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The New Jersey Devils 2021-22 Regular Season Thread


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11 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

Maybe cause the move wasn't there? What does it tell us that the only goalie we could land, even at last minute... is a goalie who's injured and can't even play right away. And a goalie who's only been made available available because another injured goalie came back. Not like there's been a lot of movement in the "decent" goalie market this season. 

 

Hammond was literally traded to Montreal 5 weeks ago, so he didn’t just become available. He’s nothing special, but he’s better than Gillies and perhaps if Fitz had reached out to Minnesota 5 weeks ago, he would have realized he was available. The Wild got Brandon Baddock for him so they weren’t looking for much return. 

And if a GM truly believes his team just needs a moderate goaltender to vastly improve, then he should be trying to figure that out and not just wait for 4 months. We aren’t talking about making a move to make a move. We are talking about making a move to help the team be (slightly) more competitive 

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52 minutes ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

Hammond was literally traded to Montreal 5 weeks ago, so he didn’t just become available. He’s nothing special, but he’s better than Gillies and perhaps if Fitz had reached out to Minnesota 5 weeks ago, he would have realized he was available. The Wild got Brandon Baddock for him so they weren’t looking for much return. 

And if a GM truly believes his team just needs a moderate goaltender to vastly improve, then he should be trying to figure that out and not just wait for 4 months. We aren’t talking about making a move to make a move. We are talking about making a move to help the team be (slightly) more competitive 

Maybe Fitz's phone was broken🤔

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4 hours ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

Hammond was literally traded to Montreal 5 weeks ago, so he didn’t just become available. He’s nothing special, but he’s better than Gillies and perhaps if Fitz had reached out to Minnesota 5 weeks ago, he would have realized he was available. The Wild got Brandon Baddock for him so they weren’t looking for much return. 

And if a GM truly believes his team just needs a moderate goaltender to vastly improve, then he should be trying to figure that out and not just wait for 4 months. We aren’t talking about making a move to make a move. We are talking about making a move to help the team be (slightly) more competitive 

It's all about timing. If Hammond didn't get his chance in MTL and did well, he wouldn't have been on our radar at all. And without that little push he had in MTL, nobody here would have wanted to gamble with him, there was no indication he'd be any better than gillies or Daws then. If we were a contending team, in the playoffs and that the team was firing on all cylinders, our GM knows what the team is and can bring. Then that's a different situation. Then you bite the bullet and find a goalie cause you simply cannot let the season go to waste. And i'd fully support our GM sacrificing assets or players to go to war.

The reality is that we were not projected to make the playoffs this season, that's just a fact. We miiiiiiiiiiight have challenged for a spot IF everything went very very well. Well everything didn't go very very well, as we know. So i'm not going to suddenly shift my expectations. Both our goalies went down with injury. Both are still signed for next year too. So that's a particular scenario. I can fully understand Fitz or any GM in the same situation not wanting to sacrifice too much to get another starting goalie here when we already have 2 signed, in a lost where expecations were already low. PLUS when it's impossible to send another goalie the other way, how many teams you think can send a goalie who can be a starter, without getting one back at least? I can also understand that there wasn't much available around the league, that's been said around the league, not just for us. There's playoffs teams right now who couldnt even solidify their goalie situation. We saw what we had with our younger guys... didn't work too well... then took a gamble on Gillies... clearly that didn't work out. We're now on our 3rd gamble this season.

The key here is that everything done this season once it all went to sh!t was only going to be temporary. The direction has been very very very crystal clear that they were going to be patient with this rebuild and not make panic moves.

If another team grabbed a starting goalie for a 6th round pick or something and that i see no reasons why Fitz couldn't have beat that trade, then i'd give some thought that he fvcked up but there was just really not much out there realistically

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2 hours ago, SterioDesign said:

It's all about timing. If Hammond didn't get his chance in MTL and did well, he wouldn't have been on our radar at all. And without that little push he had in MTL, nobody here would have wanted to gamble with him, there was no indication he'd be any better than gillies or Daws then. If we were a contending team, in the playoffs and that the team was firing on all cylinders, our GM knows what the team is and can bring. Then that's a different situation. Then you bite the bullet and find a goalie cause you simply cannot let the season go to waste. And i'd fully support our GM sacrificing assets or players to go to war.

The reality is that we were not projected to make the playoffs this season, that's just a fact. We miiiiiiiiiiight have challenged for a spot IF everything went very very well. Well everything didn't go very very well, as we know. So i'm not going to suddenly shift my expectations. Both our goalies went down with injury. Both are still signed for next year too. So that's a particular scenario. I can fully understand Fitz or any GM in the same situation not wanting to sacrifice too much to get another starting goalie here when we already have 2 signed, in a lost where expecations were already low. PLUS when it's impossible to send another goalie the other way, how many teams you think can send a goalie who can be a starter, without getting one back at least? I can also understand that there wasn't much available around the league, that's been said around the league, not just for us. There's playoffs teams right now who couldnt even solidify their goalie situation. We saw what we had with our younger guys... didn't work too well... then took a gamble on Gillies... clearly that didn't work out. We're now on our 3rd gamble this season.

The key here is that everything done this season once it all went to sh!t was only going to be temporary. The direction has been very very very crystal clear that they were going to be patient with this rebuild and not make panic moves.

If another team grabbed a starting goalie for a 6th round pick or something and that i see no reasons why Fitz couldn't have beat that trade, then i'd give some thought that he fvcked up but there was just really not much out there realistically

I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree on a few points:

as it was constructed, this team should have been a bubble team this year, not 22 wins by the deadline. We had some atrocious breaks (Bernier, Wood) but we had some awesome surprises (Mercer). Tatar was a gamble that failed.
 

I don’t think having two NHL goalies under contract through next season was an issue either. The move that I question if we could have pulled off is the Minnesota-SJ swap of Middleton for Kahkonen and a 5th. Fitz has had to take risks on goalies the last two years for reasons outside of his control, but Kahkonen would have been a hell of a lot less risky than Gillies/Hammond/Dell/etc.

I keep going back to his sh!tty quote of “these guys deserve to win” and it bothers the sh!t out of me to go get a goalie who’s injured to give them that “chance to win.” Kahkonen wasn’t available until the wild got Fleury, that I’m pretty sure is a safe bet, and I’m not/wasn’t looking for him to claim Mrazek and his extra year in case Bernier has found the fountain of youth, but to claim you want the team to have a chance to win and, again, pick up an injured 34 year old to make that a possibility, at the deadline, rubs me the wrong way.

not sure if I conveyed myself properly there but oh well, I tried.

this summer will obviously show us Fitz’ true colors. Cause unless things change, it should be his last in the seat.

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Two best parts of this win:

1. Shesterkin getting pulled

2. Dominating them days after they "built a Cup contender" at the deadline

The awesome showing from our core players wasn't so bad either.

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The overall record is still terrible, and there’s still frustrating moments, but at least the Devils have reached the “you can now see the promise” part of this whole thing.

They’re now 8-9-0 in their last 17 GP, with 67 GF and 63 GA.  The GF number is terrific; you can easily win with that kind of production, and it wasn’t so long ago that the Devils ever being that prolific on offense felt like a pipe dream.  The second number is not so good, and we’ve been over the reasons why.

If this team can just tighten sh!t up in its own end, and somehow just manage to be average in net…they’re challenging for a playoff berth next year.  Man I hope Dineen and Co can help with putting a legit system in place.  

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And some of the numbers over the 17 GP:

Hughes:  15 GP, 9 G, 13 A, 22 Pts

Bratt:  15 GP, 7 G, 13 A, 20 Pts

Nico:  14 GP, 8 G, 11 A, 19 Pts

Mercer:  17 GP, 7 G, 6 A, 13 Pts

Sharangovich:  17 GP, 8 G, 10 A, 18 Pts

Severson:  17 GP, 2 G, 10 A, 12 Pts

Before he got hurt, Zacha was actually putting up some points (9 in 13 GP), though I'm more or less ready to move on from him.

And the stiffs:

Johnsson:  14 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 Pts

Tatar:  17 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 Pts (I know these numbers are kinda respectable but I still want no part of him on the team next season...he's getting more Top-6 minutes with Zacha being out of the lineup)

 

Imagine if the Devils had started the season with the above...we'd be chatting up how this really has become a young team with some buzz, but needs to work on some things (hence the .500-ish record).  But the fact that it has become a young team with buzz is most definitely progress.  Young players who are the key to a lasting core have blossomed...with the right system (and coaches), some roster tweaks, and Holtz and L Hughes becoming two more pieces to the core (hopefully by 2023-24 they're on THEIR way to blossoming), this thing really does have an excellent chance of FINALLY turning the corner...hopefully offensively at least, they can pick up in 2022-23 where they leave off this season...probably gotta start there.

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8 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Tatar:  17 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 Pts (I know these numbers are kinda respectable but I still want no part of him on the team next season...he's getting more Top-6 minutes with Zacha being out of the lineup)

I have a feeling you’ll be disappointed on that. Apparently his advanced stats are really good. The team is probably much higher on him than the fans are. 

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2 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

And some of the numbers over the 17 GP:

Hughes:  15 GP, 9 G, 13 A, 22 Pts

Bratt:  15 GP, 7 G, 13 A, 20 Pts

Nico:  14 GP, 8 G, 11 A, 19 Pts

Mercer:  17 GP, 7 G, 6 A, 13 Pts

Sharangovich:  17 GP, 8 G, 10 A, 18 Pts

Severson:  17 GP, 2 G, 10 A, 12 Pts

Before he got hurt, Zacha was actually putting up some points (9 in 13 GP), though I'm more or less ready to move on from him.

And the stiffs:

Johnsson:  14 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 Pts

Tatar:  17 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 Pts (I know these numbers are kinda respectable but I still want no part of him on the team next season...he's getting more Top-6 minutes with Zacha being out of the lineup)

 

Imagine if the Devils had started the season with the above...we'd be chatting up how this really has become a young team with some buzz, but needs to work on some things (hence the .500-ish record).  But the fact that it has become a young team with buzz is most definitely progress.  Young players who are the key to a lasting core have blossomed...with the right system (and coaches), some roster tweaks, and Holtz and L Hughes becoming two more pieces to the core (hopefully by 2023-24 they're on THEIR way to blossoming), this thing really does have an excellent chance of FINALLY turning the corner...hopefully offensively at least, they can pick up in 2022-23 where they leave off this season...probably gotta start there.

What’s also been understated is Nico may finally be ‘breaking out’ in terms of point production. He’s been sustaining it since the calendar flipped to 2022. Absolutely cannot wait to see him with a better winger next season.

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2 minutes ago, devlman said:

What’s also been understated is Nico may finally be ‘breaking out’ in terms of point production. He’s been sustaining it since the calendar flipped to 2022. Absolutely cannot wait to see him with a better winger next season.

The other good news is when he's been out of the lineup, he's basically been able to pick right up where he left off...that definitely was not the case in the past.  

Also if he stays healthy, he'll finish with 73 GP...second-highest of his career (with 9 more points, he'll set a career-high).  Maybe he's starting to turn the corner, as far as injuries go.  

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16 hours ago, jagknife said:

I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree on a few points:

as it was constructed, this team should have been a bubble team this year, not 22 wins by the deadline. We had some atrocious breaks (Bernier, Wood) but we had some awesome surprises (Mercer). Tatar was a gamble that failed.
 

I don’t think having two NHL goalies under contract through next season was an issue either. The move that I question if we could have pulled off is the Minnesota-SJ swap of Middleton for Kahkonen and a 5th. Fitz has had to take risks on goalies the last two years for reasons outside of his control, but Kahkonen would have been a hell of a lot less risky than Gillies/Hammond/Dell/etc.

I keep going back to his sh!tty quote of “these guys deserve to win” and it bothers the sh!t out of me to go get a goalie who’s injured to give them that “chance to win.” Kahkonen wasn’t available until the wild got Fleury, that I’m pretty sure is a safe bet, and I’m not/wasn’t looking for him to claim Mrazek and his extra year in case Bernier has found the fountain of youth, but to claim you want the team to have a chance to win and, again, pick up an injured 34 year old to make that a possibility, at the deadline, rubs me the wrong way.

not sure if I conveyed myself properly there but oh well, I tried.

this summer will obviously show us Fitz’ true colors. Cause unless things change, it should be his last in the seat.

I also get what you're saying but you have to admit that there's assumptions on your end to justify your opinion. And that's not to say that ultimately that it's wrong either

I mean if i knew Fitz didn't care and did nothing cause he didn't want to or that he wouldn't pay a very very minimal price to get a decent goalie. Then i'd be just as upset as anyone. But my question is, why getting upset at assumptions when we just don't know what's going on behind closed doors? Fitz is a brand new GM with not much of a track record so we don't have much pattern to go on. And until he proves to be making constant mistakes or suck at one aspect of GMing, i'm going to trust that if nothing happen is that nothing could have been done at a price that made sense to him and the team. What we know 100% is that GMs around the league all have been saying that getting a goalie was extremely hard. And we've seen it. So when everything point out in the same direction and that this is what your GM is telling you too. You should kind of accept it.

And like you said, this summer is when it will be important, but i suspect that if both goalies are healthy, we'll see what the relationship with blackwood and the team is, but if we need to move on, it will be a LOT easier to trade for a goalie if we can send a potential starter the other way. It's debatable if there's even 31 "true" starter in the NHL. It's really not easy

 

And for the record, i don't believe the "answer is in the room" thing is anything more than just trying to buy time for their actual plan. But IF we start next season with the same coaching staff. I will be very very very very critical of Fitz. Trust me there

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17 hours ago, jagknife said:

I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree on a few points:

as it was constructed, this team should have been a bubble team this year, not 22 wins by the deadline. We had some atrocious breaks (Bernier, Wood) but we had some awesome surprises (Mercer). Tatar was a gamble that failed.
 

I don’t think having two NHL goalies under contract through next season was an issue either. The move that I question if we could have pulled off is the Minnesota-SJ swap of Middleton for Kahkonen and a 5th. Fitz has had to take risks on goalies the last two years for reasons outside of his control, but Kahkonen would have been a hell of a lot less risky than Gillies/Hammond/Dell/etc.

I keep going back to his sh!tty quote of “these guys deserve to win” and it bothers the sh!t out of me to go get a goalie who’s injured to give them that “chance to win.” Kahkonen wasn’t available until the wild got Fleury, that I’m pretty sure is a safe bet, and I’m not/wasn’t looking for him to claim Mrazek and his extra year in case Bernier has found the fountain of youth, but to claim you want the team to have a chance to win and, again, pick up an injured 34 year old to make that a possibility, at the deadline, rubs me the wrong way.

not sure if I conveyed myself properly there but oh well, I tried.

this summer will obviously show us Fitz’ true colors. Cause unless things change, it should be his last in the seat.

If the coaching staff comes back complete or with Dineen being forced to keep nASS, I'm gonna be pissed.

The goaltending situation is a little more tricky.  I'm pretty much done with Blackwood...it's starting to feel like it's just not meant to be, as far as him being a longer-term #1A or B goes.  Sucks because the Devils did use up a second-rounder on him (all the way back in 2015, if you can believe it).

As a matter of fact, since 2015, the Devils have drafted a goalie in EVERY SINGLE DAMNED DRAFT:

2015 2 42 Mackenzie Blackwood G Barrie (OHL) NHL Entry 128 0 1 1 0 0 128 55 50 15 .908 2.91
2016 4 105 Evan Cormier G Saginaw (OHL) NHL Entry                        
2017 5 129 Gilles Senn G Davos (Swiss) NHL Entry 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 .902 3.42
2018 5 136 Akira Schmid G Langnau Jr. (SWISS-JR.) NHL Entry 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 4 0 .833 4.83
2019 5 127 Cole Brady G Janesville (NAHL) NHL Entry                        
2020 3 84 Nicolas Daws G Guelph Storm (OHL) NHL Entry 15 0 0 0 0 0 15 7 6 0 .901 3.07
2021 4 100 Jakub Malek G Vsetin (Czech-2) NHL Entry                      

I can't speak to the level of scouting going on, but it almost feels like they're just hoping that by drafting in volume, that eventually one of these pics will (almost randomly) pay off.  And it almost feels like they're looking across the river and thinking "Hey, they found good ones in the 7th and 4th rounds!  So maybe we can find one in the later rounds too!"

It really has become that much more urgent to develop a friggin' goalie already...the youth that is expected to pull the Devils out of the doldrums is becoming consistently productive, and there's some good defensemen here as well (even if the team doesn't play great defense as a whole).

To an extent, we got spoiled by our #30 and that "other" #30 over in NY...two guys who were really good at what they did and were able to do for a long long time (much longer than most).  Guys like that obviously aren't the norm, but when you see guys like that doing their thing locally, it's easy to feel like they are.  At this point, I'd love a guy who can give the Devils 5-7 above average years, who can start 50-60 games per season.  That would feel like a massive step up.   

 

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We know what AJ Greer is (a warm body who's a solid AHLer).

Def not against Bahl getting a look...kinda feels like he's playing for future relevance.

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38 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

If the coaching staff comes back complete or with Dineen being forced to keep nASS, I'm gonna be pissed.

The goaltending situation is a little more tricky.  I'm pretty much done with Blackwood...it's starting to feel like it's just not meant to be, as far as him being a longer-term #1A or B goes.  Sucks because the Devils did use up a second-rounder on him (all the way back in 2015, if you can believe it).

As a matter of fact, since 2015, the Devils have drafted a goalie in EVERY SINGLE DAMNED DRAFT:

2015 2 42 Mackenzie Blackwood G Barrie (OHL) NHL Entry 128 0 1 1 0 0 128 55 50 15 .908 2.91
2016 4 105 Evan Cormier G Saginaw (OHL) NHL Entry                        
2017 5 129 Gilles Senn G Davos (Swiss) NHL Entry 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 .902 3.42
2018 5 136 Akira Schmid G Langnau Jr. (SWISS-JR.) NHL Entry 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 4 0 .833 4.83
2019 5 127 Cole Brady G Janesville (NAHL) NHL Entry                        
2020 3 84 Nicolas Daws G Guelph Storm (OHL) NHL Entry 15 0 0 0 0 0 15 7 6 0 .901 3.07
2021 4 100 Jakub Malek G Vsetin (Czech-2) NHL Entry                      

I can't speak to the level of scouting going on, but it almost feels like they're just hoping that by drafting in volume, that eventually one of these pics will (almost randomly) pay off.  And it almost feels like they're looking across the river and thinking "Hey, they found good ones in the 7th and 4th rounds!  So maybe we can find one in the later rounds too!"

It really has become that much more urgent to develop a friggin' goalie already...the youth that is expected to pull the Devils out of the doldrums is becoming consistently productive, and there's some good defensemen here as well (even if the team doesn't play great defense as a whole).

To an extent, we got spoiled by our #30 and that "other" #30 over in NY...two guys who were really good at what they did and were able to do for a long long time (much longer than most).  Guys like that obviously aren't the norm, but when you see guys like that doing their thing locally, it's easy to feel like they are.  At this point, I'd love a guy who can give the Devils 5-7 above average years, who can start 50-60 games per season.  That would feel like a massive step up.   

 

Yeah, also its easy to just look at a team and go like "Well they found their starter in the 4th round"

But the Rangers drafted a LOT of goalies. 9 in the last 8 years. They even drafted 2 in 2014. Shesterkin was picked in the 4th, Brandon Halverson in the 2nd round. And he's trash.

Goaltending is SUCH a crapshoot. That's why it's so damn hard. We could literally trade the moon for Knight. And he'd become the new Kinkaid and we'd want him traded and gone for a bag of pucks in 4 years. Or we could trade Johnsson for a 7th round pick at the draft and with that pick get a goalie that will win a Vezina and beat Marty's records down the line. Its honestly that unpredictable haha

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10 minutes ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

That Jaros thing is kind of surprising. I wonder what that was all about, since his contract is up in a few months anyway 

 

A few of the Utica beat writers are reporting failure to report as the reason.

 

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13 minutes ago, Chimaira_Devil_#9 said:

 

A few of the Utica beat writers are reporting failure to report as the reason.

 

So he prefers being a healthy scratch in the NHL over getting to play in the AHL. 

I mean he's a guy who has played one full-ish season in the NHL 3 years ago, he's too good for the AHL??

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19 minutes ago, Rock said:

It's so frustrating that not even on this list there's a guy that im like "yup, if we can land him, we're good"... they are all gamble and for all we know Blackwood could be better than all of these guys if healthy. 

So no matter what we're doing, that it's a good move on paper or not. We may still be getting terrible goaltending next season too.

The only thing we can really try to do is get a better system going that would limit all the fvck ups we're seeing routinely

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