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The New Jersey Devils 2021-22 Regular Season Thread


mfitz804
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3 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

Thanks.  If that is the case I should be alright.  Worst comes to worst I can sign up for ESPN+ and then cancel since it appears a majority of the games are in November.

For a league that is way behind the other NA major leagues, the NHL seems to shoot themselves in the foot a lot.  Adding essentially a paywall/barrier is not how to grow the sport.

ESPN+ has a pretty big reach and base of people already subscribing. With NBA, NFL and even global soccer games, there's plenty of content that plus subscribers care about. Will that turn them into casual hockey fans, who knows. But it wasn't like the NBC deal was bringing in tons of eyes, especially when they were cutting away from the cup celebrations or even having cup games on secondary or tertiary networks.

EDIT: Also, ESPN/TNT is already spreading the wealth of what teams are featured and not doing the usual circle jerk of only Pitt/Chicago/NYR. National audiences actually get to see McDavid multiple times on TNT. Hell our band of misfits even getting multiple ESPN+ games, regardless of it being streaming exclusive or whatever, should be a big deal. The brand is getting out there and isn't an ancillary character to the aforementioned "big guns"

Edited by jagknife
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IF it took/takes them off MSG locally for these broadcast I think it drastically hurts the brand with the local causal fan who you may actually win over to attend games etc. at some point, while also pissing off some die hards. If it doesn't take them off the local broadcast but is in addition to than I would agree it can only help.  Even then though I think it's only going to help already hardcore Devils fans in out of market areas who find it cheaper than Center Ice or don't have access to it. I personally don't believe any team is winning over many/any fans by watching a small handful of games on a streaming service. That's just my opinion. ::shrugs::

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3 hours ago, jagknife said:

ESPN+ has a pretty big reach and base of people already subscribing. With NBA, NFL and even global soccer games, there's plenty of content that plus subscribers care about. Will that turn them into casual hockey fans, who knows. But it wasn't like the NBC deal was bringing in tons of eyes, especially when they were cutting away from the cup celebrations or even having cup games on secondary or tertiary networks.

EDIT: Also, ESPN/TNT is already spreading the wealth of what teams are featured and not doing the usual circle jerk of only Pitt/Chicago/NYR. National audiences actually get to see McDavid multiple times on TNT. Hell our band of misfits even getting multiple ESPN+ games, regardless of it being streaming exclusive or whatever, should be a big deal. The brand is getting out there and isn't an ancillary character to the aforementioned "big guns"

I know the amount of cord cutters are increasing, but the majority still have cable and NBCSN is part of most cable carriers basic package.  Now, without getting into VPN's and illegal streams to avoid blackouts, I pay to watch the team on basic cable on MSG and I have to pay again for ESPN+/Hulu to watch 10% of the team's games.  A lot of new fans of hockey get started because they are flipping channels and land on an NHL game.  Now, they have to basically search it out even more to access it.

The NHL should be limiting the amount of barriers to watching games given how weak their ratings are compared to the other leagues, not making more of them.

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51 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

I know the amount of cord cutters are increasing, but the majority still have cable and NBCSN is part of most cable carriers basic package.  Now, without getting into VPN's and illegal streams to avoid blackouts, I pay to watch the team on basic cable on MSG and I have to pay again for ESPN+/Hulu to watch 10% of the team's games.  A lot of new fans of hockey get started because they are flipping channels and land on an NHL game.  Now, they have to basically search it out even more to access it.

The NHL should be limiting the amount of barriers to watching games given how weak their ratings are compared to the other leagues, not making more of them.

Agree in principal, but there are also a ton of young people, and not so young people, looking around on streaming services for something to watch. I do it all the time, there are probably 20-30 shows I never would have watched otherwise.

Something to be said for being in both places and grabbing some of those srteaming viewers. 

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Just now, mfitz804 said:

Agree in principal, but there are also a ton of young people, and not so young people, looking around on streaming services for something to watch. I do it all the time, there are probably 20-30 shows I never would have watched otherwise.

Something to be said for being in both places and grabbing some of those srteaming viewers. 

I still have cable but I get the cheapest plan that allows me to watch MSG because I don't feel like spending time on searching through those illegal streams as well as purchasing a VPN so I won't get blackouts.  Last time I checked the NHL streaming app is the worst out of the major leagues and until they fix that, I won't be a cord cutter any time soon unfortunately.

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21 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

I still have cable but I get the cheapest plan that allows me to watch MSG because I don't feel like spending time on searching through those illegal streams as well as purchasing a VPN so I won't get blackouts.  Last time I checked the NHL streaming app is the worst out of the major leagues and until they fix that, I won't be a cord cutter any time soon unfortunately.

Oh me either. Closest I came was getting rid of the cable box in my spare room upstairs. Something in the wall (probably plumbing, the bathroom is on the opposite side of the wall) prevented the cable box from receiving a signal. Meanwhile, the smart TV gets the signal fine. The choices were drill a hard wire through the side of the house and wrap it around the room, or get rid of that box and use that TV to stream only. 

It’s exceedingly rare that we use it anyway (usually when someone has company and the others want to hide), and we all watch plenty of stuff on Netflix and Disney+ so we use it for that. 
 

 

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4 hours ago, pumpkin cutter said:

 

I was trying to figure out why Ellen Degeneres was holding it until I zoomed in. 

3 hours ago, MadDog2020 said:

Yeah, well he’s been accused of being a little rape-y himself, so I wouldn’t expect him to say anything else. 

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@mfitz804 @DevsMan84 Bucci  posted this. ESPN+ gets you all out of market plus other sports. I know I split NHL.tv with people but this seems like a no brainer to me now. IMO it now surpasses NBC.

 

EDIT: he didn’t just post it like my original post said, someone on my timeline quote retweeted it just now

Edited by jagknife
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Just now, Nicomo said:

Wait…so every single game will be on ESPN+? I like to DVR the games and start them late, but that’s going to make it hard to justify spending the money on Center Ice just for that. 

 can you replay the games on ESPN+? I’ve honestly never tried 

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25 minutes ago, Nicomo said:

Wait…so every single game will be on ESPN+? I like to DVR the games and start them late, but that’s going to make it hard to justify spending the money on Center Ice just for that. 

Would be a tough thing for me too, I’m almost never ready to sit down and watch at start time. 

BUT, he’s not saying every game is exclusive to ESPN+, just that they are available. For those non exclusive games, it sounds like an option, not a requirement, to watch on ESPN+. 

Edited by mfitz804
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1 hour ago, jagknife said:

 can you replay the games on ESPN+? I’ve honestly never tried 

I've only ever used the free version on Roku where you sign in with your cable subscription when I forget to dvr some of the US soccer games but there were options for replays for that and there's always other things listed for replays so I don't see why they wouldn't have it for the NHL too. 

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1 hour ago, Satans Hockey said:

I've only ever used the free version on Roku where you sign in with your cable subscription when I forget to dvr some of the US soccer games but there were options for replays for that and there's always other things listed for replays so I don't see why they wouldn't have it for the NHL too. 

Replays yes, but often when you are streaming a live event, you cannot restart it or start it late, you have to wait until it’s over and then start it. I hope that isn’t the case here. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have not been so hyped about a Devils team in ten years. Really trying to keep realistic expectations, but there is so much to love about the way this team is looking.

I think there's almost no chance that Dawson Mercer starts the season anywhere but NJ. He has looked better than most of his peers at every level, and preseason games against NHL players have been no exception. If the Devils are fortunate enough to win a Cup in the next 10 years, Dawson Mercer is the guy to win the Conn Smythe.

Holtz has exceeded expectations too. His hockey IQ has been on full display in these preseason games. I think he needs to get a bit faster and stronger, and he'll be the perfect winger for Hughes. Looking like it will turn out to be an excellent 2020 draft.

Hamilton looks as good as advertised. He's the top defenseman that this team has been lacking for over a decade. And I really like how he seems so connected with the team already, and particularly the young players. He is on board for this team's journey, and he'll be a great leader/locker room guy. Similarly, I think Ryan Graves will find his role as a highly effective shutdown defenseman. It'll turn out to be a good trade for the Devils.

There are a handful of prospects who, not too long ago, each would have looked like our top prospect fighting for a spot. All of Foote, Clarke, Thompson, and Okhotiuk have made strong cases for themselves and will be hard to cut from the team. Thompson, especially, showed what kind of NHL future he has ahead of him. Honestly, a line of Foote-Thompson-Holtz in the AHL for a year wouldn't be the worst thing.

Bernier's excellent performance against the Rangers shows he could be a 1B. 

Sharagovich and McLeod look like they have each taken a big step forward.

Outside the NHL, I'm only hearing/seeing great things about Luke Hughes and Mukhamadullin. The future of this team is in really great shape.

And probably most importantly, Jack Hughes is looking like an absolute superstar out there. I get that it is preseason, but he often looks a cut above literally everyone else on the ice. He made an impact on nearly every play. With all the talent above (and players like Tatar, Bratt, Hischier, Zacha, Smith, and Kuokkanen who we can expect to contribute offensively), he's finally in a spot where he can truly flourish. I think we'll see the Jack Hughes we were expecting when he was drafted. 

The only things that haven't been so positive are Blackwood's situation and Johnsson still looking like the same old Johnsson to me. Hopefully Zacha moves back to the LW too. When I think about what made the Devils a bad team last season, several things come to mind. One is there was no hope for a win when Blackwood was out. This will no longer be an issue (unless Blackwood's situation goes south) now that Bernier is in the mix. Another reason was how badly the team was hit by COVID-19. Dallas was another team that got hit badly - a team that made the Stanley Cup finals the year prior, but then couldn't even beat out the Preds for a playoff spot the following year. This will not be an issue this time around. The team was young and inexperienced last season, depending heavily on these same young players for production. With everyone being a year older, and bringing in veterans with a good track record, I don't think inexperience will be a weakness for the upcoming season. The team's defense was another big problem last season. Kulikov was one of the best defensemen we had. With the addition of Graves and Hamilton (basically a top pair itself), there's really only one wildcard (Siegenthaler), who already looks like he's better than last season. The rest of the defense is looking pretty solid. Lastly, our team captain and arguably top offensive contributor spent so much time out of the lineup. A healthy Nico will make a big difference. With all of these problems addressed this offseason, I don't think being a playoffs bubble team is that far out of the question. LGD!

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Regarding Mercer's increasing likelihood that he's in NJ this year, I posted this way back when we drafted him (when a whole heck of a lot of you didn't like the pick).

"So my cousin played juniors. Never big enough to make it to the show, but he has a ton of friends all around the sport. I was hanging with him at Christmas, and he had something to say that I thought would be interesting to you guys.

One of his best friends played on Dawson Mercer’s former team in the Q. He said he was an 18 year old, Dawson was a 16 year old. By midseason, Dawson was the leader of the team. Not only was he everyone’s best friend, but he commanded everyone’s respect. My cousin said you have no idea how hard it is for a 16 year old to earn an 18 year old’s respect like that, but Dawson did. 

His friend said Dawson isn’t just a future NHL top-line player. He’s a future NHL captain."

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This team needs its players to become goal scorers. Until proven otherwise we will be basement dwellers in that category.

Will jack score 20 g

Will zacha go 25g

Nico 20g

Brat 15g

Wood 20

Igor 25g

Tatar 20g

Dougie 15g

We need the above ..essentially the entire team playing their best.. Its a tough ask

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2 hours ago, EdgeControl said:

This team needs its players to become goal scorers. Until proven otherwise we will be basement dwellers in that category.

Will jack score 20 g

Will zacha go 25g

Nico 20g

Brat 15g

Wood 20

Igor 25g

Tatar 20g

Dougie 15g

We need the above ..essentially the entire team playing their best.. Its a tough ask

why do we need all of these guys to hit all of these marks? what an odd post. 

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1 hour ago, MB3 said:

why do we need all of these guys to hit all of these marks? what an odd post. 

Talk about odd. Because the teams with the least amount of goals wins the cup ?   You need to score more than your opponents. Something we've sucked at for years. Teams below nhl average in goals just don't make the playoffs much.. thats not odd thats fact. Prove me wrong. 

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1 minute ago, EdgeControl said:

Talk about odd. Because the teams with the least amount of goals wins the cup ?   You need to score more than your opponents. Something we've sucked at for years. Teams below nhl average in goals just don't make the playoffs much.. thats not odd thats fact. Prove me wrong. 

I’m just confused why you think those guys need to hit those arbitrary numbers. It seems like such an odd thing. 

The Devils need to be an above average scoring team to make the playoffs, yeah — no sh!t. I just don’t think that means they’re screwed if Miles Wood doesn’t pot twenty. 

The whole “it’s a TOUGH ASK!!” is what i found odd. The Devils need great seasons from Hughes and Smith, and then they need regular normal progression from everyone else and they’ll be squarely in the playoff hunt. 

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