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Was this the worst year ever to be a Devils Fan?


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Might be the worst.  The early years nothing was expected.  I figured they wouldn't be in the playoffs this year.  I expected to be eliminated in the last week of season.(Maybe i was too optimistic.)  There sure were a lot of bad endings to Seasons though, Carolina has already been mentioned.  How about '96 all they had to do was beat Ottawa in the last game of the season at home.  Of course they sh!t the bed.

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I repeatedly punched a garbage can in the men's room at the Rock while unleashing a non-sensical string of profanity... Normally, that type of behavior would draw negative attention, and rightfully so

Easily the worst I've experienced.  The last two years, you could at least suck for a purpose and end up with McDavid, Laine or Matthews.  Now it's 50/50 whether the number 1 overall is someone who is

I enjoyed this season more than the past 2 simply for the fact I didn't wanna throw myself over the balcony watching Gionta and Tootoo every game. I'll take watching the kids play over those 2 any day

Easily the worst I've experienced.  The last two years, you could at least suck for a purpose and end up with McDavid, Laine or Matthews.  Now it's 50/50 whether the number 1 overall is someone who is bona fide first line forward, and maybe even less than that.  

Hopefully the Rangers lose in the first round, and we're picking in top 3.  Sign Shattenkirk and do a bunch of other things that none of us are thinking of and at least make the off season enjoyable.

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This is by far the worst year.   I had optimism that this team would be a bubble team; with the right couple of bounces landing a wildcard spot.    I expected Cory to have a better year, and for Hall to reach 80+pts this season.    Instead he posted a .74 per game.

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1 hour ago, Rock said:

Might be the worst.  The early years nothing was expected.  I figured they wouldn't be in the playoffs this year.  I expected to be eliminated in the last week of season.(Maybe i was too optimistic.)  There sure were a lot of bad endings to Seasons though, Carolina has already been mentioned.  How about '96 all they had to do was beat Ottawa in the last game of the season at home.  Of course they sh!t the bed.

'96 is up there...they win all of their preseason games, start off 4-0-0 (and beat the Red Wings AGAIN to go 5-1-0), and are still off to a pretty good start at 10-6-2...and then just past the halfway point, they're somehow under .500 and Lou is tinkering to get things moving in the right direction...they then go 13-3-7 over a 23-game stretch (17-6-7 if you back a little further), and it seems like the season's going to be salvaged...but then they suck just enough at the end of the season (5-8-1, including that brutal loss against the Senators) to not get into the playoffs.  Lou was pretty active in trying to get that team going...the Jocelyn Lemieux deal, bringing up Sykora (who was terrific for a while but eventually fizzled), dealing for both Phil Housley (who really didn't seem to enjoy being here) and Dave Andreychuk...Lou even rolled the dice with Esa Tikkanen (who couldn't have been less interested in being a Devil).  Was a very odd season...and very disappointing.  They really missed Claude Lemieux. 

A couple of other issues with that team:  Richer had a dreadful season (no one knew that he was suffering from depression at the time), and Neal Broten really had no business being on the Devils past 1995...he despised NJ and it just got uglier and uglier here for him the longer he remained. 

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

The white knight treatment Brodeur received that season at Cory's expense was beyond maddening.  And of course, there was the contingent of mutant Devils fans who insisted that Marty and his .900ish save% somehow knew how to win more than Cory did.  We've been over it many times and it was obviously going to be a very delicate situation (as it often is dealing with declining greats), but it was rough watching the wrong guy getting treated like "Ol' Reliable", when he clearly no longer was.  

Just another reason Patty is the greatest Devil. It was all about Marty, to some degree. He wouldn't have taken NOT getting those starts very well. sh!t, he really didn't take that season well in general even though as we've discussed here he was getting too many starts to begin with. It was never about Patty, even down to the last game here with his "last lap" where he could have played but didn't out of respect to the young guys and the Isles still fighting for a playoff spot (and the other teams around them).

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I think 96 is still worse. Coming off a great 93-94 season followed by a 95 cup and then miss the playoffs was a rough drop. 

This year the missed playoffs was mostly expected. And even though that last few weeks were historically bad, I think we were all pretty checked out for most of it. 

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4 minutes ago, Steven M. said:

Just another reason Patty is the greatest Devil. It was all about Marty, to some degree. He wouldn't have taken NOT getting those starts very well. sh!t, he really didn't take that season well in general even though as we've discussed here he was getting too many starts to begin with. It was never about Patty, even down to the last game here with his "last lap" where he could have played but didn't out of respect to the young guys and the Isles still fighting for a playoff spot (and the other teams around them).

As much as I've always been a huge Marty supporter, the end was tough to take, for the reasons you stated above (along with the excuses as to why he wasn't playing well...the Ranger debacle at Yankee Stadium comes to mind).  More and more I felt like "Please Marty, just go already."  And I hated feeling that way.

Some guys' egos just don't let them see the reality of what they've become, and their presence starts to become a problem, in that the team that clearly benefitted from certain players' peak years doesn't want to seem unappreciative and cold...and with Lou and Marty having such a close relationship, the situation here was even worse in that regard...I swear that there were times where it felt like Lou and DeBoer were damned near rooting for Cory to play just bad enough to give Marty more games...Cory deserved so much better than he got that year. 

Even in St. Louis, I think Marty kind of begrudgingly accepted that he really was finished...there was some level of delusion right up until his very last game.  It was a little sad to see. 

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8 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

As much as I've always been a huge Marty supporter, the end was tough to take, for the reasons you stated above (along with the excuses as to why he wasn't playing well...the Ranger debacle at Yankee Stadium comes to mind).  More and more I felt like "Please Marty, just go already."  And I hated feeling that way.

Some guys' egos just don't let them see the reality of what they've become, and their presence starts to become a problem, in that the team that clearly benefitted from certain players' peak years doesn't want to seem unappreciative and cold...and with Lou and Marty having such a close relationship, the situation here was even worse in that regard...I swear that there were times where it felt like Lou and DeBoer were damned near rooting for Cory to play just bad enough to give Marty more games...Cory deserved so much better than he got that year. 

Even in St. Louis, I think Marty kind of begrudgingly accepted that he really was finished...there was some level of delusion right up until his very last game.  It was a little sad to see. 

Marty was my favorite Devil growing up as a kid, and only over time did Elias overtake him for me as I grew older. I'll always love Marty but yeah, exactly. The ending just has always left a sour taste in my mouth. It just felt so god damn pointless. Like what do you really have to prove? What did he even prove to himself? "I've still got it?" No, you clearly don't. Everyone but him knew that. From the St. Louis standpoint, I understand one of their goalies went down but it just seemed to me like a sad PR move designed to generate interest. Having him play in the alumni game for this past winter classic (or whatever the hell it was, don't remember) felt even MORE forced and sad.

So yeah, while I'll be forever grateful for him and still defend him as being the best goalie ever, I'd be lying if internally at least I didn't admit he's been knocked down a peg. To me, Elias is the best. I won't even try to write out why because nothing could explain better than dr33's post from the retirement thread.

Getting on topic since I never replied, I agree with some of the posters that said 2014-15 was the worst. Did we bottom out this year, yes, but I still feel that the OVERALL direction is positive. I still believe in Shero (not sure if I believe in Hynes) but generally I have agreed with much of what Ray's done here. In 2014-15, everything felt hopeless. They forwards were abysmal. The defense was horrid. DeBoer getting fired, the three headed sh!tshow on the bench, everything sucked and there was no end in sight. At least now, I feel like we're building toward something and see some actual direction,

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On 4/10/2017 at 11:39 AM, Triumph said:

2013-14 was pretty bad watching Brodeur get lit up and still get thrown out there every other night.  It was salvaged by Jagr, but that season wasn't very fun and it had a promise of no 1st round pick at the end of it.

I agree with 13-14.   The combination of no hope of a high pick, Lou's roster full of past their prime re-treads and Brodeur acting like a child about playing time while a much better goalie sat the pine made that by far the worst season for me.  The team felt like the Calgary Flames from a few years earlier that was not going anywhere but also refused to do any type of rebuild until Kiprusoff and Inginla were out of the picture.       

I've honestly checked out the last 10 games or so but overall, I was still pretty entertained this year.  Watching Hall was a treat early in the season.   Zacha's development has been fun to watch.  Miles Wood is entertaining in a Clarktard 2.0 kind of way.   Zajac had a nice season.   Young guys like Quenneville, Blandisi and Santini look like future players.  At least there's hope,         

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2013-14 immediately comes to mind, mostly because the team was terrible and really, really old. But you also had Merrill and Gelinas looking like future top pairing guys, and there were a few big games that come to mind (and honestly, I can watch all 82 games start to finish and forget the details of most of them). I remember the comeback against Boston early in the year, and was that the year Gelinas beat the Rangers at MSG in overtime? What about the play DeBoer drew up with two seconds left in OT against Florida that was perfectly executed for a Zidlicky game winner off a faceoff? Janssen scored 3 times, and I saw the first one live in Philly. Brodeur was bad, but his last game is a fantastic memory. They finished with 88 points

 

You can argue every year since the finals run, with the exception of 2015-16, was the worst to be a fan. I'm sure the 80's were rough, but as others have said, it was just different. 2012-13 you had back to back losing streaks of 6 and 10 during a lockout year, and that team was supposed to be in the playoff picture.

 

All of that said, I can say with confidence that, as a fan since 1999-00, this was the worst season for me. This was the first year I didn't set most game nights aside to watch, and often times when I would watch, it would be muted and I'd only focus half of my attention on it. I still watched most of the games, but things felt different for me this year. I wouldn't rush home to catch the game, I'd be content catching a period or less on the radio. I've always lived and died with every goal, no matter where they've been in the standings, but things just weren't the same this year. Really for the first time ever, when they'd get scored on and lose, my reaction wasn't anger or being overly upset, I would just think well yea, the team's bad. It just felt like that was the attitude of the entire organization. It's a shame, too, because last year was so exciting and cultivated so much optimism. To take a step back is so thoroughly disappointing. And really, I think this team is as far from being a competitor as they've ever been. I think we're in for another long 3, 4 years unless they drastically restructure the roster and move Schneider and Hall. The product on the ice is as bad as it gets, and the pipeline is as empty as anyone's.

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3 hours ago, Chuck the Duck said:

It will be the worst season to be a Devils fan if the Rags end up winning the Cup.  That, combined with our suckitude this season, may be too much to bear.

I don't think we have to worry about that.  There's a handful of teams I think are head and shoulders above them.

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6 hours ago, Chuck the Duck said:

It will be the worst season to be a Devils fan if the Rags end up winning the Cup.  That, combined with our suckitude this season, may be too much to bear.

This made 1994 a sneaky bad year. It was VERY hard to take in the end. I was convinced that we'd never get to the final, let alone win one. My powers of forecasting suck, thankfully. 

Missing in '96 was bad too. In fact, I get more aggravated when there are high expectations with the team ('97, 01, 02) and they don't reach them. In years like this when it's obvious we not very good, it's easier to take a bad season.

 

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On 4/13/2017 at 4:28 PM, John Wensink said:

This made 1994 a sneaky bad year. It was VERY hard to take in the end. I was convinced that we'd never get to the final, let alone win one. My powers of forecasting suck, thankfully. 

I'm sorry, but 1994 does not fall into this category. The result sucked, but it wasn't a "bad year". We were a breath away from the Finals where we probably would have won our first Cup. There were many worse seasons than that.

Not saying losing to the Rangers was fun, but up to that point, it was our best season in franchise history, with 106 points. That was nowhere near the worst season to be a Devils fan. 

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On 4/10/2017 at 1:18 PM, Devil Dan 56 said:

I think 96 is still worse. Coming off a great 93-94 season followed by a 95 cup and then miss the playoffs was a rough drop. 

This year the missed playoffs was mostly expected. And even though that last few weeks were historically bad, I think we were all pretty checked out for most of it. 

About 1996:  the 1995 regular season was a preview of what the '96 team would play like...the 1995 team somehow managed to play like the 1994 team once the playoffs began (Marty also raised his game significantly, and the Devils' scoring went up quite a bit come playoff time).

1994 was special because that was such a huge step forward...no more middling, .500ish, fight and claw just to get into the playoffs seasons.  The Devils had never ever put up a gaudy record in their history (they were on their way in 1991-92 and were 14 games over .500 at one point, but then cooled off considerably and finished 38-30-12).  To finish with the league's second-best record felt like a serious achievement at the time.  Also, that team easily could've lost in the first and second rounds...finding ways to win against the Sabres (with a very hard-to-beat Hasek) and the Bruins (after losing the first two games at home) was also impressive.  Sure, losing to the Rangers sucked, but they were just that little bit better than that Devils that year.  Nothing bad about the 1994 season for me, even with how it ended.

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

About 1996:  the 1995 regular season was a preview of what the '96 team would play like...the 1995 team somehow managed to play like the 1994 team once the playoffs began (Marty also raised his game significantly, and the Devils' scoring went up quite a bit come playoff time).

1994 was special because that was such a huge step forward...no more middling, .500ish, fight and claw just to get into the playoffs seasons.  The Devils had never ever put up a gaudy record in their history (they were on their way in 1991-92 and were 14 games over .500 at one point, but then cooled off considerably and finished 38-30-12).  To finish with the league's second-best record felt like a serious achievement at the time.  Also, that team easily could've lost in the first and second rounds...finding ways to win against the Sabres (with a very hard-to-beat Hasek) and the Bruins (after losing the first two games at home) was also impressive.  Sure, losing to the Rangers sucked, but they were just that little bit better than that Devils that year.  Nothing bad about the 1994 season for me, even with how it ended.

One goal better. Fvck you Matteau!!!

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2 hours ago, Antiquated Colorado Rockie said:

And then to top of it off there was the episode of drafting his son who was a bust and for more salt in the wound traded him for DSP.

I was not happy when they drafted him. First of all, who gives their son the same name as themselves, which is normal, but then spells it differently? Second, having the name "Matteau" on the back of a Devils jersey is just plain wrong. I wasn't even happy about Mottau because it was too close!!

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19 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

I'm sorry, but 1994 does not fall into this category. The result sucked, but it wasn't a "bad year". We were a breath away from the Finals where we probably would have won our first Cup. There were many worse seasons than that.

Not saying losing to the Rangers was fun, but up to that point, it was our best season in franchise history, with 106 points. That was nowhere near the worst season to be a Devils fan. 

I get that. I wasn't ashamed of the team, unlike teams in the '80s. But that summer through winning the cup was HARD. Even the 1/2 cup sh*t was bad.

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4 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

I was not happy when they drafted him. First of all, who gives their son the same name as themselves, which is normal, but then spells it differently? Second, having the name "Matteau" on the back of a Devils jersey is just plain wrong. I wasn't even happy about Mottau because it was too close!!

AND that was the pick we probably should have given up over the Kovalchuk crap, but didn't, which resulted in our having the 30th pick in the 2015 draft when we would have otherwise had I think the 9th overall pick instead. That decision was just a disaster all around. I usually defend Lou's...Lou-ness, and even probably did at the time, but my god does it look terrible now.

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2 hours ago, thelastonealive said:

AND that was the pick we probably should have given up over the Kovalchuk crap, but didn't, which resulted in our having the 30th pick in the 2015 draft when we would have otherwise had I think the 9th overall pick instead. That decision was just a disaster all around. I usually defend Lou's...Lou-ness, and even probably did at the time, but my god does it look terrible now.

And people point to that decision as a win for him because they for some reason took mercy on us and gave us the pick back. We got lucky to get it back and then promptly blew it.

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