sixers gm jobs. it's not pretty. based on that alone i don't know how much "better" it would get sadly.

Edited by devils744
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The Devils have a decent core in place, but are forced to play certain players:

 

G- We're set here. I'm sorry but 15 games is not going to usurp 150+ of brilliant play from Schneider

 

D- Greene, Merrill, Severson, Larsson. I'm putting Larsson here because he has been much better this year and has had to cart around Gelinas' terrible ass. Team is going to have to go and get a dman who can play PK1 in the offseason because Salvador isnt getting the job done. And Gelinas has been every bit as bad as Sal but I think a lot of people are giving him a pass because he's young and has a big shot. I'm not a huge EG fan, though.

 

Aside from Cammalleri, Zajac, Henrique, Jagr and (maybe) Elias, there isnt a whole lot there

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The Devils have a decent core in place, but are forced to play certain players:

 

G- We're set here. I'm sorry but 15 games is not going to usurp 150+ of brilliant play from Schneider

 

D- Greene, Merrill, Severson, Larsson. I'm putting Larsson here because he has been much better this year and has had to cart around Gelinas' terrible ass. Team is going to have to go and get a dman who can play PK1 in the offseason because Salvador isnt getting the job done. And Gelinas has been every bit as bad as Sal but I think a lot of people are giving him a pass because he's young and has a big shot. I'm not a huge EG fan, though.

 

Aside from Cammalleri, Zajac, Henrique, Jagr and (maybe) Elias, there isnt a whole lot there

 

Jagr and Elias aren't part of the core anymore. They're too old to be counted upon for much beyond this year.

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Jagr and Elias aren't part of the core anymore. They're too old to be counted upon for much beyond this year.

Jagr hasn't really slowed down and while things can obviously change at 42-43 years old, he is still among the top RW in the game.

 

Elias on the other hand looks pretty bad. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being

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their plan is to have a lot of draft picks, then as those get closer to having to be picked, they trade them for more future draft picks while telling their fans about how great things are going. and while i'm not thrilled with lou and some of his moves, look at what harris and co. have done with the sixers gm jobs. it's not pretty. based on that alone i don't know how much "better" it would get sadly.

 

Basketball is a much different kind of animal, since you really only need two, maybe three, successful draft picks to compete, and they are almost always lottery picks.  It's not like the other three North American sports where you can get a superstar in the later rounds.  Just look at the list of the greatest second round picks in NBA history.  Spoiler alert, you're not finding anything close to Lundqvist, Datsyuk, Tom Brady, Don Mattingly or Mike Piazza.  

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I hate people even bringing up the 76ers when talking about the Devils. The only thing that should be taken away from the 76ers situation is that under the right circumstances, the owners are willing to lose a ton of money to rebuild an organization. This was a plan put in place by a really smart young GM, and the owners have signed off on it.

 

Yes, the 76ers are tanking in the most blatant way possible. Their top pick last year missed the entire season. Their top pick this year will do the same. They drafted a player from Europe in the top 10 and are stashing him, along with other players in Europe as well. They are not signing any NBA vets to fill out their roster, so they pretty much have 3 NBA players on their roster, and not 1 should be starting yet on any team in the league. 

 

The owners have OK'd that plan. Doesn't mean much when it comes to the Devils.

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The thing is, tanking and "blowing it up" are not necessarily the same thing.  Tanking, I would say, would involve getting rid of players that you don't expect to have for much longer, and good chance not beyond this year, and who still have trade value.  So no-trade clauses aside, it doesn't mean getting rid of players like Zajac, Cammalleri, Elias, Greene, Schneider, etc.  But it does mean eventually, and perhaps sooner rather than later, taking a hard look at trading players like Jagr and Zidlicky. 

 

In the meantime, you can plausibly say that there is a fairly significant shot at getting one of the two top picks, one of whom is a very good bet to turn the team's fortunes around almost immediately.  We're one point ahead of Carolina who has a game at hand.  And most of the other teams that are behind us, are not that far behind us in the standings and are more likely to improve than we are.  It's hard to understate how awful this penalty kill is.  You are going to lose many, many games if you can expect giving up at least one powerplay goal a game. 

 

re:  tanking/blowing it up...this is semantics debate, but my "blowing it up" was more along the lines of your "tanking".  I think we know who Lou will look to deal if the Devils are clearly not pulling it together (and I don't kid myself that any of these players are bringing back anything great):

 

Zidlicky (teams are always on the look for a PMD, even aging ones with flaws.  And of course, Zids can be likely be had for a mid-round pick, and if he's dealt at the deadline, his new team isn't on the hook for much $$) 

Salvador (could be a depth move for someone...think 6th or 7th rounder coming back)

Ryder (would help greatly if his puck luck was fortuitous...say 20+ goals or so by the deadline)

Jagr (depends how he's playing near the deadline...could be a relative bargain compared to other available bodies)

Brunner (maybe he's someone's Plan D...who the hell knows?)

Havlat (if he actually stays healthy and is showing something, he's a short-term bargain who will be damned near free, compared to a lot of other guys)

 

"Stuck with" (and that's not meant to knock Elias and Cam)

Zajac (too much money and too long of a term...Devils are probably taking a bad contract back if they move him)

Elias (overpaid for what he now is, and he's still on the books for next year)

Clowe (don't even need to go into details with him)

Cammalleri (only because there's probably not that many teams who want to take on his contract, but the Devils need him anyway)

Ruutu (Carolina is still laughing at getting his contract off their books)

 

The rest...guess you never say never, but I'd say Zajac, Cammalleri, Henrique, Schneider, Merrill, Severson, and Greene are the "desirable" locks to stay here.  Clowe's health and future is just too cloudy at this point, though clearly Lou thought he could be part of this group.  I'm sure Lou would love for Larsson and Gelinas to join this crowd, but they just haven't played well enough consistently yet. 

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