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Burns raises Hell


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BURNS RAISES HELL

By MARK (N)Єverson

January 8, 2004 -- Penguins 4 - Devils 2

This loss was so galling, the coach questioned the very hearts of his Stanley Cup champs.

"I'm going to have to check their hearts, check their heads, see where they're going," Pat Burns said. "Definitely, it's gut-check time."

The Devils coach teed off on his team after they lost their third in five, this time 4-2 to Pitiful Pitt, among the worst teams in the NHL.

"Unmotivated, undisciplined, uninspired," Burns charged. "Was it preparation? I'll take responsiblity. Was it motivation? I'll take responsibility. What goes on on the ice is not my responsibility. I can't play the game for them. They just weren't ready.

"It's not just tonight." (Of course (N)Єverson leaves out the rest of the quote and makes you draw your own conclusion on how deep you think Burns thinks the problem is)

After questioning the fiber of his champions, Burns went back into the locker room to order all of his players to their stalls to face the press. It was an act that displayed his utter disgust, throwing to the scribes the players this organization goes to such lengths to insulate from the media. He asked the press to question the players pointedly, to discover the ailment so he could prescribe the solution. There were no clear insights forthcoming. (I'm not even gonna comment on this one)

"Motivation and discipline; if you need the coaching staff to motivate you, you've got problems," John Madden said. "Those are the two areas we have to improve on, come ready to play and not play in spurts. And discipline, we took three penalties in the first . . . What's that?

"If you're going to take a penalty, you'd better hurt somebody."

Winners once in five (1-3-1), the Devils were shaky from the start against a Penguins team whose last hope vanished this week when Mario Lemieux scheduled season-ending hip surgery.

Martin Brodeur was victimized twice in the first. Mike Eastwood was first to feast, cutting to the slot from a left-wing rush after Scott Niedermayer was picked by Steve McKenna. Eastwood's soft floater found the corner over Brodeur's waffle at 10:38.

There were 17.9 seconds left in the first when Niedermayer and Brodeur combined on another remarkable Penguins goal. Niedermayer was skating toward his end boards, in his defensive left-wing corner, hounded by Penguin Matt Bradley, when he passed backhand in an attempt to put the puck behind the net. His aim was errant, a perfect shot at the short side, going in off Brodeur's stick and credited to Bradley.

"Both goals were my responsibility," Niedermayer said, perhaps a scapegoat for others. (Scapegoat? According to who?)

Many in the usual paltry crowd, 11,498, booed the Devils as they left for intermission and resumed when Ryan Malone stretched Pitt's lead to 3-0 with a power play goal 1:58 into the second. (gee what a surprise a shot at the crowd; fact is if the Devils are going to be 'starless' AND play like this they shouldn't expect a lot of attendance)

Patrik Elias brought the Devils within one 2:39 into the third. Turner Stevenson launched Scott Gomez past Brian Holzinger for a 2-on-1, feeding Elias in the right circle for the one-timer past J.S. Aubin's short side.

Eric Meloche ended the drama with 19.9 seconds remaining into the empty net.

"We have to do better. We're saying it right now, but we're not doing it," Niedermayer said. "There's a big difference."

Now, Burns' faith in his champs is no longer absolute.

* Ken Daneyko Night is tomorrow, honoring the all-time Devil when Tampa visits the Meadowlands.

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Pitiful Pitt, among the worst teams in the NHL.

Many in the usual paltry crowd, 11,498, booed the Devils as they left for intermission

OK, so they're playing one of the worst teams in hockey on a Wednesday night (great scheduling, Gary) and the media refers to the opponent as 'Pitful Pitt'

Makes you want to go out and drop $100, doesn't it?

<JESTER>

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Maybe the team needs something like this to get out of the funk. I really, really, really hope this was the low point because there were many times during the game last night I was just laughing at the way everything was going wrong.

And I'm pretty positive that the first goal was deflected. I watched the replay a bunch of times and it seems to hit off the defender's stick and instead of going bottom right, it went top left. I really don't think there was anything Marty could have done.

-Dan

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I know (N)Єverson was reporting on a really bad game that deserved all the criticism, but this man must absolutely HATE the team he covers. Every article just drips with hatred. I know I'm not telling y'all anything, but I don't know how he can keep at it. It must bring him some sort of twisted joy.

:argh::angry:

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I agree N-25, (N)Єverson is loving every minute of this slump. He hates the Devils so much it is apparent in every line of dribble he writes.

I think for any team facing the Pens, there's going to be a mental breakdown because they are a lowly opponent. That being said, I think Ahonen should have been in net. With the rookie making his NHL debut, the team would've played tighter D and he would have been playing to succeed and make a great first impression. In my opinion, Ahonen in net last night would have given the Devils the W.

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I agree on both points.

I wanted Ahonen in net last night after the Nashville loss. The win against Edmonton didn't change my mind. Maybe having him there would have prevented that lovely sleep-skating exhibition we were treated to. If they need some kind of incentive to show up, then give them one, the rookie's first start. Plus no matter what Marty says he needs a night off once in a while.

And (N)Єverson wants to be the Ranger beat reporter but has been the Devil beat reporter since the moved here. He's so bitter he has grown to hate the team with everything in him. I once wrote Larry Brooks a letter begging him to get the Post to find someone else to cover the team. I told him it is one thing to be a costructive critic of the team you cover..no one wants a beat reporter to be a complete cheerleader. But when it is obvious that he despises the team he covers, he is doing a disservice to the fans of that team.

It was kind of interesting because in the same letter I had made some points about an article he had written defending the Rangers spending habits (he pointed out that UFA contracts don't ususally push up general salaries, RFA contracts do, so look to arbitration awards and blame them, not the Rangers). I told him he forgot the unforgivably stupid contract the Islanders gave Ca$hin. Amazingly, he mentioned the Ca$hin contract in his next column but I never heard anything back about NEverson.

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I agree on both points.

I wanted Ahonen in net last night after the Nashville loss. The win against Edmonton didn't change my mind. Maybe having him there would have prevented that lovely sleep-skating exhibition we were treated to. If they need some kind of incentive to show up, then give them one, the rookie's first start. Plus no matter what Marty says he needs a night off once in a while.

And (N)Єverson wants to be the Ranger beat reporter but has been the Devil beat reporter since the moved here. He's so bitter he has grown to hate the team with everything in him. I once wrote Larry Brooks a letter begging him to get the Post to find someone else to cover the team. I told him it is one thing to be a costructive critic of the team you cover..no one wants a beat reporter to be a complete cheerleader. But when it is obvious that he despises the team he covers, he is doing a disservice to the fans of that team.

It was kind of interesting because in the same letter I had made some points about an article he had written defending the Rangers spending habits (he pointed out that UFA contracts don't ususally push up general salaries, RFA contracts do, so look to arbitration awards and blame them, not the Rangers). I told him he forgot the unforgivably stupid contract the Islanders gave Ca$hin. Amazingly, he mentioned the Ca$hin contract in his next column but I never heard anything back about NEverson.

You expect Brooks, former PR guy for the NJD, to help this organization...please say it ain't so...Brooks is a bigger jerk than the one you wanted replaced :o

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Neverson is just another bad example of irrespnsible journalism and allowing his personal feeling get it the way of his job. He is totally unprofessional and i would not wipe any body part of mine with his writings.... Go Back to Elementary school Neverson... start with crayons and work your way up to becoming a professional writer..

Edited by Devildude
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