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GDT: 11/20/17 NJ Devils @ Minnesota


CommonDreads
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LGD, let's get back on track with a W tonight and take 5 points out of 8 on this road trip. Zacha back in, Rico on the 4th line, Noesen out.

Hall - Hischier - Palmieri
Zacha - Zajac - Bratt
Wood - Boyle - Stafford
Henrique - Coleman - Gibbons

Greene - Santini
Moore - Severson
Butcher - Lovejoy

Schneider

vs

Foligno - Staal - Niederreiter
Zucker - Granlund - Koivu
Winnik - Eriksson Ek - Kunin
Stewart - Cullen - Ennis

Suter - Spurgeon
Brodin - Dumba
Quincey - Reilly

Dubnyk

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8 minutes ago, RunninWithTheDevil said:

Need a win tonight. Can't let this great start get away from us

This was going to be a tough trip.  I was looking for 3-4 points going in.   

Serious kudos to John Hynes and the fact that the Devils are taking a "We consider ourselves to be a better team now, so YOU need to play better to stick around...no more 'Well we're not really playing for anything this season, so we can live with some of you not producing for the moment' mentality" approach to 2017-18.  If guys like Zacha and Henrique need to be challenged, then so be it...I have no problem with this team raising expectations of its personnel.   

LGD!!!

 

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10 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

I'm not really digging Zacha's mentality from the quotes in this article: http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2017/11/devils_pavel_zacha_out_to_prove_what_he_can_do.html#incart_river_index

 

 

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Im more concerned that the agent he is getting advice from was the biggest flop there was lol

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1 hour ago, Jas0nMacIsaac said:

Zacha on the wing should prove to be the correct move furthering his development. He just doesn't have the hockey sense to be an offensive contributor at center. 

I was thinking the same thing.  When I saw the lineup I initially looked at it funny for just a second, but then when I thought about it it seemed like the right thing to do.  Put him on the wing where there's less pressure, he won't have to worry about faceoffs, and we can have him just try to do some work along the boards and cycle the puck. 

Let's play a full 60 minutes - would be nice to get a win today and Wednesday and start a nice little streak heading into the holiday weekend.

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2 points tonight makes this road trip a positive one.  I'm feeling a response game.  Something just feels different this year, like they are actually breaking down the films of the issues and they are heading in the right direction of correcting things. 

 

But a win tonight and some momentum to come home with. 

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36 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

I'm not really digging Zacha's mentality from the quotes in this article: http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2017/11/devils_pavel_zacha_out_to_prove_what_he_can_do.html#incart_river_index

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

What didn't you like about it? I may have interpreted it differently, but to me, those quotes suggest that he had the wrong mentality beforehand, and is trying to change that. Zacha is a textbook example of a player with all the tools: big, strong, good skater, great shot, good hands, etc. That's probably enough to get by in juniors without needing a developed hockey IQ (and that's not to say Zacha doesn't or won't have that) or to play with high intensity every shift. Maybe he was saying that in the previous leagues, expectations were lower and he could afford to have a bad couple of games here and there. He could have let himself get lazy at times, or tone down the intensity when the urgency wasn't there, whether that's a result of the coaching or his own mentality is another story. But he's probably realizing now that this does not cut it at the NHL level. It kind of explains how Zacha was so inconsistent for much of his junior career. There were lackluster stretches, and then times where he was absolutely dominant, both offensively and defensively (shutting down McDavid's line in the '15 playoffs, for example). These quotes, to me, say, "My head wasn't in the right place to start this season. I'm now trying to do what it takes to be an NHL regular." Obviously, you don't like it when a player comes in with that mentality, but realizing how he needs to change is a step in the right direction.

I will admit that for certain players that I really want to be good for the Devils, I may give them benefit of the doubt too much. So, I am curious to hear what your thoughts were.

Regardless, this is why I like how Hynes is handling this situation. For a player with inconsistency issues, "just play them!" isn't always the best solution. Zacha needs to realize that there are consequences to not contributing where he should be, and for Hynes to achieve this in a supportive and motivating way shows that he's doing a good job.

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Agree with nessus, I see it more as a guy who's realizing that what he did against lesser competition won't be good enough up here.

As far as Stefan goes, sometimes the guys who can give you the best advice are the ones who learned from their mistakes too late, and don't want to see others make similar mistakes.  Stefan might be the perfect guy to tell Zacha "Do you want to have a NHL career like mine?  Then you need to start approaching the game at this level differently!" 

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What didn't you like about it?

I didn't like the fact that he thinks he can let up. He obviously has the mentality that he could cruise in juniors sometimes and it would be no big deal. And he obviously seems to think the same thing about the NHL, which, as he's finding out, isn't the case. He seems to have a 'well, this is good enough' type of attitude. I hope this is the start of an attitude adjustment on Zacha's behalf, but it's obvious from those quotes that after a year+ in the league, he still hasn't gotten it. Hopefully he does now. We'll see starting tonight. 

 

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