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'He Makes Other Players Better'


Triumph
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I loathe cliches - I mean, sure, I use them plenty, but I also don't like using them without thinking.  Hockey broadcasters and hockey lifers often have nothing but cliches to offer, so I get exposed to them plenty.  One of the classic hockey cliches to say about a player is that 'he makes other players better'.  It's said about your dominant center types typically - guys who control the flow of the game when they're on the ice.  Even though Patrik Elias spent most of his years as a LW, this was true of him as well.  Lots of Devil forwards had their best career seasons playing alongside Patrik Elias.  Elias is 9th in assists between the years 1999-2000 and 2013-14, and this despite seldom playing with a player better than him.   Playing with him in his final season gave Petr Sykora a 20 goal season and has made Dainius Zubrus's numbers not look awful.

 

We've seen the deterioration in Patrik's game this year and now he's out with an injury and he's 38 years old.  Watching this team play without him - both while he was playing, he was not 'Patrik Elias', and now with him in the press box - it's a reminder of just how great a player he was.  The Devils never lacked for a first-line forward with Elias on the team between the years I mentioned above.  Stick a guy with Elias and he was going to look better, usually.  Now the only guy they have that fits the cliche on their team is Jaromir Jagr who is 43 years old.

 

These players are vital not just because they are really good, but because your team needs them for your other players to be put into a position to succeed.  Without them a team is just fighting uphill all the time.  Michael Ryder doesn't suck just because he is terrible, but also because he doesn't have anyone out there helping cover up his deficiencies and accentuating his strengths.  Reid Boucher will have the same struggles if he comes back up.  Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac can't do this alone.  Free agency offers no solutions.  Trading likely offers no solutions.  The only answer is in the draft.  We'll see what they can find.

Edited by Triumph
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I spoke with Patrik yesterday when he was in my store (Unique Photo). Nicest guy you ever want to meet. He actually spoke openly about the team and indicated there is a ton of negativity in the locker room and suggest the team needs a complete remake.

 

Funniest line was that they call Zubrus "2-stitch" since he seems to be out of the line-up with a whimpy 2 stitches in his leg.

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I loathe cliches - I mean, sure, I use them plenty, but I also don't like using them without thinking.  Hockey broadcasters and hockey lifers often have nothing but cliches to offer, so I get exposed to them plenty.  One of the classic hockey cliches to say about a player is that 'he makes other players better'.  It's said about your dominant center types typically - guys who control the flow of the game when they're on the ice.  Even though Patrik Elias spent most of his years as a LW, this was true of him as well.  Lots of Devil forwards had their best career seasons playing alongside Patrik Elias.  Elias is 9th in assists between the years 1999-2000 and 2013-14, and this despite seldom playing with a player better than him.   Playing with him in his final season gave Petr Sykora a 20 goal season and has made Dainius Zubrus's numbers not look awful.

 

We've seen the deterioration in Patrik's game this year and now he's out with an injury and he's 38 years old.  Watching this team play without him - both while he was playing, he was not 'Patrik Elias', and now with him in the press box - it's a reminder of just how great a player he was.  The Devils never lacked for a first-line forward with Elias on the team between the years I mentioned above.  Stick a guy with Elias and he was going to look better, usually.  Now the only guy they have that fits the cliche on their team is Jaromir Jagr who is 43 years old.

 

These players are vital not just because they are really good, but because your team needs them for your other players to be put into a position to succeed.  Without them a team is just fighting uphill all the time.  Michael Ryder doesn't suck just because he is terrible, but also because he doesn't have anyone out there helping cover up his deficiencies and accentuating his strengths.  Reid Boucher will have the same struggles if he comes back up.  Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac can't do this alone.  Free agency offers no solutions.  Trading likely offers no solutions.  The only answer is in the draft.  We'll see what they can find.

Nicely put. I think we've taken his consistency for granted. I mean, last year he put up .8 ppg with terrible linemates.  We all remember how bad Rolston was in his second stint, but Elias made him into a contributor the final couple of months in 2011. Players like Rolston, Gionta, Zubrus, Sykora  and Gomez owe him a lot of money for what he did for their careers

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Excellent post Triumph. I actually feel like it has been a long time since we had that 'Makes others better' player in our lineup. There was a time where Elias was the prototype of that. Actually, even Gomez was that for awhile, especially with Mogilny.

 

Though, I have to admit, when I first saw your thread title, I assumed you were referring to Stephen Gionta, your favorite player.

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I spoke with Patrik yesterday when he was in my store (Unique Photo). Nicest guy you ever want to meet. He actually spoke openly about the team and indicated there is a ton of negativity in the locker room and suggest the team needs a complete remake.

 

Funniest line was that they call Zubrus "2-stitch" since he seems to be out of the line-up with a whimpy 2 stitches in his leg.

 

Was there any indication that it had to do with the coaching, or did you get a sense it was more frustration with the front office?  From what you hear, the players think DeBoer is a good coach.

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I spoke with Patrik yesterday when he was in my store (Unique Photo). Nicest guy you ever want to meet. He actually spoke openly about the team and indicated there is a ton of negativity in the locker room and suggest the team needs a complete remake.

Funniest line was that they call Zubrus "2-stitch" since he seems to be out of the line-up with a whimpy 2 stitches in his leg.

Interesting stuff msweet.

Did he offer any suggestions of what he though should happen?

Elias is still in my opinion one of the NHL's most underrated players. His versatility and willingness to put the team first just make him so exceptional. Also the way he plays without the puck is just as impressive as his play with it.

He is the reason I wore number 26 for my team.

Edited by Chimaira_Devil_#9
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I spoke with Patrik yesterday when he was in my store (Unique Photo). Nicest guy you ever want to meet. He actually spoke openly about the team and indicated there is a ton of negativity in the locker room and suggest the team needs a complete remake.

Funniest line was that they call Zubrus "2-stitch" since he seems to be out of the line-up with a whimpy 2 stitches in his leg.

M I pass by the store every day- I work over on Fairfield Road right off of 46. Did he bring Zubes with him lol? Patty is a total class act. Along with Stevens, my two favorite Devils of all-time.
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Was there any indication that it had to do with the coaching, or did you get a sense it was more frustration with the front office? From what you hear, the players think DeBoer is a good coach.

Was wondering the same thing... If I had to guess, I would say the frustration is probably with management more than coaching- Jagr was swearing by Pete again yesterday.
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This post wasn't really meant to be one of the 500 other 'state of the team' posts - it was more about what we had before and what we need in the future.  Nothing on the current roster is going to change that.

 

Triumph, you made a good poignant post, I'd just let this one go wherever the board takes it.

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I love Elias.  He's such a no bullsh!t player. 

I can't ever read him - but he's very honest on ice. 

He's got an unreasonable temper - but he can almost always suck it up and make it about hockey.

 

Because I cannot read him he seems simply devoted to hockey.  Nothing is personal - it's all about the hockey. Bad hockey is something to take personally -- but not much else. Because he's so hard on himself, he most definitely has strong opinions about sh!t hockey players.  I'm not sure how much he really says though.  And whatever he would say probably is too true and makes things worse...

 

Anyhow - the thread is stating the obvious and I'm sure everyone has had the same cathartic moment that inspired the post.  Fact is who gives a fvck if nothing can be done about it?  If there is no Elias type available there is nothing to be done.  Saying you must look to the draft ... I think I would respect the thought more if I hadn't truly JUST READ quite a few tri posts saying how the draft is kind of meaningless until after the fact -- when it becomes even MORE meaningless.  You do NOT know what you're getting.  There are NO guarantees no matter WHAT you think your getting.  We thought Jagr was a washed up ego maniac... 

 

The ONLY solution is knowing how to make the most of the hand you've been dealt.  It's a cop out to say luck of the draw - but to put it all on strategy is kind of the whole point.  To say the solution lies in the draft is to say there is no real solution.  Just my personal feeling.  (Ahh... heh heh  Tri had a little add on there -- hmeh.  anyhow -- you've got to post what you've got to post - leave it to us to overthink it for you or turn it into a slobbering tribute etc & so forth - like Neb00rs wrote: let it go where it wants to - that's the charm/value of the call to start a topic)

Edited by Pepperkorn
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I loathe cliches - I mean, sure, I use them plenty, but I also don't like using them without thinking.  Hockey broadcasters and hockey lifers often have nothing but cliches to offer, so I get exposed to them plenty.  One of the classic hockey cliches to say about a player is that 'he makes other players better'.  It's said about your dominant center types typically - guys who control the flow of the game when they're on the ice.  Even though Patrik Elias spent most of his years as a LW, this was true of him as well.  Lots of Devil forwards had their best career seasons playing alongside Patrik Elias.  Elias is 9th in assists between the years 1999-2000 and 2013-14, and this despite seldom playing with a player better than him.   Playing with him in his final season gave Petr Sykora a 20 goal season and has made Dainius Zubrus's numbers not look awful.

 

We've seen the deterioration in Patrik's game this year and now he's out with an injury and he's 38 years old.  Watching this team play without him - both while he was playing, he was not 'Patrik Elias', and now with him in the press box - it's a reminder of just how great a player he was.  The Devils never lacked for a first-line forward with Elias on the team between the years I mentioned above.  Stick a guy with Elias and he was going to look better, usually.  Now the only guy they have that fits the cliche on their team is Jaromir Jagr who is 43 years old.

 

These players are vital not just because they are really good, but because your team needs them for your other players to be put into a position to succeed.  Without them a team is just fighting uphill all the time.  Michael Ryder doesn't suck just because he is terrible, but also because he doesn't have anyone out there helping cover up his deficiencies and accentuating his strengths.  Reid Boucher will have the same struggles if he comes back up.  Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac can't do this alone.  Free agency offers no solutions.  Trading likely offers no solutions.  The only answer is in the draft.  We'll see what they can find.

 

Couldn't agree more.  Pretty much nailed it, and exposed the major problem we face going forward as an organization.  It's not easy to find these types of players.

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absolutely loved the way patty played the game. very competitive and possibly difficuly at times off the ice , he was pure elegance on the ice. outstanding skater, he looked like the puck was tied to his stick and could reactively find an edge in a heartbeat, and all the while never taking his eye off the play out in front of him.  not sure if I could find a skater who looked more comfortable with the puck and the confidence led to a special patience

 

zajac is the only thing we have close to him

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This post wasn't really meant to be one of the 500 other 'state of the team' posts - it was more about what we had before and what we need in the future.  Nothing on the current roster is going to change that.

 

So..what you're saying is, Lou should've traded Parise at the deadline in 2012?

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elias was the best forward this team had over a long stretch. parise, you could argue, is in the conversation but elias did it better for longer.

 

tri - you're right that people throw around "makes others better" but the term for that now is "play driver" I think. If you are a player that can do that, you can make your linemates better.

 

i agree the devils do not really have these types of players right now and the draft is where they'll have to get them.

 

as for msweet - that's a pretty big nugget that I'd like to discuss further. i would've loved if i still had someone like anton to give me some inside perspective but i don't. the losing obviously breeds negativity but part of that could also be because the devils as an organization can often stifle "fun". that's something anton always said. it's all business with this team.

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Sorry for the delayed response everyone...busy time of the year

 

 

Was there any indication that it had to do with the coaching, or did you get a sense it was more frustration with the front office?  From what you hear, the players think DeBoer is a good coach.

 

He said players have little or no contact with the front office. There is no frustration with the coach but the team has turned very negative. He said DeBoer is super smart and approachable. (I won't repeat what I said about Sutter and he agreed)

With that being said, he said there needs to be a fresh start... trades, coach, etc.. all in play

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as for msweet - that's a pretty big nugget that I'd like to discuss further. i would've loved if i still had someone like anton to give me some inside perspective but i don't. the losing obviously breeds negativity but part of that could also be because the devils as an organization can often stifle "fun". that's something anton always said. it's all business with this team.

 

 

He really just spoke about when a team loses it gets really down and this team just can't seem to come out of it. What they are going through now remindes him of the John MacLean time...and that should say a lot.

He said it's a great group of guys and they are really a bit surprised it isn't going so well.

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What really struck me about Patrik, was how humble, soft spoken, thoughtful and honest he was.

 

I could not be more impressed with him and he is truly what Lou means by having players with real character

 

And BTW, I didn't ask him to sign anything (I have a good collection of his stuff already) but he insisted and handed me a few posters which he signed.


And for those of you that have Facebook

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204700825673009&set=a.4516587805250.2168982.1607395833&type=1&theater

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Sorry for the delayed response everyone...busy time of the year

He said players have little or no contact with the front office. There is no frustration with the coach but the team has turned very negative. He said DeBoer is super smart and approachable. (I won't repeat what I said about Sutter and he agreed)

With that being said, he said there needs to be a fresh start... trades, coach, etc.. all in play

Very interesting. I highly value Patty's perspective on things, as he is one of the few guys who 'gets it'.
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