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GDT: Devils vs Lightning - 24 March @ 7p Eastern


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7 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Ended up at the game tonight. Did not get a bobblehead. Were they sold or giveaways? I saw some people with as many as 5 so I assume the former. Was a fun game to be at and I'm glad I went.

First 9k....i think they should give them to everyone but it is what it is.

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1 hour ago, Triumph said:

Summary of this post for anyone who wants it - "The Devils have kept pace with the Flyers and Panthers despite these teams going on hot streaks over the last 7 games, so if the Devils don't make it, it will be their fault".  Makes a ton of sense.  Some of you want to call your team to be chokers, I swear.

Wrong...it's the reality of the schedule now and just getting through this gauntlet at 5-2.  There's no game left they can't win now that they've gotten through this stretch, not that they will win them all but if they don't win at least five or maybe 4-2-1 that'll be a dissapointment to be honest.  That's what I mean by it being on them.  

Tuesday - Carolina, Thursday - Pittsburgh, Saturday - Isles, Sunday - at Montreal, 4/3 - NYR, 4/5 Toronto (probably will be locked into seeding and resting guys), 4/7 at Washington (see Toronto).  4-2-1 has to be the absolute worst you get out of that stretch.  Any worse and they're pretty much out anyway.

Now if they go 5-2 and Florida goes 9-0 well fine vaya con dios, they deserve it but I don't see that happening.  If Florida goes even 6-3 all the Devils need is 5-2 to seal it.  6-2-1 or above and it gets dicey but hey if they can keep winning we better do so.  You can't go 6-0 against the Penguins and Lightning then start losing to the Canes, Isles, Habs, etc down the stretch.  Especially with the majority at home.  All season long except for that one stretch in December they've been more reliable on the road than at home - now they need to win some more home games.

Edited by NJDevs4978
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19 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Wrong...it's the reality of the schedule now and just getting through this gauntlet at 5-2.  There's no game left they can't win now that they've gotten through this stretch, not that they will win them all but if they don't win at least five or maybe 4-2-1 that'll be a dissapointment to be honest.  That's what I mean by it being on them.  

Tuesday - Carolina, Thursday - Pittsburgh, Saturday - Isles, Sunday - at Montreal, 4/3 - NYR, 4/5 Toronto (probably will be locked into seeding and resting guys), 4/7 at Washington (see Toronto).

Now if they go 5-2 and Florida goes 9-0 well fine vaya con dios, they deserve it but I don't see that happening.  If Florida goes even 6-3 all the Devils need is 5-2 to seal it.  7-2 and it gets dicey but hey if they can keep winning we better do so.  You can't go 6-0 against the Penguins and Lightning then start losing to the Canes, Isles, Habs, etc down the stretch.

Yes you can, for the same reason that Pittsburgh and Tampa can go 0-6 against us, an average team, and still be top teams in the league.  That's what you're not getting here - yeah, a lot of these teams out of the playoffs are tanking and they're not playing well, but there's a lot of guys on those teams fighting for jobs who are going to play hard, and any team can win in the NHL on any given night.  Kinkaid might turn back into the .908ish guy we've known him as for the last 4 years.  People could start to get hurt.  And so on.  The Devils are an average team who are playing hard and competing hard and that's the best I can ask of them - I can't demand that they beat teams like the Islanders and Hurricanes that they really aren't much better than.

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I made it to this game too. First one in a while, and a great one to be at. Some thoughts from seeing the guys live tonight:

Nico is playing some of his best hockey lately. He's just great on the puck, and has been so effective in eluding D and protecting the puck while in the offensive zone. Positionally, he is excellent. He understands the game so well and seems to always be doing the right thing without having to think. Really blown away by his play tonight. His chemistry with Hall makes me feel so good about the future of this team.

Mueller had some shaky moments, but that's to be expected after not playing for so long. I would like to see him back next game because he deserves an opportunity to develop his game.

Zacha had a really good game tonight, I thought. He's got to finish on some of these chances, but his assist was a great play. Also, he's showing excellent vision and awareness. There were a couple of passes he made where he waited just long enough for the right play to develop. Zacha isn't known for high hockey IQ in the way that Hischier is, but the anticipation he showed in this game suggested that his hockey IQ is up there. He is able to draw players to him, which opens up opportunities elsewhere. He's starting to showcase his skills more and more lately, which may suggest that he indeed is a late bloomer.

Vatanen has been one of my favorite players this year. The urgency he plays with every night is so nice to see. Another strong game from him, and one of the best players for the Devils tonight. I never realized how great he can be defensively when he was on the Ducks. Honestly, I've been disappointed with most of the D other than Vatanen and Butcher lately.

I've been (probably irrationally) sick of Zajac for most of this year, but he really is so good defensively. When he isn't expected to be creating a ton of offense, he fits his role perfectly. I think with just a bit more talent on his line (once Wood comes back, lines will be mixed up again), it could be a scoring threat. But stopping and waiting for the other team's defense to get set every time he enters to O zone should really stop.

Grabner had a couple of really nice plays, but otherwise didn't contribute too much. We definitely need more from him, but it's not time to worry about him yet.

Not much more can be said about Hall and Palmieri that hasn't already been said.

 

Tampa better watch out when we meet them in the first round :evil:

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6 minutes ago, nessus said:

Mueller had some shaky moments, but that's to be expected after not playing for so long. I would like to see him back next game because he deserves an opportunity to develop his game.

Zacha had a really good game tonight, I thought. He's got to finish on some of these chances, but his assist was a great play. Also, he's showing excellent vision and awareness. There were a couple of passes he made where he waited just long enough for the right play to develop. Zacha isn't known for high hockey IQ in the way that Hischier is, but the anticipation he showed in this game suggested that his hockey IQ is up there. He is able to draw players to him, which opens up opportunities elsewhere. He's starting to showcase his skills more and more lately, which may suggest that he indeed is a late bloomer.

Vatanen has been one of my favorite players this year. The urgency he plays with every night is so nice to see. Another strong game from him, and one of the best players for the Devils tonight. I never realized how great he can be defensively when he was on the Ducks. Honestly, I've been disappointed with most of the D other than Vatanen and Butcher lately.

I was pleasantly surprised with Mueller...I was like really, NOW you're gonna put him in against Tampa and on the right side to boot?  Might as well give the dude a blindfold and a cigarette.  But his game was actually two-way solid.  You have to put him in again Tuesday, whether it's for Lovejoy, Moore or Severson I don't really care at this point.

I've been a bit exacerbated with Zacha (who either doesn't play well, or plays well and doesn't produce) but I did feel this was one of his better games period.  Vatanen has been unbelievable, but did I think start to tire a little bit in the third and made some questionable decisions - more than understandable on the back to back with his workload.

Edited by NJDevs4978
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10 minutes ago, Martyisth3b3st said:

Listened to an awesome spittin chiclets podcast where Whitney said that playing bad teams at the end of the year can sometimes be crazy difficult. Guys are playing fast and loose and playing for their jobs, being more risky than they normally would be, etc.

thought that was an interesting perspective. 

I mean it is but that doesn't mean it still isn't annoying to lose to teams that are getting pounded otherwise.  In fairness Florida also lost to the Oilers and Sens last week at home.  Plus the supertough games can be anything but like us at the Caps or the Panthers playing the Bruins twice in the final days cause they might be locked into seeding.  Sometimes it's when you play teams more than who you play.    

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3 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

You guys who are complaining about the Panthers are killing me. OUR team just played its ass off and beat the best team in the East for the third time. We did what we needed to do. There’s nothing we can do about the Panthers.

Be happy with the win and the two points. We lost no ground, we showed some heart, and 10 of the last 14 points while a lot of you were being crybabies. 

The problem is that out of the Devils, Columbus and Florida, only one team doesn't control it's own destiny ... that's an issue right now as well.

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6 hours ago, mort4345 said:

The problem is that out of the Devils, Columbus and Florida, only one team doesn't control it's own destiny ... that's an issue right now as well.

Can't make THAT big of a deal of the whole "destiny" thing just yet.  It's still too early to consider "What if everyone except the Devils run the table?" scenarios.  

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I was hoping hard for 8-10 points over the last eight games, and the Devils somehow came up with 10 points, in a very difficult part of the schedule that I'm guessing at least half the board thought would have effectively killed off the Devils' playoff hopes by now.  You can call the Devils a lot of things (young, a little shaky/scary at times, flawed, a work in progress, etc), but no one can say that they don't try or are a bunch of chokers.  

When you break down their schedule, you can really see how they've held their own despite having to deal with a fair amount of things going wrong.  We know they started 22-9-5.  They then went 2-7-3 in their worst slump of the season (this was right around the time that Cory stopped, well, stopping pucks).  The Devils have gone 15-12-0 since, despite getting nothing from Cory and having to ride KK by default (as awesome as Hall has been and as much as he's clearly the Devils' MVP, Devils aren't still fighting for a playoff spot without KK's from-out-of-nowhere surge).  And of course there's some other things not really going the Devils' way:  Santini and Mueller not being good enough to get locked-in playing time with the big club, MoJo missing a ton of games, Bratt disappearing, etc.  What the Devils have done is really a lot more remarkable that some realize...just the fact that they're still in playoff position and are still right there for even 3rd in the Metro really says it all.

Of course we want them to finish this thing off, but like Tri said, am I going to kill the Devils for finishing ninth and just out of a playoff spot when a lot of people were sure this team would've been dead by now anyway?  Hell no.  

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10 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I was hoping hard for 8-10 points over the last eight games, and the Devils somehow came up with 10 points, in a very difficult part of the schedule that I'm guessing at least half the board thought would have effectively killed off the Devils' playoff hopes by now.  You can call the Devils a lot of things (young, a little shaky/scary at times, flawed, a work in progress, etc), but no one can say that they don't try or are a bunch of chokers.  

When you break down their schedule, you can really see how they've held their own despite having to deal with a fair amount of things going wrong.  We know they started 22-9-5.  They then went 2-7-3 in their worst slump of the season (this was right around the time that Cory stopped, well, stopping pucks).  The Devils have gone 15-12-0 since, despite getting nothing from Cory and having to ride KK by default (as awesome as Hall has been and as much as he's clearly the Devils' MVP, Devils aren't still fighting for a playoff spot without KK's from-out-of-nowhere surge).  And of course there's some other things not really going the Devils' way:  Santini and Mueller not being good enough to get locked-in playing time with the big club, MoJo missing a ton of games, Bratt disappearing, etc.  What the Devils have done is really a lot more remarkable that some realize...just the fact that they're still in playoff position and are still right there for even 3rd in the Metro really says it all.

Of course we want them to finish this thing off, but like Tri said, am I going to kill the Devils for finishing ninth and just out of a playoff spot when a lot of people were sure this team would've been dead by now anyway?  Hell no.  

All we can ask for is 100% every night, no matter whom they play or where.  Effort level they can control; the play of other teams they can not, unless they happen to be playing them.  And they have done that.  Compete hard every night.

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15 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Of course we want them to finish this thing off, but like Tri said, am I going to kill the Devils for finishing ninth and just out of a playoff spot when a lot of people were sure this team would've been dead by now anyway?  Hell no.  

Agreed. If you finish third from the bottom and you think you shouldn’t have tried so hard so you have a better chance in the lottery, that’s one thing. But we’re in playoff position with 8 games left in the season, after having missed the playoffs so many years in a row, you can’t be upset with that. Either way, we were competitive. 

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12 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

You guys who are complaining about the Panthers are killing me. OUR team just played its ass off and beat the best team in the East for the third time. We did what we needed to do. There’s nothing we can do about the Panthers.

Be happy with the win and the two points. We lost no ground, we showed some heart, and 10 of the last 14 points while a lot of you were being crybabies. 

cmon, not mutually exclusive!!!   of course we can complain about the cats, you HAVE to.. they were down by two goals .. and it certainly does matter what they do.. they need to lose games or wer'e out..

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2 hours ago, EdgeControl said:

cmon, not mutually exclusive!!!   of course we can complain about the cats, you HAVE to.. they were down by two goals .. and it certainly does matter what they do.. they need to lose games or wer'e out..

I swear this board invents sh!t to worry about...now we're worried about the Panthers running the table with nine games left in their season?  When they're 4-3 in their last seven?  Why are so many of you constantly contemplating absolute worst-case scenarios?  Sweet Jesus.

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6 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I swear this board invents sh!t to worry about...now we're worried about the Panthers running the table with nine games left in their season?  When they're 4-3 in their last seven?  Why are so many of you constantly contemplating absolute worst-case scenarios?  Sweet Jesus.

Just worry about what you can control.  Other teams' play is beyond your control;  just focus on what YOU can do!

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15 minutes ago, aclc79 said:

Just worry about what you can control.  Other teams' play is beyond your control;  just focus on what YOU can do!

Preach.

This congregation won’t listen, but preach. 

EDIT: Glad we can agree that we, as posters on a message board, can control the outcome of our team’s games. 

Edited by mfitz804
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