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The New Jersey Devils 2021-22 Regular Season Thread


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15 hours ago, MB3 said:

In what universe is "you're a lawyer" a low blow? I wish people confused me with a lawyer! 

I don't know what to tell you -- it is literally impossible to watch Legally Blonde too many times.

When I still lived in Boston and people visited me and we went to Harvard Yard I would always say "and this is where they filmed Legally Blonde".

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2 minutes ago, bostondevil11 said:

When I still lived in Boston and people visited me and we went to Harvard Yard I would always say "and this is where they filmed Legally Blonde".

That sounds about right. 

Definitely read that as Haahvad Yaaahd. 

Edited by mfitz804
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16 minutes ago, Satans Hockey said:

Certainly looking like Bernier will be in net tomorrow... 

 

It sure does. At least that will validate my purchase of his signed puck lol. 

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I wonder if Blackwood will get a conditioning stint in the AHL when his heel is ready to go. From my memory didn’t he only have 20 minutes of ice time in the preseason? He was supposed to go 40 minutes in the cancelled game I believe. If he does go down for 2-3 games that would mean Bernier and Wedge are the tandem for the first week or so. 

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Not sure where to put this so I'll just write it here. Before the Devils season every year I look for big Devils games on youtube and watch them in their entirety in the several days leading up to the start of the season. I have them on in the background and work while watching them. It's fun.

I just finished watching 1995 ECF game 6 at home, where the Devils beat Philly to advance to their first ever Stanley Cup Final. Bill Clement wouldn't shut the fvck up about how "these same Devils had the Rangers on the rope last year and let them off the hook". But the single most interesting thing came AFTER the game, Stevens was being interviewed on the ice and he had this to say:

"They're (the Flyers) a really young team. They're going to be really good for a while. For us, we're running out of time, so it's nice to get to the next step." 

I was born in 1991, I don't remember anything about 1995 but I've watched every game and know/love that team. But in my head, that team -- really starting in 1993 -- was so, so young and had such a bright future ahead of them. Like, when I picture that team I sorta picture this 2021 team in terms of age: "we're going to be good for a long time" or something like that. It's wild to me that Stevens was already 32. Of course, the Devils went on to win 3 cups and the Flyers went on to win a whole lot of nothing (in large part because of these Devils), but I'm curious for the "older" fans (not that 1995 was thaaaaat long ago) -- was the mood of the fans sorta "ok we gotta get this done now because our window is closing" as Scotty mentioned in the on-ice interview? Did it surprise you all that the dominance not only lasted but actually grew over those next nine years?  

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45 minutes ago, MB3 said:

was the mood of the fans sorta "ok we gotta get this done now because our window is closing" as Scotty mentioned in the on-ice interview? Did it surprise you all that the dominance not only lasted but actually grew over those next nine years?  

I’ll be totally honest- for me, it was ‘win, or I’m afraid the franchise is moving’. Nashville was lurking big-time in the background. That Cup saved hockey in NJ.

Edited by MadDog2020
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12 minutes ago, MB3 said:

Not sure where to put this so I'll just write it here. Before the Devils season every year I look for big Devils games on youtube and watch them in their entirety in the several days leading up to the start of the season. I have them on in the background and work while watching them. It's fun.

I just finished watching 1995 ECF game 6 at home, where the Devils beat Philly to advance to their first ever Stanley Cup Final. Bill Clement wouldn't shut the fvck up about how "these same Devils had the Rangers on the rope last year and let them off the hook". But the single most interesting thing came AFTER the game, Stevens was being interviewed on the ice and he had this to say:

"They're (the Flyers) a really young team. They're going to be really good for a while. For us, we're running out of time, so it's nice to get to the next step." 

I was born in 1991, I don't remember anything about 1995 but I've watched every game and know/love that team. But in my head, that team -- really starting in 1993 -- was so, so young and had such a bright future ahead of them. Like, when I picture that team I sorta picture this 2021 team in terms of age: "we're going to be good for a long time" or something like that. It's wild to me that Stevens was already 32. Of course, the Devils went on to win 3 cups and the Flyers went on to win a whole lot of nothing (in large part because of these Devils), but I'm curious for the "older" fans (not that 1995 was thaaaaat long ago) -- was the mood of the fans sorta "ok we gotta get this done now because our window is closing" as Scotty mentioned in the on-ice interview? Did it surprise you all that the dominance not only lasted but actually grew over those next nine years?  

I was in the same boat as Maddog. The team was so close to moving. A cup didn’t even guarantee them staying. So when they won, I was more thinking that I was glad I got to see it. Then 1996 they missed the playoffs, then flunked out early in 97, 98, and 99 and it really did look like it was all over. 

I honestly never expected 2000 because I thought our best chance for another cup was with that Gilmour/Andreychuk team in the late 90’s

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15 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

I’ll be totally honest- for me, it was ‘win, or the I’m afraid the franchise is moving’. Nashville was lurking big-time in the background. That Cup saved hockey in NJ.

I distinctly remember trying to figure out what I was going to do when they moved. Back then in the infancy of the internet, it would have been very difficult to follow the team in Nashville. I probably would have wound up an Islanders fan. 

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5 minutes ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

I was in the same boat as Maddog. The team was so close to moving. A cup didn’t even guarantee them staying. So when they won, I was more thinking that I was glad I got to see it. Then 1996 they missed the playoffs, then flunked out early in 97, 98, and 99 and it really did look like it was all over. 

I honestly never expected 2000 because I thought our best chance for another cup was with that Gilmour/Andreychuk team in the late 90’s

One of my earliest hockey memories is Jagr scoring with a minute left and then again in overtime in 1999. That finished up a back-to-back losing to the 8 seed as a 1 seed, right? 

When you hear players talk about what was missing in 97-99 AND what was missing in 2001, they all say it was Pepe. Scott Gomez even went as far to say if the Devils paid him what he wanted instead of letting him go to Phoenix, they "win in 5 games against Colorado." 

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One of the big things I noticed in 95 was the lack of advertisements for renewing season tickets.  I was dreading MacMullin still making the move even after they won the cup.  I have stated that 95 was not as an enjoyable a season that it could have been for the Nashville rumors.  (It still was very enjoyable but I could have done without the drama of a potential move)

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20 minutes ago, MB3 said:

One of my earliest hockey memories is Jagr scoring with a minute left and then again in overtime in 1999. That finished up a back-to-back losing to the 8 seed as a 1 seed, right? 

When you hear players talk about what was missing in 97-99 AND what was missing in 2001, they all say it was Pepe. Scott Gomez even went as far to say if the Devils paid him what he wanted instead of letting him go to Phoenix, they "win in 5 games against Colorado." 

Yeah I was at game 5 for that 1999 series. Stevens scored a nice goal and the Devils went up 3-2 in the series. Jagr did his thing in Game 6 and then we lost Game 7 at home. 

I absolutely hated when we lost Lemieux in 1995. I liked Steve Thomas but he was no Claude Lemieux. Plus the Isles got Wendel Clarke out of that deal if I remember right. We should have just gave Claude the money. McMullen was public enemy number one at that point between Nashville threats and playing hardball with Marty and Lemieux that off season. 

I remember him slipping on the ice at the banner raising the next season and the crowd went nuts. 

Edited by Devil Dan 56
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24 minutes ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

Yeah I was at game 5 for that 1999 series. Stevens scored a nice goal and the Devils went up 3-2 in the series. Jagr did his thing in Game 6 and then we lost Game 7 at home. 

I absolutely hated when we lost Lemieux in 1995. I liked Steve Thomas but he was no Claude Lemieux. Plus the Isles got Wendel Clarke out of that deal if I remember right. We should have just gave Claude the money. McMullen was public enemy number one at that point between Nashville threats and playing hardball with Marty and Lemieux that off season. 

I remember him slipping on the ice at the banner raising the next season and the crowd went nuts. 

What happened was Lou had faxed Lemieux an extension (which he had agreed to but didn't sign right away), with Lemieux coming off a pair of not-great regular seasons...then he goes nuts in the playoffs and wins the Conn Smythe, and basically decides he wants to renegotiate.  You can imagine how that went over with Lou.

So though I can see why Lou was ticked, losing Claude definitely hurt.  Thomas just didn't fit in here at all...the guy I would've liked was Clark, but not like he didn't have a ton of injury issues throughout his career.  

33 minutes ago, Rock said:

One of the big things I noticed in 95 was the lack of advertisements for renewing season tickets.  I was dreading MacMullin still making the move even after they won the cup.  I have stated that 95 was not as an enjoyable a season that it could have been for the Nashville rumors.  (It still was very enjoyable but I could have done without the drama of a potential move)

There's a part of me that never fully forgave Lou and McMullen for all of that.  You are 100% right, the specter of a move absolutely hung over everything that was happening, full black-cloud.  I was able to block that out most of the time, but it sucked knowing that the team could've just bolted right after winning a championship...especially for those of us who had been supporting them for several years at that point.  I don't know what the hell I would've done, who I would've followed had that happened.  I've mentioned it before, but the rumor was that the Whalers would've moved into the Meadowlands, instead of going to Carolina.  The funny thing I can see the NHL not being all that eager to put another team in NJ...between the Rangers, Isles, and Flyers, it's not like the area necessarily NEEDED a replacement for the Devils.  But suffice it to say their leaving here never came to pass (a beautiful BEAUTIFUL thing).  

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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I remember the 95 run and late 90's fairly well and I do not recall the feeling of the window closing.  However, missing the 96 playoffs and the duds that were 98 and 99 felt like things were starting to wind down instead of going up.  I remember in 1999 that the Pens had a better team than the standings showed but the issue with the Devils was that they let Barnaby get to them and a lot of the Devils higher-end offensive talent was still fairly young and inexperienced (Sykora, Elias, etc).

The other thing was that we also had plenty of players between 95 and 99 who just didn't want to be here.  Lemieux left because he wanted to and found the loophole with the faxed signature excuse.  Broten never liked it here, MacLean asked for a trade when his role was reduced, Tikkanen didn't want to be here and neither did Housley.  Guerin and others such as Morrison got into contract disputes and guys like Andreychuk and Gilmour bolted as soon as they were able to.

IMO, the two things that stopped that bleeding was 1) Lemaire knowing his time was up and stepping aside.  A lot of higher-end players and vets didn't take too well with the Devils defensive-minded scheme and hiring Ftorek and his more offensive-minded coaching style made it more palatable.  The other was the shrewd acquisitions and drafts Lou made.  Colin White started coming in, Sykora and Elias started to get things going, Arnott trade was starting to pay off, the drafting of Gomez, and the trades for Lemieux, Mogilny, and to an extent Malakhov definitely helped.

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1 minute ago, DevsMan84 said:

I remember the 95 run and late 90's fairly well and I do not recall the feeling of the window closing.  However, missing the 96 playoffs and the duds that were 98 and 99 felt like things were starting to wind down instead of going up.  I remember in 1999 that the Pens had a better team than the standings showed but the issue with the Devils was that they let Barnaby get to them and a lot of the Devils higher-end offensive talent was still fairly young and inexperienced (Sykora, Elias, etc).

The other thing was that we also had plenty of players between 95 and 99 who just didn't want to be here.  Lemieux left because he wanted to and found the loophole with the faxed signature excuse.  Broten never liked it here, MacLean asked for a trade when his role was reduced, Tikkanen didn't want to be here and neither did Housley.  Guerin and others such as Morrison got into contract disputes and guys like Andreychuk and Gilmour bolted as soon as they were able to.

IMO, the two things that stopped that bleeding was 1) Lemaire knowing his time was up and stepping aside.  A lot of higher-end players and vets didn't take too well with the Devils defensive-minded scheme and hiring Ftorek and his more offensive-minded coaching style made it more palatable.  The other was the shrewd acquisitions and drafts Lou made.  Colin White started coming in, Sykora and Elias started to get things going, Arnott trade was starting to pay off, the drafting of Gomez, and the trades for Lemieux, Mogilny, and to an extent Malakhov definitely helped.

You're right about Lemieux, I'd forgotten about that "signed fax" loophole.  

The 99 team had a habit of blowing leads here and there...Game 5 of their series against the Pens was an example of that...and a sign of general inexperience.  Brodeur also had a meh enough series that SI wrote a blurb about how Marty's career had hit a bit of a crossroads at that point.

Ftorek's style was more fun for the players, but they couldn't stand him (and this was a problem for Robbie throughout his career as an NHL coach).  I read some of the stories and you could see why he aggravated his team.  But Larry Robinson was 100% the right guy at the right time, to take over for the exiled Ftorek, and lead the Devils to two straight SCF.  And then Burns was just as right for the 2003 team.  

Yeah some solid building from within for sure (and pieces from that pipeline to use in deadline deals)...when that pipeline stopped producing talent, we saw how it went.  

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2 hours ago, MB3 said:

One of my earliest hockey memories is Jagr scoring with a minute left and then again in overtime in 1999. That finished up a back-to-back losing to the 8 seed as a 1 seed, right? 

When you hear players talk about what was missing in 97-99 AND what was missing in 2001, they all say it was Pepe. Scott Gomez even went as far to say if the Devils paid him what he wanted instead of letting him go to Phoenix, they "win in 5 games against Colorado." 

I'm not so sure about that mostly because Marty (somewhat quietly and propped up by an excellent hockey team) was very up and down for just about all of the 2000-01 regular season and postseason combined...and he really bottomed out in the SCF.  If you got the playoff Marty of 1995, 2000 or 2003, then I still think there's a chance that the 2001 team stubbornly finds a way to get it done, even without Lemieux...but it's also fair to say that the 2001 team had just kinda bottomed out in general, after being so damned good for much of the year.  They managed only 11 goals for the series (held to one goal or less in four of the seven games).  What's weird is that the Devils entered that SCF on a roll...had won 6 out of 7 and had outscored their opponents 26-10...yeah, Pittsburgh was oddly disinterested for most of that series, but I didn't see the Devils' offense just disappearing the way that it did.

Guess one can wonder if Claude was that needed missing element.  

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Yeah I would say the 2001 team lost the cup for 3 main reasons: 1) They got cocky after game 5 2) Marty was not good that entire year and run and 3) Mogilny disappeared after the second round (12 pts in 13 games in Rounds 1&2, 4 points in 12 games in rounds 3&4).

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18 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I'm not so sure about that mostly because Marty (somewhat quietly and propped up by an excellent hockey team) was very up and down for just about all of the 2000-01 regular season and postseason combined...and he really bottomed out in the SCF.  If you got the playoff Marty of 1995, 2000 or 2003, then I still think there's a chance that the 2001 team stubbornly finds a way to get it done, even without Lemieux...but it's also fair to say that the 2001 team had just kinda bottomed out in general, after being so damned good for much of the year.  They managed only 11 goals for the series (held to one goal or less in four of the seven games).  What's weird is that the Devils entered that SCF on a roll...had won 6 out of 7 and had outscored their opponents 26-10...yeah, Pittsburgh was oddly disinterested for most of that series, but I didn't see the Devils' offense just disappearing the way that it did.

Guess one can wonder if Claude was that needed missing element.  

As Gomer tells it, that 2001 team was a little bit overconfident. Despite the fact that Colorado had a better season, despite the fact that Colorado was heavily favored, the team was like "yea this is ours." He said after the game 5 win, the feeling was "hey, awesome, now we get to win it in front of the fans." Even after the game, he said the feeling was "yea that's annoying that we've gotta travel back to Colorado, but there's no way we're actually gonna lose". He said Pepe was a HUGE voice in the locker room, and underrated in terms of how much he meant to the team during their runs at staying focused -- Stevens was more of a "lead by example" and "lead in practice", but Pep was the guy telling people not to get ahead of themselves. 

One of the interesting things he tells that fans probably don't give enough thought to is -- as he explains it -- the real reason the team lost the Stanley Cup that year... the first round matchup. The Devils were up 3-0 on Carolina and totally took their foot off the gas. Gomez said the feeling in the locker room was "we can beat these guys in our sleep". When they lost game 4 to Carolina in Raleigh, the room was actually laughing and relaxed -- too relaxed -- just saying "ah yea we'll wrap this up in game 5 at home". When they go lose that game, they have to fly back to raleigh, win, fly back to NJ and then face the very rested Maple Leafs. It kind of set the tone for a little bit of a slump going into the final two rounds, and every little bit helps. 

Edited by MB3
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3 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Yeah I would say the 2001 team lost the cup for 3 main reasons: 1) They got cocky after game 5 2) Marty was not good that entire year and run and 3) Mogilny disappeared after the second round (12 pts in 13 games in Rounds 1&2, 4 points in 12 games in rounds 3&4).

EDIT: nevermind

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1 minute ago, DevsMan84 said:

Yeah I would say the 2001 team lost the cup for 3 main reasons: 1) They got cocky after game 5 2) Marty was not good that entire year and run and 3) Mogilny disappeared after the second round (12 pts in 13 games in Rounds 1&2, 4 points in 12 games in rounds 3&4).

Brodeur wasn’t Brodeur, but still had a 2.07 GAA and 4 shutouts in the playoffs.

We scored two goals in the 4 games that Colorado won in the finals. Not saying Marty was great, he gave up a lot in a couple of those games, but you can’t score 2 goals in 4 games in the finals and think you are going to win. 

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Just now, MB3 said:

You can't make a list without also saying 4. they played the SCF without their best player, Scott Niedermayer. I know Sakic wound up missing some time, too, but that Avelanche team was LOADED up front, and the Devils really were pretty thin at the blueline when their biggest minute eater went down. 

Niedermayer actually came back for rounds 3 & 4 that year (he recorded 2 assists in the finals).  He was only out the rest of the Leafs series.

IIRC Sakic didn't miss any time in their run, but they were without Forsberg for rounds 3 & 4 due to believe either a ruptured appendix or spleen.

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Just now, DevsMan84 said:

Niedermayer actually came back for rounds 3 & 4 that year (he recorded 2 assists in the finals).  He was only out the rest of the Leafs series.

IIRC Sakic didn't miss any time in their run, but they were without Forsberg for rounds 3 & 4 due to believe either a ruptured appendix or spleen.

I misremembered and edited the post, you're 100% right. And it was Forsberg, not Sakic. 

I was 9 so you'll have to forgive the memory :P 

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Just now, mfitz804 said:

Brodeur wasn’t Brodeur, but still had a 2.07 GAA and 4 shutouts in the playoffs.

We scored two goals in the 4 games that Colorado won in the finals. Not saying Marty was great, he gave up a lot in a couple of those games, but you can’t score 2 goals in 4 games in the finals and think you are going to win. 

Brodeur had an .870 save % in the SCF that year.  That's terrible.  Roy had an .938 save % and saw 32 more shots over that series.

Not saying our offense sputtering out that series didn't have an effect (that is why I mentioned Mogilny as our secondary scoring dried up), but Brodeur was thoroughly outplayed.

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