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We're #28 in this preseason poll


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http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2575251-nhl-power-rankings-br-experts-preseason-poll/page/2

 

28. New Jersey Devils (2014-15 record: 32-36-14, 13th in East): This once-proud organization has missed the playoffs four of the last five years and it figures to be five out of six once Game No. 82 is over. 

Former Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero was brought in to replace team icon Lamoriello, but it'll be a while before he can fix the mess he inherited. The offense was 28th last year (2.15 goals a game) and it's difficult to see how that will improve much. After all, this team still relies a lot on 39-year-old forward Patrik Elias. Goalie Cory Schneider (.925 saves percentage) is the team's biggest strength. He will have to steal a lot of games for this team to get out of the lower tier.

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Not completely unfair.

If you look at the roster last year and compare to this year's team, there's not a ton of change. I'm a bit more optimistic, having followed the preseason  games, that this team could surprise some people.

There's so many new things going on with the Devils this year (from the roster to management to coaching style) that it really is a tough team to handicap.

As I say I'm optimistic, but this team could be competing for a playoff spot or terrible and I wouldn't be surprised either way.

Edited by devils102
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Pretty much the same as others -- I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the hunt for a playoff spot in March, of if we're already looking at a top 5 pick -- here's hoping it's the former.

 

I don't think it's at all true to say "this team still relies a lot on 38-year old forward Patrik Elias."   While he's a beloved Devil, I don't think we relied on him last year, or even the last 3 seasons really.  He's still valuable for sure, but I don't think the team would've been totally different if he weren't here.
 

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With these 9 gone from Opening Night last year (Jagr, Havlat, Brunner, Clowe, Ryder, Zubrus, Zidlicky, Salvador, Clemmenson) I think there's been a ton of change (and deservedly so) for an NHL squad of just 25 players...

 

Optimism reigns supreme now, let's see how it unfolds.  We were out of the playoffs be early-mid December last season, so if we're close to .500 in January then it will be a very welcome improvement.  

Hopefully we'll have meaningful games in February, and into March.  

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Pretty much the same as others -- I wouldn't be surprised if we're in the hunt for a playoff spot in March, of if we're already looking at a top 5 pick -- here's hoping it's the former.

 

I don't think it's at all true to say "this team still relies a lot on 38-year old forward Patrik Elias."   While he's a beloved Devil, I don't think we relied on him last year, or even the last 3 seasons really.  He's still valuable for sure, but I don't think the team would've been totally different if he weren't here.

 

 

 

Not completely unfair.

If you look at the roster last year and compare to this year's team, there's not a ton of change. I'm a bit more optimistic, having followed the preseason  games, that this team could surprise some people.

There's so many new things going on with the Devils this year (from the roster to management to coaching style) that it really is a tough team to handicap.

As I say I'm optimistic, but this team could be competing for a playoff spot or terrible and I wouldn't be surprised either way.

playoffs-meme-2.jpg?w=268

 

We were 6th worst last year and the notable changes from last years opening roster is losing Jagr and Zidlicky and we're talking about playoffs?

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playoffs-meme-2.jpg?w=268

 

We were 6th worst last year and the notable changes from last years opening roster is losing Jagr and Zidlicky and we're talking about playoffs?

 

Haiha, framing things negatively is fun!  I can do it too - NJ lost Ryder, Havlat, Brunner, Clowe, and Salvador off their roster as well.  Those guys won't play for NJ this year and we're talking about playoffs?

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Haiha, framing things negatively is fun!  I can do it too - NJ lost Ryder, Havlat, Brunner, Clowe, and Salvador off their roster as well.  Those guys won't play for NJ this year and we're talking about playoffs?

 

Haiha (sic), you can also just be argumentative and snipe people you don't like, like you always do too.  You are the same guy that said this team is in a three year rebuild/tank.  Are you changing your tune and saying this team can make the playoffs?  I didn't frame things negatively because the guys you listed didn't add any value to the team, hence Shero got rid of them.  The two I mentioned actually did produce greatly to the team's success last year and who were they replaced with?  I am more than excited to see Palmieri and I think Lou set up our D and G perfectly.  But another year of development from being the 6th worst team in the league last year with all that being said, I'd say is a top 5 draft pick.

 

 

Might want to re-read the point they were trying to make there

 

I know the people I quoted before's intention was about how this team is hard to nail down.  And I will also admit that I am not one for finding the silver lining.  But I just think it's odd to see people even mentioning playoffs after the offseason we went through.  Everyone's talking about rebuild and the dearth of talent Lou left since he left, but then all of a sudden I hear playoffs.  I know people give teams a ceiling, a floor and a likelihood for their upcoming season and they were saying it is possible to make the playoffs.  After a frustrating offseason, I just don't even see our ceiling as even a playoff team and when I saw it, my reaction was that picture.

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Calgary was going to be one of the worst teams in the NHL last year until they weren't. We added Palmieri, have another year of growth with Severson and Larsson, don't have Deboer or the three headed coaching staff. I don't think we'll make the playoffs, no, but I wouldn't be flabbergasted if we did. You point out only the negatives, that's a sh!tty way to live.

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Calgary was going to be one of the worst teams in the NHL last year until they weren't. We added Palmieri, have another year of growth with Severson and Larsson, don't have Deboer or the three headed coaching staff. I don't think we'll make the playoffs, no, but I wouldn't be flabbergasted if we did. You point out only the negatives, that's a sh!tty way to live.

 

I agree that things like that happen, I know I read an article to that affect at allaboutthejersey.com maybe a few weeks about.  The main oddity about teams like Calgary and Colorado the year before is that they had very low possession numbers but still won enough to make the playoffs.  The article that I referenced was just basically saying that hockey has a very large part of luck to it (they referenced PDO but there's other luck aspects to hockey than that).  For Calgary last year and Colorado the year before had very low possession numbers but were still able to make the playoffs.  I can't remember off hand what other examples, but of those two, there was a big part of expecting these teams to be bad because they were very young.  Monahan and Gaudreau or McKinnon had huge impacts on the team that could not have been expected.  I just don't see that kind of impact player on this team.  Baseball is another perfect example with the Astros this year.  I would say the "Anything can happen" mindset would be from a team that has the prospects that just need to finally "come-of-age."  I just don't see where that comes from here at the scale that the teams I've mentioned before would after drafting lottery picks for so many years.

 

Plato said an unexamined life is not worth living.  I will gladly examine everything in my life, the Devils included.  I may be wrong, you may be wrong.  But neither of us are living a sh!tty life if you are thinking.

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So then, how's the scouting on the top 3 draft picks for next June looking?

 

Matthews, Pujujarvi, Tkachuk, Jones, or Laine. Should be able to project better around February or March. I dont see Matthews and Pujujarvi moving from the top forward spots. Chychrun is the top D prospect ala Hanifin this past year.

 

I don't see any real possibility of the Devils choosing outside of the top 10. Schneider will steal some games, but with the lottery now deciding top 3, who knows where we end up. I think we end up with a top 5 pick.

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Who knows what will happen, maybe we'll start out strong and limp to the finish.  Maybe we'll struggle and then get better, but I remain quietly optimistic.  The defense is mobile and can pass.  The forwards are a lot faster this year too, so we'll see how they turn out.  I'm encouraged with the signing of just Stempniak and not both(he and Kennnedy).

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Calgary was going to be one of the worst teams in the NHL last year until they weren't. We added Palmieri, have another year of growth with Severson and Larsson, don't have Deboer or the three headed coaching staff. I don't think we'll make the playoffs, no, but I wouldn't be flabbergasted if we did. You point out only the negatives, that's a sh!tty way to live.

 

I get where you're coming from, but there's not a lot of reason to believe that we take a big step forward from last season. Its hardly being a negative nancy and more looking at things realistically. A year of growth with Severson/Larsson IMO is not a bright spot in terms of where we end up at the end of the season. Yes, they should get better, but expecting two young defensemen to be major catalysts in some sort of turnaround is a gigantic ask. The biggest bright spot is Schneider. The biggest hope IMO is that its not a complete loss of a season and that we do see some tangible growth to be positive about going forward, but to expect that to be reflected in the standings is overly wishful thinking. I think at the end of the day we're a team that tries hard that will have stretches of strong play, but ultimately we'll be passed by better teams. Calgary was in a much better position than us with young forwards that took great strides. Monahan and Gaudreau were outstanding. Who is our Monahan and Gaudreau? IMO unless Zacha is on the roster and plays out of his mind, we won't have a guy like them. They also had guys like Lance Bouma come up big and 4 defensemen with 30+ points.

 

Conversely, Cammalleri is a year older and will not play the entire season. We have barely any depth in respect to forwards and are counting on career 3rd liners (Stempniak/Tlusty) while great acquisitions in terms of their value should not be expected to score a lot of goals. Elias is all but done. There is just not a lot of talent in front of the blueline. Palmieri is another good pickup, but what are you expecting from a career high of 30 points on better teams? He was also a minus player on a WC Finalist last year. 

 

This team should have low expectations, any performance above will be applauded, but they also shouldnt be crucified if they play to their paper value. My biggest hope is to see the further development of Larsson/Severson/Merrill/Gelinas, and to see someone like Josefson emerge. It will take a lot for this team to be above water come the end of the season.

Edited by ghdi
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I know the people I quoted before's intention was about how this team is hard to nail down.  And I will also admit that I am not one for finding the silver lining.  But I just think it's odd to see people even mentioning playoffs after the offseason we went through.  Everyone's talking about rebuild and the dearth of talent Lou left since he left, but then all of a sudden I hear playoffs.  I know people give teams a ceiling, a floor and a likelihood for their upcoming season and they were saying it is possible to make the playoffs.  After a frustrating offseason, I just don't even see our ceiling as even a playoff team and when I saw it, my reaction was that picture.

 

My post was kind of confusing but I was trying to say that we have a lot of players on the roster that are unknowns.

 

Boucher, Josefson, Merrill, Severson, Kalinin, Gelinas, Larsson to an extent, Zacha if he's around, Moore... Until we know what kind of seasons these guys are going to have it's hard to predict where the Devils will end up.

 

I disagree that making the playoffs is an impossibility with this group if a handful of those guys pull out good seasons. And I'm talking like 8th place here, not winning the division. 

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Haiha (sic), you can also just be argumentative and snipe people you don't like, like you always do too.  You are the same guy that said this team is in a three year rebuild/tank.  Are you changing your tune and saying this team can make the playoffs?  I didn't frame things negatively because the guys you listed didn't add any value to the team, hence Shero got rid of them.  The two I mentioned actually did produce greatly to the team's success last year and who were they replaced with?  I am more than excited to see Palmieri and I think Lou set up our D and G perfectly.  But another year of development from being the 6th worst team in the league last year with all that being said, I'd say is a top 5 draft pick.

 

They are, but not mentioning Palmieri at all is dishonest, especially when if he stays healthy he will almost certainly produce more value than Marek Zidlicky will this year.  I don't think this team is going to make the playoffs or even be very good, but they've made a ton of small upgrades all over the roster since the summer began.  One of their issues is that a lot of their top players were healthy last year and that's not likely to repeat.

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They are, but not mentioning Palmieri at all is dishonest, especially when if he stays healthy he will almost certainly produce more value than Marek Zidlicky will this year.  I don't think this team is going to make the playoffs or even be very good, but they've made a ton of small upgrades all over the roster since the summer began.  One of their issues is that a lot of their top players were healthy last year and that's not likely to repeat.

 

And comparing production between a forward and defenseman isn't?  Because you just did it.  Palmieri is replacing Jagr, your golden boy (well, old man), and Moore is replacing Zid.  Furthermore, I mentioned Palmieri before you did.  What exactly was the point of your post then?  To prod someone?

 

Where are the "tons of small upgrades"?  Are you just going to name the people they got?  Because take it for what it's worth but Gomez did get 30+ points in 50+ games.  Bernier did get 15 goals and 30+ points in 60+ games.  While I am excited about Josefson (not an acquisition), Tlusty and Kalinin, I don't think they will be meeting that production.  So are you talking about Stempniak?  And again, that is from a team that was 6th worst last year.  Palmieri was a great pick up but with the forwards Shero has not really done anything to upgrade are most vital need.  For the D, he very well may have stunted the growth of some players with Schlemko, Moore, etc because I would have liked to see Hrarbarenka, Mozik and others up a little. 

 

I will always watch games and hope they win.  But I just think this is a lost season.

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And comparing production between a forward and defenseman isn't?  Because you just did it.  Palmieri is replacing Jagr, your golden boy (well, old man), and Moore is replacing Zid.  Furthermore, I mentioned Palmieri before you did.  What exactly was the point of your post then?  To prod someone?

 

I said more value, not more points.  And not even value in the financial sense - Kyle Palmieri, if he avoids injury, will be better than Marek Zidlicky.  He'll be responsible for more wins.  That's not even taking into account positional scarcity on the Devils and the fact that their defense is relatively strong and their forwards are a nightmare.

 

You didn't mention Palmieri in your initial post.

 

 

Where are the "tons of small upgrades"?  Are you just going to name the people they got?  Because take it for what it's worth but Gomez did get 30+ points in 50+ games.  Bernier did get 15 goals and 30+ points in 60+ games.  While I am excited about Josefson (not an acquisition), Tlusty and Kalinin, I don't think they will be meeting that production.

 

That's a fair point and one I've made in the past here.  So yeah, I agree there.  But also neither were Gomez and Bernier meeting that production again.

 

So are you talking about Stempniak?  And again, that is from a team that was 6th worst last year.  Palmieri was a great pick up but with the forwards Shero has not really done anything to upgrade are most vital need.  For the D, he very well may have stunted the growth of some players with Schlemko, Moore, etc because I would have liked to see Hrarbarenka, Mozik and others up a little.

 

That's rich coming from the guy who wanted the Devils to sign a bunch of players earlier this off-season.  The Devils signed Tlusty and Stempniak - are those massive upgrades?  No.  Are they upgrades on what was there before?  Yes.  

 

Hrabarenka is nothing special right now.  If he impresses, people can be moved so he can play.  Mozik is just a guy they found this off-season - odds are he's not an NHLer either.  I like his upside but the Czech league is pretty weak.  Players who are on the cusp of the NHL will see time in the big leagues this year, injuries happen and guys get chances.

 

In short, we agree about the direction of the season but the Devils didn't get that much worse in terms of expectations.  It's really not clear how the season will go - they will probably be bad, but they made so many changes that maybe some of those new players impress and it doesn't go as bad we think.

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If my dog would run away and that i wouldn't see him for a full week. I'd grief like a motherfvcker and move on instead of sitting outside staring at the horizon telling myself that he might come back. And well if he suddenly comes back... i'm just gonna be super fvcking happy and forget that he was even gone.

 

That's kind of my mindset for the Devils now. I'm expecting the absolute worst, not setting any expectations that could just end up pissing me off more than anything if they don't reach it.. and if they do well... well cool. 

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I said more value, not more points.  And not even value in the financial sense - Kyle Palmieri, if he avoids injury, will be better than Marek Zidlicky.  He'll be responsible for more wins.  That's not even taking into account positional scarcity on the Devils and the fact that their defense is relatively strong and their forwards are a nightmare.

 

You didn't mention Palmieri in your initial post.

 

 

 

 

 

That's a fair point and one I've made in the past here.  So yeah, I agree there.  But also neither were Gomez and Bernier meeting that production again.

 

 

 

 

That's rich coming from the guy who wanted the Devils to sign a bunch of players earlier this off-season.  The Devils signed Tlusty and Stempniak - are those massive upgrades?  No.  Are they upgrades on what was there before?  Yes.  

 

Hrabarenka is nothing special right now.  If he impresses, people can be moved so he can play.  Mozik is just a guy they found this off-season - odds are he's not an NHLer either.  I like his upside but the Czech league is pretty weak.  Players who are on the cusp of the NHL will see time in the big leagues this year, injuries happen and guys get chances.

 

In short, we agree about the direction of the season but the Devils didn't get that much worse in terms of expectations.  It's really not clear how the season will go - they will probably be bad, but they made so many changes that maybe some of those new players impress and it doesn't go as bad we think.

 

Fine, more value than the lesser player.  Palmieri is supposed to be replacing the guy you said was better 5v5 than Kovy.  But saying I didn't bring up a guy's name is kind of petty.  Do I demand people to say whenever they say the Devils made the playoffs 1 out of 5 years that they say they made it to the Finals the year they are ignoring.

 

Let's try not to strawman one another.  I said that they should be doing more.  Trade or sign, I wish they did more, I am not in the GM chair so I don't know what calls are coming in.  But since during the trade deadline, it's pretty obvious that the owners have a say in hockey operations.  That's not necessarily a bad thing since they own the product but it is a bad thing when they have a propensity to tank.  We have the cap space this and especially next year which is a commodity in the cap era and yet we have not used any of it.

 

We do agree that this team is going no where this year and yet you felt the need to still attack a realistic opinion of the team that you agree with; how does that make sense?

 

 

If my dog would run away and that i wouldn't see him for a full week. I'd grief like a motherfvcker and move on instead of sitting outside staring at the horizon telling myself that he might come back. And well if he suddenly comes back... i'm just gonna be super fvcking happy and forget that he was even gone.

 

That's kind of my mindset for the Devils now. I'm expecting the absolute worst, not setting any expectations that could just end up pissing me off more than anything if they don't reach it.. and if they do well... well cool. 

 

I love the analogy.  Especially with the here and now though.  I look outside and see everyone playing with their dog and I'm stuck inside watching football instead.

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Fine, more value than the lesser player.  Palmieri is supposed to be replacing the guy you said was better 5v5 than Kovy.  But saying I didn't bring up a guy's name is kind of petty.  Do I demand people to say whenever they say the Devils made the playoffs 1 out of 5 years that they say they made it to the Finals the year they are ignoring.

 

Let's try not to strawman one another.  I said that they should be doing more.  Trade or sign, I wish they did more, I am not in the GM chair so I don't know what calls are coming in.  But since during the trade deadline, it's pretty obvious that the owners have a say in hockey operations.  That's not necessarily a bad thing since they own the product but it is a bad thing when they have a propensity to tank.  We have the cap space this and especially next year which is a commodity in the cap era and yet we have not used any of it.

 

We do agree that this team is going no where this year and yet you felt the need to still attack a realistic opinion of the team that you agree with; how does that make sense?

 

 

 

I love the analogy.  Especially with the here and now though.  I look outside and see everyone playing with their dog and I'm stuck inside watching football instead.

 

Leaving aside your typical agenda which you managed to steer this on to, you just tried to portray the off-season as more negative than it was.  That's all.

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Leaving aside your typical agenda which you managed to steer this on to, you just tried to portray the off-season as more negative than it was.  That's all.

 

Like you said, both of us are sort of on the same ground with respect to how good this team is.  I am just pointing out that you argue for the sake of arguing because of your own agenda.  I always look forward to debating with you when we actually have differing opinions, this is not one of them.  So we can be done with it.

 

 

I'm just happy this team won't be slow and miserable like last season. Baby steps but still progress.

 

I am trying to just enjoy this myself.  It's been so long of a certain style and now I get to be interested in a whole new way of how hockey can be played.  It'll be entertaining for sure, I'm just gonna have to get used to a 6-4 game more often.

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