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The New Jersey Devils 2021-22 Regular Season Thread


mfitz804
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I had a pretty good opinion about MacBlack, but he is off this season. He and the most of his backups. With avarage goaltending devils were in the mix still. SV%, goals against in low dangerous situatios, there are a lot of stats and if you don`t trust stats you can easily check records. 
Devils are 16th team in shots per game(17th in goals per game), and 11!!! in shots against but 27 in goals against. Defensemen did some bad mistakes(who did not) but Mac didn`t save us anywhere. Like MB3 says - no one asking Vasilevsky, but we are in position where we could win 3-5 games with AVARAGE goaltending. Of course Ty Smith ruined a couple of games.

It`s too bad it`s too late and this season was lost. Devils are nowhere too bad as a team where they are.

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6 hours ago, Guadana said:

This is what your girlfriend said to me. 

Because some minds is the only place for her to exist.

So not only i'm living rent free up there, you made up a girlfriend for me in there? Man, best. landlord. ever.

Moving on to real life. The actual girl i'm seeing is currently existing at Walmart doing grocery by the way lol. One of her friend is actually studying to be a psychiatrist. You want me to link you guys up cause you just admitted hearing voices from people that doesn't exist.

 

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19 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

Because of the subject manner or because we're both terrible in english? 

Neither, because I really like 8th grade insult battles. 

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8 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

So not only i'm living rent free up there, you made up a girlfriend for me in there? Man, best. landlord. ever.

Moving on to real life. The actual girl i'm seeing is currently existing at Walmart doing grocery by the way lol. One of her friend is actually studying to be a psychiatrist. You want me to link you guys up cause you just admitted hearing voices from people that doesn't exist.

 

It's very weak. Let's stop here. Situation push me to joke about your particular girlfriend. I don`t want it.
 

I`m really happy for you, that you are not alone. When Subban will left njd, it will be easier for her to breathe(oh my gosh, i`m so close to joke about personalities, we absolutely must stop here)

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3 minutes ago, Guadana said:

It's very weak. Let's stop here. Situation push me to joke about your particular girlfriend. I don`t want it.
 

I`m really happy for you, that you are not alone. When Subban will left njd, it will be easier for her to breathe(oh my gosh, i`m so close to joke about personalities, we absolutely must stop here)

Well to end this like true 8th graders would

"You started it" 

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23 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

Well to end this like true 8th graders would

"You started it" 

The real 8th grade response is “so’s your mother”, but I’ll allow it. 

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Blackwood is having a rough year by all accounts.  The thing that makes me concerned is that this is a downward trajectory that started even before the season started.  Therefore I am getting less and less inclined to chalk this up to some sort of hiccup this year.

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20 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

Blackwood is having a rough year by all accounts.  The thing that makes me concerned is that this is a downward trajectory that started even before the season started.  Therefore I am getting less and less inclined to chalk this up to some sort of hiccup this year.

He's got one year left...he's playing for his Devils future next season (well, duh, not like Fitz is going to be bullish on extending him if he continues to be a .900ish save% guy).  But if the Devils decide to pursue an upgrade this offseason, I won't exactly be heartbroken...I can't pencil in Blackwood for anything other than a question mark at this point.  Sucks, in that the Devils have had a hell of a time developing goalies since Marty.  Sadly the Rangers have run absolute circles around the Devils, as far as finding netminders goes.    

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8 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

He's got one year left...he's playing for his Devils future next season (well, duh, not like Fitz is going to be bullish on extending him if he continues to be a .900ish save% guy).  But if the Devils decide to pursue an upgrade this offseason, I won't exactly be heartbroken...I can't pencil in Blackwood for anything other than a question mark at this point.  Sucks, in that the Devils have had a hell of a time developing goalies since Marty.  Sadly the Rangers have run absolute circles around the Devils, as far as finding netminders goes.    

I am not sure if he is still their goalie coach, but Allaire for the Rangers used to do well at developing goalies.  It seems like we have gone through a bunch in the past 10-15 years and perhaps that plays apart.

Maybe the Devils should draft a Russian goalie soon.  Seems like all the good ones are coming from there anyways.

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

He's got one year left...he's playing for his Devils future next season (well, duh, not like Fitz is going to be bullish on extending him if he continues to be a .900ish save% guy).  But if the Devils decide to pursue an upgrade this offseason, I won't exactly be heartbroken...I can't pencil in Blackwood for anything other than a question mark at this point.  Sucks, in that the Devils have had a hell of a time developing goalies since Marty.  Sadly the Rangers have run absolute circles around the Devils, as far as finding netminders goes.    

(Russian guy nerding Russian thing)

may be if we will draft some russian goalies, some will play on the “Russian goalie level”. Russia svck at developing centers and have problems with defensemen, but goalies are on the high level, and there were a lot of very talented kids, who just need a chance and time on the ice.

I really tired from this blind shooting and want consistency from our goalies development. We could easily drafted our Czech later, and draft a couple or more Russian goalies in previous years. Some metro teams like to do that(draft or sign) and monetize that pretty well.

we could draft Shestyorkin but prefer Connor Chatham.

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1 hour ago, Guadana said:

(Russian guy nerding Russian thing)

may be if we will draft some russian goalies, some will play on the “Russian goalie level”. Russia svck at developing centers and have problems with defensemen, but goalies are on the high level, and there were a lot of very talented kids, who just need a chance and time on the ice.

I really tired from this blind shooting and want consistency from our goalies development. We could easily drafted our Czech later, and draft a couple or more Russian goalies in previous years. Some metro teams like to do that(draft or sign) and monetize that pretty well.

we could draft Shestyorkin but prefer Connor Chatham.

It's been discussed, but man have the Devils failed mightily at selecting goalies, for YEARS now.  

Goalies drafted in the first three rounds not named Martin Brodeur since 1990:

1990 Round 3, #53 OA:  Mike Dunham (394 GP)

1997 Round 1, #24 OA:  JF Damphousse (6 GP)

1999 Round 1, #27 OA:  Ari Ahonen (0 GP)

2005 Round 2, #38 OA:  Jeff Frazee (1 GP)

2010 Round 3, #84 OA:  Scott Wedgewood (57 GP)

2015 Round 2, #42 OA:  Mackenzie Blackwood (127 GP)

2020 Round 3, #84 OA:  Nicholas Daws (2 GP)

And of course, several goalies picked in the 4th round or later who haven't done much, though Akira Schmid (2018 Round 5, #136 OA) can't be written off yet (same for Daws).  

Kinda scary that the Devils got more out of undrafted Kinkaid than they did from so many drafted goalies.  

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

It's been discussed, but man have the Devils failed mightily at selecting goalies, for YEARS now.  

Goalies drafted in the first three rounds not named Martin Brodeur since 1990:

1990 Round 3, #53 OA:  Mike Dunham (394 GP)

1997 Round 1, #24 OA:  JF Damphousse (6 GP)

1999 Round 1, #27 OA:  Ari Ahonen (0 GP)

2005 Round 2, #38 OA:  Jeff Frazee (1 GP)

2010 Round 3, #84 OA:  Scott Wedgewood (57 GP)

2015 Round 2, #42 OA:  Mackenzie Blackwood (127 GP)

2020 Round 3, #84 OA:  Nicholas Daws (2 GP)

And of course, several goalies picked in the 4th round or later who haven't done much, though Akira Schmid (2018 Round 5, #136 OA) can't be written off yet (same for Daws).  

Kinda scary that the Devils got more out of undrafted Kinkaid than they did from so many drafted goalies.  

Ari Ahonen turned into a 12-time Stanley Cup champion, 6-time Hart trophy winning goalie with my NHL 2003 franchise, so I guess you can say he worked out. 

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4 minutes ago, MB3 said:

Ari Ahonen turned into a 12-time Stanley Cup champion, 6-time Hart trophy winning goalie with my NHL 2003 franchise, so I guess you can say he worked out. 

I was literally about to reply the same thing - dude was a beast prospect in that game.  

Middle school me couldn't understand why the Devils weren't giving him a shot in the NHL.

 

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

It's been discussed, but man have the Devils failed mightily at selecting goalies, for YEARS now.  

Goalies drafted in the first three rounds not named Martin Brodeur since 1990:

1990 Round 3, #53 OA:  Mike Dunham (394 GP)

1997 Round 1, #24 OA:  JF Damphousse (6 GP)

1999 Round 1, #27 OA:  Ari Ahonen (0 GP)

2005 Round 2, #38 OA:  Jeff Frazee (1 GP)

2010 Round 3, #84 OA:  Scott Wedgewood (57 GP)

2015 Round 2, #42 OA:  Mackenzie Blackwood (127 GP)

2020 Round 3, #84 OA:  Nicholas Daws (2 GP)

And of course, several goalies picked in the 4th round or later who haven't done much, though Akira Schmid (2018 Round 5, #136 OA) can't be written off yet (same for Daws).  

Kinda scary that the Devils got more out of undrafted Kinkaid than they did from so many drafted goalies.  

I mean in fairness, the Devils didn't really need to worry about drafting a goalie until.. 2010ish?

Since then at least one pick has turned into a serviceable albeit inconsistent guy in Blackwood.  Not sure where his head is at as of late though, you hope he can regain his form next year.

And then with the failed backups over the last few years.. just bad luck all around with the goaltending.  I'll fault the Devils for lots of sh!t drafting and player development for F/D but I'll give them a pass on goalies honestly.

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4 minutes ago, Devilsfan118 said:

I was literally about to reply the same thing - dude was a beast prospect in that game.  

Middle school me couldn't understand why the Devils weren't giving him a shot in the NHL.

 

I only have one Ahonen memory...when Marty missed a little time in 2005-06 (think it was knee-related?), Clemmer filled in and Ahonen was called up as a back up (obviously never got into a game).  Maybe he was just nervous, but good lord, during warmups I immediately thought "OK, so that's why he's never gotten a look".  Let's just say pucks had a way of missing him and finding the net.  A LOT.

 

1 minute ago, Devilsfan118 said:

I mean in fairness, the Devils didn't really need to worry about drafting a goalie until.. 2010ish?

Since then at least one pick has turned into a serviceable albeit inconsistent guy in Blackwood.  Not sure where his head is at as of late though, you hope he can regain his form next year.

And then with the failed backups over the last few years.. just bad luck all around with the goaltending.  I'll fault the Devils for lots of sh!t drafting and player development for F/D but I'll give them a pass on goalies honestly.

The Devils drafted Damphousse and Ahonen because they weren't 100% sure about Marty's future (remember that his first round of contract negotiations, with Gilles Lupien as his agent, were very acrimonious...this was after winning the '95 Cup)...both Marty and Lupien were so pissy about how it all went down that Marty went on record as saying that he'd never sign another deal with the Devils.  Cooler heads clearly prevailed, and by the time Marty was up for another deal, Lou and Marty's relationship was much improved, to the point where Lou told Marty that he wouldn't deal with Lupien again, Lou and Marty were able to negotiate a deal without Lupien's involvement, and then Lupien and Marty parted ways.  (Lupien was furious with Marty for coming to terms without him...how it all went down is in Beyond The Crease).

Also, not like there were any guarantees that Marty would enjoy such insane longevity...if anything, he really helped the Devils get off the hook, in that those failed goalie picks REALLY could've bit them in the ass if not for Marty's prime being so damned long...no one could have predicted he'd basically be the same player right through his Age 37 season.  By the time that season ended, he had already played more games than any other goalie in history, without having lost a step (that changed starting with his Age 38 season)...all the while continuing to play 70+ games most seasons.      

Damphousse and Ahonen were first-rounders...if they don't play for you, that's OK (and at least Damphousse went as a throw-in in a deal that that would help the Devils in 2003), but you'd at least like to see Ahonen do enough in the AHL that a team would be willing to give you something for him, so that he might play with a big club (even it's just a middle-round pick).  I mean, those two combined to play 6 NHL games. 

Long story short:  the Devils were extraordinarily lucky that Marty bucked a more typical decline trend for so long...they couldn't have banked on that, and if they were that sure that he could be that effective for as long as he was, they don't use a pair of first-rounder to select goalies.

Frazee's failure to develop was felt by the time Marty's decline was in full swing...think the Devils couldn't have used a decent young goalie by the 2013 season?  You had old and rickety Marty and Hedberg handling most of the netminding at that point...Frazee could have at least pushed Hedberg out.

Yeah I don't hold Crawford and Bernier against the Devils...but really would be nice to see them finally draft a goalie who has a real chance to become a legit star.  1990 was a friggin' long time ago.    

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Posted this in the GDT but I'm reposting it here since it's more likely to stimulate discussion here rather than there.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Zacha-Signal was flashing, and I'm here and ready to argue. Why are people so eager to isolate his best stretch and then say "well aside from (this stretch) he stinks!". Isn't it more rational to compare stats from the early part of his career, where he clearly struggled with the physicality of the game and the pace of the game, to now?

He's at 350 games played. Here's how those splits work out:

Games 0-175: 21 goals, 39 assists, 60 points (.34 PPG, 28 pts/82)
Games 176-350: 42 goals, 57 assists, 99 points (.57 PPG, 46 pts/82)

But that might not even be enough convincing, how about the quality of his line?

His most consistent linemates for games 0-175:

  1. 2016-2017: Stefan Noesen, Jacob Josefson
  2. 2017-2018: Stefan Noesen, Miles Wood
  3. 2018-2019 (first half): Brett Seney, Drew Stafford (I mean Jesus fvcking Christ, guys)

His most consistent linemates for games 176-350

  1. 2018-2019 (second half): Jesper Bratt, Marcus Johansson
  2. 2019-2020: Jesper Bratt, Nikita Gusev
  3. 2020-2021: Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt
  4. 2021-2022: Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt/Tomas Tatar

Even if you think Zacha totally stagnates and has already reached his peak (you're dumb, but even if you're dumb), that's still a .57 PPG player. And if you don't think the Devils have room for a guy who will put up 19.7g and 27.6a over 82 games, you're way more optimistic about this dogsh!t franchise than I am. 

Edited by MB3
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The second sample is boosted by the 84-game stretch that I’ve mentioned many times.  If he disappears at roughly the rate he’s produced over his last 20 GP for the remainder of this season, that’s absolutely concerning…especially since he is playing with better linemates now.  Zacha hasn’t done quite enough to fully earn the benefit of the doubt among most fans.  Until he gets it going again, they’re understandably going to be skeptical about him.  

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Yeah, if he wants to put up 50 point seasons every year, obviously we have room for him. But I don’t think he has proven an ability to do that with any consistency. 

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12 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

Yeah, if he wants to put up 50 point seasons every year, obviously we have room for him. But I don’t think he has proven an ability to do that with any consistency. 

As of this season Zacha is a 39-point per 82 GP player (on pace for that, anyway).  He still has a lot of time to pick it back up...but he has to actually DO it...he needs to prove that he's just in a slump, and that even if he's never going to put up the numbers that he put up over the 84 games, show that close to 25 G and 25 A per 82 GP isn't an outlandish expectation...we'll all take that from him.    

If he finishes right around that 39-per-82 pace or worse this season (while playing with solid linemates), I can certainly understand fans starting to wonder if it's ever truly going to happen for him, even with the prior 84-game burst.  

 

@MB3, I think the question to ask is which Zacha is the REAL Zacha?  You've always been bullish on him whether he's earned it or not.  The 84 GP, 29 G and 31 A surge definitely earned him some more time, as far as trying to find out who he really is, but even in your Sample 2, outside of those 84 GP, he's put up 39 points in the other 91 GP (.43 PPG)...if anything, those "second" 175 GP don't suggest anything conclusive, as to what he can be counted on for.  What he has going for him at the moment is that his current slump isn't fully enough on its own to completely negate the 84 games that came before it...but it's enough to start to raise doubts and wonder a little, given his prior track record.  He's got about 40 games to turn this around.  I hope he does, in conclusive fashion.    

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I’ve been pretty high on Zacha but I’m starting to get a bit concerned too. There was a time this season where he was your go-to guy in OT. He was a key piece on the power play, whether to create a nice chance, or finish the job. While Hughes was injured, Zacha had some time as the teams top offensive weapon. Since then, he has really fallen off to the point where that player from early in the season is almost unrecognizable. I, too, am hoping it’s a slump. But it is hard to ignore these extreme hot and cold streaks. It’s frustrating because his skill set is top notch, but the confidence, compete level, and focus seem to prevent him from reaching that potential consistently. 

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Don't jump at me here - but I hold Zacha and Bratt in the same sort of category, as far as guys with enough talent to be really good players in this league but have yet to prove they can consistently do it for multiple seasons.

Now, this year Bratt seems to be on another level and it sure doesn't seem like he's going to disappear in Feb-April.  Zacha though seems like he's fading per his usual routine.

Zacha as a consistent 40-50 guy - sounds great.  Just don't think he's proven he can do it.

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