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Can someone explain the logic of playing Neiwy with two guys who are career fourth liners and have hands of stone? Am I missing something here? Is Joe expected to bank pucks off them to score? I know Joe is in a massive slump, but I can't imagine that this will help him or the team. I also know that some on this board are high on the skills of Turner and Big Jim - but I'm not one of them. I cannot see what is on Burns' mind on this one.

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My thinking is that they are big guys they stand in front of the net (unlike most of the Devils it seems.) and they give Nieuwendyk room to operate. I thought Joe had one of his better games in recent weeks last night. Too bad he didn't break the draught though.

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i'm all for tinkering, but to me, at this point, you put your top 6 guys on two lines and leave them there to find something. elias, gomez, freisen, neiuwendyk, brylin, and gionta.

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I agree Sundstrom; how can guys develop chemistry when you have no idea who you'll be skating with the next day. Let the guys learn each other, stop all this juggling; if the talent isn't there then so be it, but I can't imagine all this is helping the team.

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The line combinations need to stop changing.

The power play needs offensive talent on it and not Jim "throw-away-forward" McKenzie.

Does anyone remember the not-too-distant past when McKenzie would only be dressed when they needed his "enforcer" skills (even though all he enforces out there anymore is that the Devils don't have a capable fighter).

I'm sorry, but I want to vomit when I see our career 4th liners like Turner, Pandolfo and McKenzie on the top two lines or on the FRIGGING POWER PLAY.

It became quite clear to me last night that we only have three finesse guys. Gomez, Nieuwendyk and Elias. Two of them can't score. The other is a playmaker and not a true goal-scorer.

Combine that with the fact that Jim McKenzie is out bumbling around on the ice (the Sioux call him "Rocks in Pants") on one of the top two lines and the fact that Turner (love him, but he's a fourth-liner) is considered one of our "offensive hopes" and you can see how this team is NOT in the slightest a cup-contender.

Too much third and fourth line garbage, not enough talent. This team is rather devoid of talent guys at forward. That's why we got our asses handed to us last night.

Thank god we have the best goalie in the league.

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risky hits it on the head. but i'm not sure that even keeping arnott and sykora would've made things much different. this team started losing offense as pieces lemieux, mogilny, and later holik departed. now i'm not saying that we should've signed these guys to the contracts that they eventually got. but i do believe that had they been handled differently, they'd still be here for cheaper. of course, hindsight is always 20/20, but mogilny and holik could be here for $5M each and Lemieux probably at $4M. sure, that would be a problem b/c we'd never have seen gionta or berglund or bicek, and we might have a slightly higher payroll, but we'd simply have more talent. and that's always the goal in my book.

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We have to take a look at who in this lineup can score goals:

Elias

Nieuwendyk

Friesen

Madden

Brylin

Langenbrunner

Gionta

Berglund

Who can set people up:

Gomez

Elias

Gionta

Brylin

Now that we realize that we've got 9 forwards with offensive talent (whether or not they are currently using it) we need to allow those 9 to find comfort zones with each other. The last three:

Stevenson

McKenzie

Pandolfo

Have specific purposes to them. They have no offensive talent and are pure role players. I've been believing that Pandolfo will start putting away goals on his numerous chances for a long while now, but all i see is wasted chances. Chances that other offensive players on our team could capitalize on more frequently. Those three may as well be the third line. Perhaps (and I know that some people are going to come down hard on me for this) we have to sign a different enforcer and cut McKenzie loose. He hasn't performed that job well of late and shouldn't be mistaken for a power forward.

Sergei Brylin is a catch all forward. He can do anything pretty well and can fit on a line with anyone. Take Pandolfo off the Maddenbrunner line. His purpose is purely as a penalty killer and defensive conscience of the line he's playing on. That line has plenty of defensive conscience so they don't need him there. Replace him on that line with Sergei Brylin.

Joe Nieuwendyk is not a passer. He's good at that too, but he made his bones scoring goals. Put him with players who can pass to him. Patrik Elias can set up very well but his main focus is also scoring goals. Scott Gomez has always been a set up man. Elias and Gomez are both attempted centers that can't take faceoffs. Nieuwendyk is an established center who is among the league leaders in faceoffs. Center Elias and Gomez with Nieuwendyk.

Berglund and Gionta are young and fast. They have speed to burn. Friesen's greatest asset is his speed. Berglund was a center in Sweden. Put those three together on a line and opponents will be forced to backup simply due to the explosive speed of those players.

Insofar as defense is concerned: Ken Daneyko is old. He's been playing well of late, but that doesn't deny that he is very very old and much slower than ever before. He is by far the the third of our "defensive defensemen." Put him with his old partner Niedermayer who is responsible enough defensively to cover for him when he gets beaten. Tverdovsky is a good defenseman, but he is an offensive defenseman. He has no margin for error when playing against a fast team like the Senators. If he pinches in on a play he's got Daneyko back handling the odd man rush who can't deal with speedy forwards. Put Tverdovsky with Colin White. White is bigger, faster, stronger, and has been playing by far a better game than Daneyko. That way Tverdovsky will have the assurance of Colin White being back whenever he pinches in. Stevens and Rafalski is an old tried and trued combination.

This completes my rant. I realize I was overly articulate of several points that seem obvious, but they seem to be missed very often. Certain players have certain strengths and you have to work with their strengths.

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i'm all for tinkering, but to me, at this point, you put your top 6 guys on two lines and leave them there to find something. elias, gomez, freisen, neiuwendyk, brylin, and gionta.

Amen! What Burns did with Nieuwendyk last night was stupid. It's grasping at straws. I agree that Burns is tinkering too much. He's not helping. It's clear that the players are all screwed up and need SOME kind of stability. Shuffle among two lines, not four, like Sundstrom said.

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Newark5, I completely agree with your rant.

I have proposed most of these combos at one time or another myself.

To reiterate the most imprtant of which is:

Nieds-Dano

Tvo-White

and when you can't f-ing score put your best players together!

Elias-Newy-Gomer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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At what was the worst thing about this Jimbo-Newy-Turner line is that they saw time on ice half way through the 3rd period being down 2-0.

Newy should have been double shifted up in the second period. It was obvious to all 27 of us in the CAA that the DEvils were not going to score as lined up.

I'm sorry, but as much as I like Jimbo, if he's not fighting he's a waste. How can he get ice time in the 3rd. The same applie sto Turner too, but to somewhat a lesser degree.

And if these guys play, they need to watch what Pandolfo was doing all night...crashing the net!

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I thought that line combination sucked as well.

However, Nieuwendyk was open in front with a chance to tip a McKenzie shot in the 3rd period. Some more luck and that puck is in the net.

I do not think that Elias-Gomez-Nieuwendyk should be a line.

Nieuwendyk hasn't scored in 20 games, why not switch things up? My problem was McKenzie on his left wing.. Joe and Stevenson have worked well though.

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I can't think with all the line combos Burns has tried. I know he's looking for offense, but it's just creating a lot of confusion.

I do think it might be a good idea to throw Elias-Nieuwy-Gomez together. If anything's gonna break up the struggle it would be a line like that, rather than a line where other people are trying to get it going.

I did like the Elias-Brylin-Friesen combo the other day, and would have liked to have seen more of that.

I can understand how discombobulated the players must feel. I feel that way just watching the line changes.

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It was obvious to all 27 of us in the CAA that the DEvils were not going to score as lined up.

excellent line. the new arena can't come soon enough.

let's just hope it's not "New Comisky"

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Jim McKenzie is out bumbling around on the ice (the Sioux call him "Rocks in Pants")

But that's the Lakota equivalent to "balls of steel" not slowest forward in the NHL! :lol:

I don't mind Burn's lateral thinking in shifting lines some. Sometimes it'll work somtimes it won't. Looking at last nights stats with all the struggling guys getting -2 it seems the shuffling didn't work.

To shift or not to shift - either way people here complain. What things look like to me? The team started freaking about all the talk about the weak offense so maybe they're letting the defensive side go trying to risk a little to get some scoring going. (But in a halfassed way not in any committed way) One of our best defensemen was doing that early in the year...it worked because the whole team was playing a tight defensive game. If he doing that now he's going to get beat. But I didn't see the game...but it really seems the lack of scoring is getting to them even though they were winning. That's why I was bitching about all you guys whining while the Devs were winning. WHY did something have to be done if they were winning? You have an easy enough time saying playoffs breed chokes from the Sens and the Flyers. Why not accept that the offense would get a jump start in the playoffs even? Just for the time being for goodness sake. Just to keep moral high...what's so bad about it?

now everything is all mentally fvcked up -- and no it's not "I told you so" from all the whiners. ..it's pissing and whining and moaning and wanting it all put together now messes things up. See now the more they lose the less room there is to mess around and take chances...then they'll have to go into defensive hockey mode just to make the playoffs like last year and THEN they're out in the first round.

They were in a fine place and the negativity, NOT a shallow roster screwed everything up. but this is just my rant for today...

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Sorry PK, I don't buy it.. the Devils defensemen didn't change their game from minute 1 to minute 60.

The shallow roster hasn't created these problems but it hasn't helped either. Elias and Nieuwendyk have to start scoring. It's as simple as that. They're going to need another scorer before the playoffs, too. I don't think he is needed now, though.

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Why is it when we're firing on all cylinders we looks so dominant? And it's like all is right in the world.

And when we can't buy a goal, the situation looks so hopeless and we do look shallow.

We've seen more of the latter of late, but I know we're capable of the former as well.

All I know is that it's physically painful when they don't play well. I HATE IT!!!!!

I hate having twice as many shots and half as many goals.

I hate not having ANY power play goals.

I hate waiting five days just to see a shutout.

I hate it hate it HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!

But I love this team.

Whew. I do feel a little better.

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I thought the Niewy line was asinine. Burns at this point is just throwing crap up against the wall and hoping it sticks. But heck most of the posters on the board would have traded half the team already so I can't see why you'd all get on Burns TOO much since you're all just as impatient as he is. :lol:

It's amazing how all these good coaches get caught into shifting lines incessantly. Larry last year now Burns this year. I'm sure a LOT of it IS a direct result of pressure to win immediately, from Lou, from the fans, from everyone.

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Some coaches say it's more important to keep certain duos together more than full lines, but I don't think Burns is even doing that!

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Pressure? In NJ? We cant even sell out the bloody arena, where the hell they getting pressure from? The Rangers?

Lou might be putting some pressure, but I have a feeling that pressure is coming from within, I dont think any coach wants to be last one standing when a conference power like NJ begins to fall (sadly).

I havent given up on this team, but I do think that we need to turn our chips back into the draft. God knows we could have used Brendan Morrison, Steve Sullivan, Brian Rolston, Sheldon Souray, Brad Bombardir, and (gulp) Bill Guerin right about now.

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How quickly we forget-- Ralston INVENTED Pando-itis! The dude couldn't hit the net to save his soul! So if we trade Pando and he starts to score elsewhere we're going to whine about how much we need him and what a crappy trade it was?

But anyhow...yeah I was off my rocker earlier today but I had to vent myself! However Tri - I was speaking of our offense letting the defensive style slide, not our Dmen trying to score. I haven't seen the last three games so in a way I am talking out of my ass!

Lamaze tonight so I'm missing even listening to this one. :saddevil:

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Revisionist... history...

Souray can't stay injury free to save his life. This guy is always on IR. He's turned into an excellent defenseman, but he plays 40 games a year.

Rolston, as PK said, invented Pando-itis and couldn't score in the playoffs. Good riddance.

Sullivan is too small for the Devils now.

Morrison is the same player as Gomez, only older and better. Gomez replaced him.

Bombardir went in the expansion draft, and he wasn't a very good Devil anyway. He'd be an effective third pairing guy.

Guerin would be nice if he weren't Guerin. He invented Pando-itis, too.

I don't understand when people want these players back. There's a reason why Lou got rid of all of them. They were extras. The Devils had players to replace all of them, or acquired them through trade. They won a Cup by dealing these guys. Would you rather have them, or a Cup? How many of them have won even a playoff round since they were dealt from the Devils?

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I think there are people at this forum also in need of Lamaze to a.) learn how to relax a bit and b.) to birth that alien that is festering inside them.

:joker:

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Revisionist... history...

Souray can't stay injury free to save his life. This guy is always on IR. He's turned into an excellent defenseman, but he plays 40 games a year.

Rolston, as PK said, invented Pando-itis and couldn't score in the playoffs. Good riddance.

Sullivan is too small for the Devils now.

Morrison is the same player as Gomez, only older and better. Gomez replaced him.

Bombardir went in the expansion draft, and he wasn't a very good Devil anyway. He'd be an effective third pairing guy.

Guerin would be nice if he weren't Guerin. He invented Pando-itis, too.

I don't understand when people want these players back. There's a reason why Lou got rid of all of them. They were extras. The Devils had players to replace all of them, or acquired them through trade. They won a Cup by dealing these guys. Would you rather have them, or a Cup? How many of them have won even a playoff round since they were dealt from the Devils?

Well Rolston and Morrison grew as players. These are both guys who offer a Devils-like sensibility to the teams they are on now.

Some might say that Morrison's benefiting greatly from Naslund and Bertuzzi. This is true to be sure... but when he's off that line it doesn't do quite as well -- only one goal per game sted of three ;)

And I understand the then-Rolston comparisons to Pando. But now, jeez. If Pando turned into the now-Rolston I'd be stunnedulated.

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