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2023-2024 NJ Devils season thread


MadDog2020

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Just now, nmigliore said:

CJ brings up an interesting question here. Maybe it's just an ugly shooting drought but the timing (and precipitous drop/underachievement) here is pretty curious...

I’m not an advanced stats person, but I wonder if there was a way to convey how teams adjusted to Lindy’s post ASB changes, cueing to our attack the middle with speed approach. Because ever since LA controlled the neutral zone, everyone except for Philly in the SS game did just that, 1-3-1ish, take away passing lanes, options are gone for outlet passes, no chances. Shots come from very wide and no one can attack the middle where they DOMINATED last year and at points this season.

same with the damn power play: two options for the slingshot crap, stand 3 killers on the blue line, last man can either attack the carrier or pinch jack, boom, chances over.

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14 hours ago, MadDog2020 said:

 

More valuable for the lolz.

 

NJD talk starts at 13:42. I disagree with how much they think losing Severson mattered, but do think Graves would have helped and, while hindsight is a B, I'd have exchanged keeping Graves for signing Palat.

 

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4 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

More valuable for the lolz.

 

NJD talk starts at 13:42. I disagree with how much they think losing Severson mattered, but do think Graves would have helped and, while hindsight is a B, I'd have exchanged keeping Graves for signing Palat.

 

You can always tell the people who don’t watch the Devils when they talk about Severson. The guy sucked defensively. He isn’t missed. Did they mention anything on the idiot coach getting fired?

Edited by MadDog2020
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15 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

You can always tell the people who don’t watch the Devils when they talk about Severson. The guy sucked defensively. He isn’t missed. Did they mention anything on the idiot coach getting fired?

Yes, they mentioned it and basically said if things continue they'll make a change but they couldn't turn their back on Ruff with the season they had last year. Also mentioned Brunette but idk exactly what they said. DF agrees on Holtz tho, so there is that lol. Free Holtz!

Edited by NJDevils1214
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2 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Yes, they mentioned it and basically said if things continue they'll make a change but they couldn't turn their back on Ruff with the season they had last year. Also mentioned Brunette but idk exactly what they said. DF agrees on Holtz tho, so there is that lol. Free Holtz!

Gotcha. Last year is over; no one cares about last year. Fire him. 

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3 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Yes, they mentioned it and basically said if things continue they'll make a change but they couldn't turn their back on Ruff with the season they had last year. Also mentioned Brunette but idk exactly what they said. DF agrees on Holtz tho, so there is that lol. Free Holtz!

That’s so on par with the softness of our GM it makes me sick. “Oh he WAS good last year so he cannot have gotten worse…”

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15 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

Gotcha. Last year is over; no one cares about last year. Fire him. 

 

13 minutes ago, jagknife said:

That’s so on par with the softness of our GM it makes me sick. “Oh he WAS good last year so he cannot have gotten worse…”

Fitz honors the way of the old boys club.

Also, Emily and Dimitri are not really insiders so I'd be careful taking what they are saying as fact.

EDIT: The thing about Ruff sticking around because of last year might have been with respect to why they didn't keep Brunette and send Ruff packing in the summer and not to do with why he is still around this year. It's at 22min. I fixed my original post. They think Ruff is still around because it is Fitz fault for not building a good enough roaster, basically.

Edited by NJDevils1214
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Teams on the Hunt

New Jersey Devils
Priority: High
Scoop: Since Tom Fitzgerald took over as GM in Jan. 2020, the Devils have finished an average of 23rd in save percentage, and this season they are on track to finish in the bottom two (31st) for the third time with an .883 mark. There are some holes in the defense with Dougie Hamilton out and Damon Severson and Ryan Graves gone from last season, but it’s fair to say that goaltending is a problem that hasn’t been solved. Only once, with Vitek Vanecek’s solid regular season last year, has New Jersey ended a year with a .900 or better save percentage. Both players and coach Lindy Ruff have been vocal about the need for more saves, which is an indication of the frustration that has built up. As such, the Devils have made calls on just about every goaltender – from the available (Jacob Markstrom, Jake Allen, John Gibson, Juuse Saros, Elvis Merzlikins) to even the unavailable (Tristan Jarry, Linus Ullmark) in an attempt to gauge the market. Will Fitzgerald pull the trigger?

 

Jacob Markstrom
Acquisition Cost: Premium
Scoop: Can the Devils rekindle a deal with the Flames? They were close three-plus weeks ago, but it never got over the finish line. And while the Flames and Devils have kept lines of communication open, there is a gap to bridge (believed to revolve around money retained on Markstrom’s deal) and it’s unclear how that will happen. There isn’t thought to be a big market for Markstrom outside of New Jersey with two years remaining at $6 million, but that does not mean the Flames are in a rush to make something happen before March 8. If anything, with a weak goalie free agent class upcoming, their chances to get a big return for Markstrom open up in the summer. What is clear is that Markstrom, 34, wants a chance to win a Stanley Cup and he is unlikely to stand in Calgary’s way of a deal with his full ‘no-move’ clause as he realizes his chances to do that in Cowtown are unlikely on this contract. Is there any way the Flames can trade Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, but ride Markstrom into the postseason? That’s the definition of having your cake and eating it too.

Juuse Saros
Acquisition Cost: Super Premium
Scoop: All season long, there has been question as to whether Saros is actually available. GM Barry Trotz told us in November he was looking to sign the 28-year-old backbone of his franchise to an extension. Then reports surfaced that the Preds might have to consider a move. Well, at least one team has been very interested in Saros over the last couple weeks – believed to be the Devils – but Daily Faceoff sources indicated on Monday that the Preds have told teams that as long as they are in position to make the playoffs that Saros will not be traded. The usual caveats exist – that if the Preds suddenly fall out of the mix over the next nine days all bets are off, and well, never say never if there’s an offer they can refuse. It’s complicated with 2020 first-round pick Yaroslav Askarov sporting a .920 save percentage as AHL Milwaukee won 19 in a row. But the sense is Trotz feels like he owes it to his team to keep Saros. They have also won five straight and sit in the final Wildcard spot.

 

Kaapo Kahkonen
Acquisition Cost: Low
Scoop: It doesn’t seem likely that a goaltender on the 31st place team in the league would post a save percentage north of .900 in a season, but that speaks to how well Kahkonen has played in San Jose this season at .905. The 27-year-old is also a pending UFA and likely to be one of the most in-demand netminders on the free agent market this summer, which means someone (even a non-playoff team) can give him a test drive now to see if he is a fit. The Sharks should be willing to consider any interesting offer that comes down the pike. At $2.75 million, cap-strapped teams would probably have to get creative to fit him in, considering the Sharks only have one salary retention spot remaining and may have to use it on another roster player at the deadline.

 

 

https://www.dailyfaceoff.com/news/sources-nashville-predators-unlikely-to-trade-goaltender-juuse-saros-while-in-a-playoff-spot

 

Edited by smelly
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13 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

 

Fitz honors the way of the old boys club.

Also, Emily and Dimitri are not really insiders so I'd be careful taking what they are saying as fact.

EDIT: The thing about Ruff sticking around because of last year might have been with respect to why they didn't keep Brunette and send Ruff packing in the summer and not to do with why he is still around this year. It's at 22min. I fixed my original post. They think Ruff is still around because it is Fitz fault for not building a good enough roaster, basically.

A good coach evaluates the players he has and adjusts to what they are capable of.

regardless of piss poor goaltending, Ruff did nothing to adjust his style and forced rookies into his high risk system and did nothing to address that until the ASB.

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19 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

“Why wouldn’t you extend Tyler Toffoli?” Darren Dreger asks.  Because he doesn’t have the speed or versatility to play with any of the team’s top forwards, and his presence is keeping at least one of them from his natural position.

Fitz is looking more and more like a dumbass.

Edited by ButlerBulldog
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6 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

 

IMG_5122.gif

In hindsight, I think I agree with what you and @jagknife were saying about Lindy’s faith in his job security, as the same clearly applies to Fitz.  With his new extension in-hand, he knows he’s not going anywhere, so he’s doing what he wants with the roster, long-term consequences be damned.

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14 hours ago, MadDog2020 said:

As far as this goes, let me see Fitz actually DO this before he gets roasted for it.  I have to see Toffoli still be here beyond the trading deadline, for starters; we don't know where the Devils will be sitting in the standings by 3/8.  If they fall hopelessly out of it by then, Fitz can obviously choose to change course.

My first choice re:  Toffoli remains that Fitz trade him, so the Devils can get something back.  It can never hurt to have more picks to use in deals to try to fill other holes in the offseason.

If Fitz decides to hang onto Toffoli, I'll consider that the Devils "deadline move", in that you're basically giving up any assets you could have gotten to keep Toffoli around for the stretch drive.  But I'd still let him walk after the season.

 

The above being said, here's the specific circumstances that I'll consider "acceptable" for Toffoli to stay beyond this season:

1) He's only signed for a year or two, and at a relative discount.  If he wants three years and/or more AAV than what he's making currently, soyonara.

2) Fitz has determined that Holtz is almost guaranteed to be a part of any deal for a goalie upgrade.  If Holtz is no longer here, then there's room for Toffoli, as long as it's on a relatively short-term basis.

 

I still think it would be risky to keep him; he's a guy who pretty much HAS to score at least 30 goals to truly serve a purpose, and if he declines even a little, it could get ugly very quickly.  But if Holtz has to be the guy to go in a deal for a new netminder, it's not like the Devils have a bevy of young Top 6 candidates in their system at the moment.  I'm not sure what other UFA types (or players available via trade) there would be to replace Toffoli and/or Holtz.  I'd like to see Holtz get a look under a coach who isn't hellbent on sabotaging him, but at the same time, if he's got to be part of a package that helps the Devils find an above-average puckstopper (who will hopefully be helped by a coach who knows what the hell he's doing), so be it.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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Jack now has an insane 68 shots on goal in 11 games since coming back from injury (at least four in all but one of them), but only four goals to show for it.  Hopefully they start to go in for him a hell of a lot more.

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40 minutes ago, RunninWithTheDevil said:

 

 

There’s been plenty of good to go along with the bad wrt Luke’s rookie season. I saw last night that Nico had the highest game score of the season so far, but another thing that jumps out is Luke having more games in the top 10 than anyone on the team. 

image.jpeg.186b3a63b2a484df269611c8bea74ea0.jpeg

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Yeah that's how it often goes with a rookie D...especially as they're figuring out how to play 82 games against the best players in the world.  The good news is that once this first full season is behind him, he has much more of an idea of what to expect next.  There will still be growing pains, but he'll be better prepared for all of it.

Also can't underestimate the (hopefully positive) impact of the next head coach.  There's head coaches better able to sand down rough edges than Lindy could ever dream of being.

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