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Kinkyisth3b3st

The Pavel Zacha Thread

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Zacha can't be sent down without waivers.  The idea that Quenneville is better than Zacha is a weird kind of blindness.

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2 hours ago, CommonDreads said:

That’s the thing though, he can and is contributing here already. He’s one of the best penalty killers on the 2nd best penalty kill in the NHL, and I’m not sure which games he’s really costed us this season. If people are claiming that Zacha lost us the Vegas game because of one turnover, I think that’s a red herring to distract from the fact that Kinkaid gift wrapped two goals for the Knights and the Devils spent at least 30 minutes of that game playing prevent defense for no reason.

So are Andy Greene and Ben Lovejoy. Doesn’t mean they don’t suck either. 

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11 hours ago, slasher72 said:

A bit dated, and not directly aimed at Zacha..but this is a very good article. Kinda explains how we got here:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2299825-dave-lozos-bag-skate-how-terrible-drafting-destroyed-the-new-jersey-devils.amp.html

Off-topic: Dave Lozo is firmly on my sh!t list after killing two of my favorite hockey Podcasts.. Biscuits and Puck Soup.

Though the new iteration of Puck Soup is pretty good too.

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I think the biggest issue with Zacha is that he is a #6 overall pick that is clearly destined to be a good, 25-40 point bottom 6 guy. The issue is that that type of production while coupled with the draft position, those guys don't frequently stay with their original team. The team will more than likely want to move on from it. So it wouldn't shock me to go be a productive role player for another team. He is clearly an NHL'er, but he'll never live up to his original promise. Kinda like the first person mentioned in this thread: adam larsson! (though getting traded for Taylor Hall is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more productive than anything we can ever expect out of Zacha)

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17 minutes ago, Steven M. said:

I think the biggest issue with Zacha is that he is a #6 overall pick that is clearly destined to be a good, 25-40 point bottom 6 guy. 

I don’t think that is so clear. 

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1 hour ago, mfitz804 said:

I don’t think that is so clear. 

why? he put up 24 pts in his first year and 25 in his second year. it's already what he is.

I understand your point is that he sucks, and I'm essentially saying the same thing. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that someone who already put up these types of season could put up 10-15 more points a season on a contending team playing bottom six minutes, and I am also not implying that it is likely... just that it is his ceiling.

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1 minute ago, Steven M. said:

why? he put up 24 pts in his first year and 25 in his second year. it's already what he is.

I understand your point is that he sucks, and I'm essentially saying the same thing. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that someone who already put up these types of season could put up 10-15 more points a season on a contending team playing bottom six minutes, and I am also not implying that it is likely... just that it is his ceiling.

I should have been clearer. I have no issue with the bottom number, it’s the top number that I disagree with. You gave him an extra 15 points over what he’s done. There is no “clear” indication he’ll ever be a 40 point player. 

And, he’s on pace for 18 points in his third season and will likely have played in more games than he did in the first two years, unless he starts getting scratched or he gets sent down (unlikely because of the waiver process).  That means his production is worse in his third season, not better. 

And you didn’t say that was his ceiling, you said he was “clearly destined” for it. It is definitely not clear to me. 

I’d agree it’s his ceiling, if he figures his sh!t out, and it’s not clear he’ll ever do that either. 

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1 minute ago, mfitz804 said:

I should have been clearer. I have no issue with the bottom number, it’s the top number that I disagree with. You gave him an extra 15 points over what he’s done. There is no “clear” indication he’ll ever be a 40 point player. 

And, he’s on pace for 18 points in his third season and will likely have played in more games than he did in the first two years, unless he starts getting scratched or he gets sent down (unlikely because of the waiver process).  That means his production is worse in his third season, not better. 

And you didn’t say that was his ceiling, you said he was “clearly destined” for it. It is definitely not clear to me. 

I’d agree it’s his ceiling, if he figures his sh!t out, and it’s not clear he’ll ever do that either. 

semantics. i'm saying he's not good and if he ever turns into anything worthwhile he will likely do it with another team. you're essentially agreeing. i was obviously being generous, don't think it's unfathomable that the 21 year old forward will put up some seasons in the 30-something point range when he has already had a 24 point season at 19 years old and 25 point season at 20 years old. he's obviously an nhl'er.

my point is that in my opinion he will probably leave here eventually regarded as a massive bust and go on to be a productive role player / pk'er for another team.

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3 minutes ago, Steven M. said:

semantics. i'm saying he's not good and if he ever turns into anything worthwhile he will likely do it with another team. you're essentially agreeing. i was obviously being generous, don't think it's unfathomable that the 21 year old forward will put up some seasons in the 30-something point range when he has already had a 24 point season at 19 years old and 25 point season at 20 years old. he's obviously an nhl'er.

my point is that in my opinion he will probably leave here eventually regarded as a massive bust and go on to be a productive role player / pk'er for another team.

My point was that what you said is far from “clear”. From what I see, and based on his numbers, he’s getting worse. He could wind up in the KHL or that league where Josefson is good. 

Its not semantics, I’m disagreeing with something you said with specificity. 

Edited by mfitz804

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1 minute ago, mfitz804 said:

My point was that what you said is far from “clear”. From what I see, and based on his numbers, he’s getting worse. He could wind up in the KHL or that league where Josefson is good. 

Its not semantics, I’m disagreeing with something you said with specificity. 

it's pretty ludicrous to assume he's going to the KHL. you can look at our own roster and see that. you think he should go to the KHL while teams ice Drew Stafford and Brett Seney? He's also not comparable to Josefson in anyway. Zacha has 23 goals in 177 career games. Josefson had 20 goals in 315 career games. Zacha has 4 less points as it stands right now than Josefson had in his entire 315 game career.

Pretty silly to assume he's getting worse because he has 9 points over a 37 game season thus far. He's not that far off of the pace that he normally puts up. and again, we're both in agreement that this is decidedly not good enough for the Devils based on his draft position which was my entire point.

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I’m not assuming he’ll end up in the KHL, I said it could happen. He hasn’t proven to me he’s an NHL player. 

He compares to Josefson in that both are European and both are first round busts (at least so far). 

Why is it unfair to assume he’s getting worse? His numbers certainly are. You’re talking about his points pace, but the first two seasons numbers aren’t accurate because he was sent down and/or a healthy scratch because of his poor play. So his PPG for the first two years is artificially high. You can’t assume he would've scored at the same pace; if anyone thought that was true, he would have been playing!

Edited by mfitz804

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Just now, mfitz804 said:

I’m not assuming he’ll end up in the KHL, I said it could happen. He hasn’t proven to me he’s an NHL player. 

He compares to Josefdon in that both are European and both are first round busts (at least so far). 

Why is it unfair to assume he’s getting worse? His numbers certainly are. You’re talking about his points pace, but the first two seasons numbers aren’t accurate because he was sent down and/or a healthy scratch because of his poor play. So his PPG for the first two years is artificially high. You can’t assune he wouldve scores at the same pace; if anyone thought that was true, he would have been playing!

he's already missed five games this season. he played 69 games in his 24 point season, and he played 70 games in his 25 point season. the max amount of games he can play in this season assuming he doesn't get hurt will be 77. I am not saying that he is going to score 30 points but there's nothing that definitively states that he's 'getting worse.' he's barely off the pace that he has had over his career.

he pretty much doesn't compare to josefson at all. not sure what them both being european has to do with anything. should we compare josefson's career to elias because they're both european? what does that have to do with anything?

again, I am not trying to be a defender of zacha. don't really think it's a "hot take" to say he's an NHL player, he's just not (and likely won't ever be) the type of NHL player that you should be able to expect with a 6th overall pick.

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6 minutes ago, Steven M. said:

he's already missed five games this season. he played 69 games in his 24 point season, and he played 70 games in his 25 point season. the max amount of games he can play in this season assuming he doesn't get hurt will be 77. I am not saying that he is going to score 30 points but there's nothing that definitively states that he's 'getting worse.' he's barely off the pace that he has had over his career.

he pretty much doesn't compare to josefson at all. not sure what them both being european has to do with anything. should we compare josefson's career to elias because they're both european? what does that have to do with anything?

again, I am not trying to be a defender of zacha. don't really think it's a "hot take" to say he's an NHL player, he's just not (and likely won't ever be) the type of NHL player that you should be able to expect with a 6th overall pick.

We’re halfway through the season and he has 9 points. 21 points in the next 41? That’s a joke. He could still wind getting healthy scratched. Especially with Stafford exploding for like 3 points in the last 7 games. 

Both being European is a fact. It has nothing to do with how good or bad they are. Some are good, some suck. They are both sucky Europeans. 

Its also not a hot take to say he might not be an NHL player, half the people on this board wanted him sent to Binghamton until we realized he’d have to clear waivers first. 

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22 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

We’re halfway through the season and he has 9 points. 21 points in the next 41? That’s a joke. He could still wind getting healthy scratched. Especially with Stafford exploding for like 3 points in the last 7 games. 

Both being European is a fact. It has nothing to do with how good or bad they are. Some are good, some suck. They are both sucky Europeans. 

Its also not a hot take to say he might not be an NHL player, half the people on this board wanted him sent to Binghamton until we realized he’d have to clear waivers first. 

I specifically said he's *NOT* getting 30 points. I said he's not that far off from his normal pace. For him to be back on his normal pace he'd need 16 points in his next 35-40 games. he has 9 points in his last 27 games played. so if he comes up a few points short of  that mark we are just going to declare that he is a worse player?

them both being european is entirely irrelevant. has nothing to do with anything.

you look around at the league and see teams throwing zac rinaldo and cody mcleod out on the regular but think none of them would take this guy in their bottom six? you don't think half the teams in the league would put in a waiver claim should we be stupid enough to do that? that's silly. the devils themselves have iced the likes of blake pietila, kevin rooney, and kurtis gabriel this season. remember luke gazdic? bobby farnham? stephen gionta played 5 games for the islanders this year. it's pretty insane to think that zacha won't play SOMEWHERE for someone eventually.

anyway, we're obviously going in circles here and there's not much more to say other than i think he will be a bottom six player that fills a role. i doubt it will be for this team though. you don't think he'll even be in the NHL within the next few years. whether you're right or i'm right, it sucks for the devils.

i will continue to hope he pans out to be someone that is worthwhile for the devils but i lose hope for that with every passing month.

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I didn’t say nobody would take him. Someone would claim him on waivers and take a shot. That’s why I’m not advocating he be sent down. 

But nobody would pick him 7th overall lol. 

But that doesn’t mean at some point, if he can’t improve, nobody will be interested. 

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As far as pure glamour-number production goes...Zacha once put up 6 goals and 11 assists in a 28-game stretch from 1/17/17 through 3/31/17.  Since then?  15 G and 19 A in 111 GP.   

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57 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

As far as pure glamour-number production goes...Zacha once put up 6 goals and 11 assists in a 28-game stretch from 1/17/17 through 3/31/17.  Since then?  15 G and 19 A in 111 GP.   

CR, why is this your favorite thing to do? "Take away a stretch where he scored points, and he has significantly less points!" 

Now tell me what Brodeur's numbers look like if you take away everything pre-2010. Man, he really was a bum. 

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1 hour ago, Kinkyisth3b3st said:

CR, why is this your favorite thing to do? "Take away a stretch where he scored points, and he has significantly less points!" 

Now tell me what Brodeur's numbers look like if you take away everything pre-2010. Man, he really was a bum. 

In honor of 80's night...take a chill pill.  I'm already on record as saying that I don't hate Zacha and am still hoping that he can start becoming a more consistent NHLer (even if he ultimately DOESN'T contribute a ton offensively). 

If you have a problem with someone examining a given body of work and finding some anomalies, so be it.  Yes, while it's not my "favorite" thing to do, it is interesting to find a big surge or a valley that can throw off a larger sample (to look better or worse than it really is), relative to the rest of the sample. 

Just kinda sucks that when he was starting to tease some offense and some consistency from a production standpoint, it's been very little since.  To put it another way...you see a very young Zacha put up 17 points in a 28-game stretch (maybe the start of something good), what would you have said if someone told you "Guess what man, he's only going to put up 34 points in his next 111 GP, and not only that, he's going to find himself healthy-scratched and even sent down to Binghamton!"  You would've thought that guy was being a serious Negative Nancy. 

And not even sure why you'd bring Brodeur into this at all, even in joking/passing...yeah, after 2009-10 he wasn't what he'd been (though he turned in fine second halves in 2011 and 2012, and includes much of the 2012 playoffs), but those were his age 38-42 years.  The overall body of work from his NHL debut though his age 37 season was pretty awesome.  He'd already set several records off the strength of that stretch alone. 

 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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I don't know what it is, but I can't bring myself to dislike Zacha the way many do. I really pay attention to him every second he's on the ice; he does  good things, has a certain smart instinct to his play, is a very clever playmaker at times, plays hard, gives plenty of effort all the time... And then I look at his stats and they are what they are, it just doesn't connect for him and I don't know why. Devils players who've played worse than him have put up better numbers, but he just doesn't...

I felt the same with Josefson, found it hard to dislike him because he really didn't do all that much "wrong", and was always trying to piece it together, just never could. I never got the sense that Josefson made us a worse team, and I feel the same way about Zacha. 

He arguably has all the tools to be an effective 3rd line center for a long time, and I really want Zacha to piece it together somehow, because his leash is getting shorter and shorter. He's not that bad a player, I just don't understand why he can't put up numbers, it's frustrating.

Edited by DJ Eco
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There’s as many Zacha threads right now as he has assists...

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

In honor of 80's night...take a chill pill.  I'm already on record as saying that I don't hate Zacha and am still hoping that he can start becoming a more consistent NHLer (even if he ultimately DOESN'T contribute a ton offensively). 

If you have a problem with someone examining a given body of work and finding some anomalies, so be it.  Yes, while it's not my "favorite" thing to do, it is interesting to find a big surge or a valley that can throw off a larger sample (to look better or worse than it really is), relative to the rest of the sample. 

Just kinda sucks that when he was starting to tease some offense and some consistency from a production standpoint, it's been very little since.  To put it another way...you see a very young Zacha put up 17 points in a 28-game stretch (maybe the start of something good), what would you have said if someone told you "Guess what man, he's only going to put up 34 points in his next 111 GP, and not only that, he's going to find himself healthy-scratched and even sent down to Binghamton!"  You would've thought that guy was being a serious Negative Nancy. 

And not even sure why you'd bring Brodeur into this at all, even in joking/passing...yeah, after 2009-10 he wasn't what he'd been (though he turned in fine second halves in 2011 and 2012, and includes much of the 2012 playoffs), but those were his age 38-42 years.  The overall body of work from his NHL debut though his age 37 season was pretty awesome.  He'd already set several records off the strength of that stretch alone. 

 

I'm very chill, I was just joking around with you. 

Your entire post boiled down to "take away a good stretch of games and his stats are worse", which is silly. You do it to take away from players (Zacha) and you do it to fluff your pets (Take away the three weeks where Palmieri was invisible and he's actually at a 94 goals/season pace!).

You know i love you tho.

Edited by Kinkyisth3b3st

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Just now, Kinkyisth3b3st said:

I'm very chill, I was just joking around with you. 

Your entire post boiled down to "take away a good stretch of games and his stats are worse", which is silly. You do it to take away from players (Zacha) and you do it to fluff your pets (Take away the three weeks where Palmieri was invisible and he's actually at a 94 goals/season pace!).

You know i love you tho.

 

You too bro, heh heh.

In fairness, re:  the bolded, not really what I was going for, as much as I was going for "he simply has yet to build off his most promising stretch of production to date"...and how shocking it would have been to have looked into a crystal ball at the time and not see a surge to even rival that one anytime soon after.  There was definitely reason for hope at the time of that run, to think "This could just be the beginning..."    

Here, I'll break down the 111 GP into pretty equal samples (after that first one I pointed out):

28 GP:  6 G, 11 A, 37 SOG

Next 28 GP:  2 G, 5 A, 39 SOG

Next 28 GP:  3 G, 8 A, 51 SOG

Next 28 GP:  3 G, 4 A, 40 SOG

Next 27 GP:  7 G, 2 A, 49 SOG

You can argue that maybe the bolded was inflated by luck...Zacha shot 16.2% for that sample.  He's shot 14.3% for this latest run...maybe after shooting just 6.1% for those middle three samples, his (quite often rotten) luck is starting to turn, or at least even out some?  I sure hope so. 

The only reason I ever did anything to "fluff" Palms is because he takes a lot of sh!t here for someone who's really been better overall than we had much right to expect, and I think people forget how productive he can be when it comes to finding the net.  Guy's managed about 31 G per 82 GP as a Devil...if someone told me he'd do that when he was dealt here, I would've pissed myself.  And even with a little slump lately, he's popped in 36 goals (with 28 assists) over his last 75 GP.  That to me is also pants-wetting-worthy, especially since as we all well know, Palms is about as prone to streakiness (good AND not-so-good) as anyone...what's amazing for him over this stretch is that he's only gone more than two games without notching a point only once (four games).  We probably just saw the most productive stretch of hockey he'll ever have in the NHL...and I have to read about how he falls down or doesn't do this or that (in your case last year, how he no longer gave a sh!t and was happy collecting paychecks, when he was struggling to get into a groove after fighting injuries).  He's not a superstar, and not even truly a star...but I think he's a guy who's managing to get the absolute most out of his abilities, and gives it his all. 

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Although the "almost" joke gets thrown around here so often, I feel like "sometimes" is a better word to describe this season's Pavel Zacha. Zacha is a talented and smart player who has shown that he can play like a first line center, but he only does it sometimes. And it is done far too rarely. He has had games this season where he plays just as good of a game as anyone else on the ice, but then he'll regress for a week or two until the next time he shows up in full form.

We've seen that he's got a great shot, some pretty nice speed, and he's a very solid passer (to both teammates and opponents), all while being responsible defensively. But I do not think that he's a case of "all tools, no toolbox". Otherwise, we wouldn't see those bursts of what looks like a very strong player. In my opinion, it's Zacha's mental game that holds him back the most. It seems that there was never a time in his career so far that he has had any consistency. This has made his season so frustrating for us as fans, because we can see that there is a really good player in there somewhere.

I think he needs to elevate his intensity if he's ever going to succeed at the NHL level. He could learn some things from Coleman who really has what Zacha lacks most. It also could be that Zacha does not possess those scoring instincts that make a player like David Pastrnak so good. In contrast, you'll see Nico score a lot of goals from in tight because he can anticipate how a play will unfold, and he knows how to get to the right place at the right time. 

At the end of the day, I think all the Zacha hate arises from the idea that good teams are strong down the middle, particularly at the 1C and 2C spots. The Devils don't have that strong 2C, and because Zacha seems like the best candidate in the system for that spot, he gets all the hate for not living up to that spot. There are plenty of Devils prospects that have been far more disappointing. I'm not sure why there are all these comments to call McLeod up, who has been nothing more than an okay AHL player so far.

Despite his dip in scoring, this has been a somewhat encouraging season for PZ. He has had a couple of games this season that were far better than anything he has shown in the previous 2. He also has looked very good on special teams, both PP and PK. I do think that we will get a good player out of Zacha in time, but he really needs to put in the work.

 

 

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Just a few points to add to this:

1.  When Zacha was drafted, he was considered more of a project than many of the other players drafted around him.  He also missed half of his draft season setting him back a little.  Despite where he was drafted, his slow development in the pros shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone.  

2.  I think many times power forwards take longer to develop in general, much like defenseman.  Smaller guys are used to using their elusiveness.   In junior, Zacha was bigger and faster than everyone else so he could just go through people in Sarnia.  He moved straight to the NHL where he frankly looked timid until about 2 months ago.  Up until the recent rash of turnovers, he was playing really good hockey since Binghamton and he's been using his body much more.  He may be behind but his development has hardly stagnated.    

3.  I live in the Philly area.  Sitting around after open hockey last night, I was taken back by Flyers fans bitching about how bad Provorov has been this year.  In this day of Gamecenter, I barely ever watch the Flyers any more but it seemed to be a  pretty unanimous opinion.  Everything isn't necessarily all roses with everyone drafted around Zacha who people lament that we didn't take.   (Not happy with Nolan Patrick either😉)               

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