Devils Stanley Cup Primer

Devils: 2003 Stanley Cup Finals Primer

The MantaRay Devil report May 25, 2003

(From the swamps of Jersey)

To many hockey fans around the league, the unofficial Stanley Cup final was played last week when the Devils defeated the best team in the NHL in the Ottawa Senators.

Here is a breakdown of how the Devils match-up against The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim:

Forwards:

During the regular season the Devils scored more goals (216) than the Ducks (203).

In the playoffs, the Devils have been the leagues best offensive team (44 goals) while the Ducks have scored 33 goals.

But scoring isn’t what got these two teams to the finals. Both teams play a patient and opportunistic offensive system. Line-ups:

ANAHIEM

Kariya-Oates-Sykora,

Leclerc-Rucchin-Niedermayer

Chistov-Pahlsson-Thomas

Bylsma-Krog-Smirnov

NEW JERSEY (probable)

Langenbrunner-Madden-Pandolfo

Marshall-Gomez-Friesen

Bicek-Elias-Gionta

McKenzie -Rheaume-Brylin

The big line for the Ducks will be the Kariya-Oates-Sykora line, which has scored 11 goals over the playoff span.

Burns will assign the Madden-Pandolfo tandem against Anaheims best scoring threat. Madden and Pando are +19 while playing against all of the oppositions top players. They have also contributed 10 goals between them. With Joe Nieuwendyk still feeling the effects of the game 7 injury, look for Jamie Langenbrunner to flank Madden and Pandolfo.

In a similar fashion, expect coach Mike Babcock to place the Leclerc-Rucchin-Neidermayer line opposite the Marshall-Gomez-Friesen. The Rucchin line has been the most important line in the playoffs for Anaheim. Rucchin has been the Mighty Ducks version of Johnny Madden—he makes the big plays when the team really needs it; he has 2 game winning goals and has assisted on two others.

The most intriguing match-up will be the against the Bicek-Elias-Gionta line against Anaheim most consistent line (+17) of Chistov-Pahlsson-Thomas.

Jiri Bicek will be in the line-up, as the injury to Turner Stevenson has not healed as expected. Elias plays very well with Bicek and will probably play his wing, as Elias will shift to center.

McKenzie-Rheaume-Brylin will get a lot of playing time, as Pat Burns will roll with four lines. Coach Babcock has been very limited in his use of his fourth line (Bylsma-Krog-Smirnov). Rheaume and Brylin will get a lot of face-off duty in the absence of Nieuwendyk.

After weathering the speedy assault from the hyper-talented Senators in the last round, the Devils should have no problem handling Anaheim’s’ forwards even with injuries.

Advantage: DEVILS

Defense:

The Devils were tied for first in the NHL in goals against (166) while Anaheim ranked an impressive #6 (193). In the playoffs, both teams have had great success again with the Ducks having the edge allowing only 1.5 goals a game compared to the Devils 1.7.

ANAHEIM

Carney-Salei

Ozolinsh-Sauer

Vishnevsky-Havelid

NEW JERSEY (probable)

Stevens-Rafalski

Niedermayer-White

Daneyko-Albelin

Expect the Devils to employ the Stevens-Rafalski pairing to go against the Oates line. Anaheim will quickly be introduced to the physical style of the Eastern Conference.

Scott Stevens is again showing why he is among the greatest defensemen ever to play in the NHL. At age 39, he leads all players in +/- with an impressive +12, while neutralizing and demolishing the opposition’s best players.

Keith Carney is Anaheim’s closet comparative player to Stevens. He has been a rock on defense for the Ducks, while Ruslan Salei is a quiet player who makes the smart play.

Last season the Carolina Hurricanes improved their team dramatically when they dealt a defensive liability named Sandis Ozolinsh to Florida. After acquiring Ozolinsh from the Panthers during the All-Star break, Ozolinsh has made a huge difference in the fortunes of the Ducks. He is currently tied for third in the playoffs with a +9 rating.

Even more bizarre is that he has been paired with rookie Kurt Sauer who came into the playoffs with a team worst –23 rating. This has been Anaheim’s best defensive pairing in the playoffs.

Scott Niedermayer has always been a money player. This year has not been any different as he leads the Devils defensemen in points (13) while controlling the play when he is on the ice. His partner Colin White is evolving into the heir apparent to Scott Stevens;

This will be White’s third trip to the Stanley Cup finals in only his fourth full season.

Vishnevsky-Havelid were both thought to be the future point men for the Ducks, but it never panned out. Both are offensively gifted, but gritty. A very underrated pairing on the Ducks.

Kenny Daneyko will probably be back in the line-up for this series. Pat Burns did not like the match-up of the elder Daneyko against the fleet skating forwards from Ottawa, but he should be back against the Ducks. He will be paired with Tommy Albelin who has been an unsung hero for the Devils in the playoffs.

The Ottawa series made the Devils a more prepared team for the Finals. The Devils top four defensemen will introduce the Ducks to Eastern Conference hockey.

Advantage: DEVILS

Goaltending:

This will be the series: Brodeur vs. Giguere.

Giguere has been the story in this year’s playoffs. He has shutdown some of the regular seasons best teams: Detroit, Dallas and Minnesota. Brodeur has been the Devils Conn Smyth Candidate, especially after stealing the last series.

The BIG Question: Is Giguere this seasons Arturs Irbe?

Remember last season’s Cinderella team? The Carolina Hurricanes surprised the world when Arturs Irbe carried them to the finals only to lose to a legend in nets named Hasek.

Disney is already milking their hockey teams fame with television appearances such as the Jimmy Kimmel show and Jay Leno last week.

Marty Brodeur’s big game experience will be the difference and will remind the Disney folks that their team hasn’t won anything yet.

Advantage: DEVILS

Coaching:

Rookie head Coach Mike Babcock is the real reason for the turnaround in this franchise. He has gotten the right chemistry and has strengthened the team on the fundamentals of hockey.

Anaheim jumped from the #30 (worst) PP team last season #16 this season. Babcock also improved last years #7 PK team to #2 this season. Anaheim also had the best face-off team in the NHL this season, which has aided them in their playoff quest.

Pat Burns is a perfectionist. He will not tolerate poor efforts and it doesn’t matter who you are on this team. He is a master motivator who has his team focused at all times. He will distract the media in order to take the pressure off his players (he guaranteed the victory over the Sen’s before the series started—to steer the press away from Marty Brodeur’s family problems).

Burns knows the job isn’t finished yet, Babcock has to get his team refocused after a long layoff.

Edge: Even

Prediction: Devils in five.


49 Responses to Devils Stanley Cup Primer

  1. leafsrule31 says:

    hah!.. homer.

    i do go with the devils though.. in 6 or 7. but after what the ducks have done in these playoffs you can’t be so one sided in a comparison. how do you think this would have looked with detroit or dallas in nj’s place. what happened?

    hmmm…

  2. jon95616 says:

    During these playoffs we all read articles from Red Wings Fans and Stars Fans predicting victory for their team…and those victories did not occur…whats the point of you saying your team is going to win as well….

    by the way Vishnevski is not paired with Havelid…Havelid plays 20-30 minutes a game…He has been as important to the Ducks success as Carney has….while Vishnevski plays a mere 10 minutes a game if he is lucky…nothing against Vish but they arent paired together..

  3. tharock098 says:

    your predictions are very correct having the devils winning offence, defence and goaltending. However, dont you think that these three things were in the advantage of Detroit and Dallas? Maybe those advantages will make Anaheim play harder. Who knows

  4. aaron says:

    *cough*Homer*cough*

    I got Devils in six, but only b/c I think the rust is going to cost Anaheim a game or two to start it off and give the Devils the momentem. IF Anaheim comes out strong and wins Game One, then they win in six.

    Devils face the problem that they don’t have a line to shut down this time around. All Anaheim’s lines equally suck. Putting Madden against the Kariya line might get Madden some points, but he’s going to be rather useless defensively, b/c that line hasn’t scoring jack for the Ducks all playoffs.

    The question remains to be seen; can the Devils score on Giguere? THAT will determine this series. They don’t have near the fire power that Detroit or Dallas had. Can they do what no one else could?

    Only time will tell…

  5. Kashin says:

    for the first three series they had a top line of freiesen-niewendeik-langenbrunner. why would they change it. Niewendeik will play. It isnt like that this could happen again for him. Thats the only complete scoring foward line jeeresy has. without them and mabye madden they won’t score.

  6. MantaRay says:

    Thanks, inane homer comment aside, you agree with the analysis.

    Biggest differnece: NJ will not be overconfident and had better goaltending than Detroit (quality) and Dallas (playoff experience).

  7. MantaRay says:

    Your are right, Havelid does get paired alot with Carney, and will play those minutes. I stand corrected.

    The biggest differences between Detriot and Dallas is goaltending: Brodeur is alot better than Cujoke and has more experience in pressure situations than Turco.

    Add too that overconfidence in playing a low rated seed and BOTH teams had Rookie head coaches.

    The Devils will also not take the Ducks lightly; Burns will not allow the Devils that luxury, which is why we finished off our first two series so quickly.

    Burns hates complacency.

  8. MantaRay says:

    *cough* moron*cough*

    So according to your analysis All Anaheims lines equally suck, Madden should score against the Kariya line, etc., yet in the end you pick the Devils in 6. By your definition, your a homer.

    P.S. Detriot and Dallas had fire power during the regular season and had to adjust their games for playoff hockey; The Devils play this type of game all year.

    In addition, without that so-called firepower-the Devils have the best offense in the playoffs.

  9. MantaRay says:

    Ah, you haven’t been following the Devils obviously.

    The first series the Niewy line lead the team in scoring.

    Against Tampa the Gomez line lead the team in scoring.

    But overall its the Madden line that leads the team in points.

    The Devils have three scoring lines which is why they are #4 of 16 teams (2.59) in Goals per game and #1 overall in Goals in playoffs (44).

    Get your facts straight

  10. MantaRay says:

    Niewy is in alot of pain and probably won’t play till game three.

    Burns switches lines all the time, depending on the opposition. It works, thats why we are here.

  11. flyersdude123 says:

    Ducks are going to win the Stanley Cup. Why?

    Because look at the teams that they already beat. Detriot, Dallas, Wild. The Devils can’t beat one of those teams. Giguere is going to have another amazing season. You can’t compare Giguere to Irbe, thats crazy, Irbe wasn’t even close to dominate as Giguere was. All you predicting a Devils Stanely Cup, you’re all wrong! I’m not a Ducks fan, but with their confidece the Ducks are believing they can beat any team. Watch out Devils, its gonna be a butt-whooping!

  12. flyersdude123 says:

    *series not season*

  13. Wills says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure about the Devils winning in 5. I would like to remind you that Ducks knocked off Detroit in 4, beat Dallas who also had a stacked lineup in 6, and then pulled a sweep on the Wild allowing them only one goal. I think the Devils are going to have a real hard time scoring againts the Ducks. This one might end up going 7 games.

    Ducks in 7.

  14. cwthrash says:

    As always, excellent job on the analysis.

    But coming from a somewhat neutral perspective, this matchup to me is horrific. The alert color for dull hockey is a definite red on this one. Normally I would watch the finals, because its the finals. But this time I won’t even touch it; not worth me getting that frustrated when I watch that particular brand of hockey.

    Guess I’m gonna have to get my kicks from soccer this week (the pun was bad, I know, move on). US vs Wales today, Champions League on Wednesday.

  15. aaron says:

    Ok, I was a little vague when I wrote that post. Or really vague. Or talking nonsensically, however you wanna put it.

    Anyway, what I meant was the way your article sounded, you were completely writing off the Ducks as completely inferior, which is total bullsh*t, b/c they’ve already beaten two teams of the same caliber as the Devils and completely trashed a team that’s only one notch down.

    Now, I can’t really explain how they did this, outside of Giguere standing on his head, but they have simply shredded the Western Conference to pieces, a Western Conference deeper and more balanced than any I’ve ever seen. Dallas and Detroit were both strong teams. Dashed to pieces. Minnesota was the Western New Jersey and beat two great teams in Colorado and Vancouver. Humiliated and held to one goal.

    And your Devils may be in for the same fate. Don’t gimmee crap about how they’re scoring; its b/c most of the good scoring teams (Philly, Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, Vancouver, St. Louis) all lost in the first two rounds and have played 5-10 games less. Ottawa and Minnesota are only one goal back, and Minnesota is only one goal back despite only scoring once against the Ducks. So iow, Minnesota scored almost as much in their first two rounds as NJ scored in all three. And still scored only one goal on the Ducks.

    The Ducks are EXTREMELY dangerous. Underestimate them, and you will lose. Mark my words. Now, I still pick the Devils to win, but only b/c of the long time off Anaheim’s had since their series started. If they come out and win Game One, then the series is in their favor, and they will go on to win.

  16. bender says:

    Can someone please wake me up when the NFL preseason starts………..

    *yawn

    Hockey *yawn….is the great*yawn*est game…..in the….something something…….

    All I’m looking forward to (hockey wise) is the draft and off season, when the real excitement begins…but then reality will come crashing down on me again when I get excited about another season of Clutch and Grab, trap, trap, trap,counter attack (hey I’m making a rap song) Hockey…….

    I for one am looking forward to the CBA, maybe then something will get done and we can have our game back the way is use to be (Exciting, Fun to watch). I use to beat the crap out of my couch, when the Flyers lost a playoff series, with undying passion. Now I walk away with less care than Big_booty for a Leaf Expert post. LOL

  17. Kashin says:

    One thing I wanted to add on that i didnt write before is that both are good coaches but when it comes down to it, one is a rookie coach and one was coach of the year 3 times. One thing burns does really good is countering with what he has. He has been there before and he knows what to do. Also havelid isnt a 6th defensemen. In the last series he played mainly with carney while vishnevski got 5 minutes a game.

  18. bruinfan37 says:

    I won’t comment on anything but the Goaltending. U HAVE THE EDGE TO THE DEVILS? don’t compare to Irbe. In case you don’t remember, Weekes played a lot in those playoffs to, so i’m pretty sure Irbe didn’t carry them. Even when Irbe played, i think he played just as good as the other goalies. The edge has to go to the Ducks for it. Brodeur has shown a few games where he looked very weak. inconsistency… Giguere.. One game, where he was iffy… other than that, close to damn perfection

  19. mikster says:

    Comparing Giguere to last year’s Irbe makes little sense and quite wrong.

    Hmm, Irbe would have faced an early exit had it not been for Weekes, whom the Devils could not beat.

    Can they beat Giguere? Well, they had easy goalies to play against. Face it, Lalime is just a little bit better than Cechmanek.

    Also, this is the battle of who scores the luckiest goals. Ducks and Devils have scored a lot of goals that were unpurposely deflected, or puck just landed on someone’s (Oates) stick on an empty net side.

    Ducks PP is better and their PK matches up just as well against the Devils’ PK. Devils have a much poorer PP, and why not give Tverdovsky a shot?

    Face it, Devils only won game 7 because of two lucky bounces and a bad mistake by Redden.

    Ducks beat two very good teams, make that 3 actually since the Wild also seemed unbeatable.

    Let’s see if Giguere’s huge shoulder pads and the Ducks clutch and grab (isn’t that what was not supposed to happen?) can match up against the Devils weak offense, solid defense, and elite goaltender.

  20. mikster says:

    He is a biased pro Devils fan, what do you expect?

    He actually thinks that his opinions and thoughts are completely true facts. If you think of something he does not agree with, he will think you’re clueless and very wrong.

  21. aaron says:

    *tries to figure out why Lalime sucks too* What, are incredibly mind boggling stats a symbol of suckiness or something? A 1.84 GAA and 92.4% save percentage in the playoffs is bad too?

    What, does a goalie have to be Roy, Brodeur, or Giguere to be considered good in this league? Hell, you just know Giguere is going to royally suck again by the end of next year (kinda like Irbe, Theodore, and Nabokov this year).

  22. MantaRay says:

    Not underestimating the Ducks at all. They have a great coach and special teams. But, they haven’t been this deep in the playoffs ever, they have had the spot light on them for the past two weeks and not played any hockey and we have the experience.

    Thats all.

    Your entitled to your opinion and its essentially what I said, but with one more game.

  23. MantaRay says:

    We shall see.

  24. MantaRay says:

    Unlike Dallas and Detroit, we will not be overconfident.

    Also unlike Detroit we have a championship goaltender who thrives under pressure.

    Unlike Dallas, we don’t have a rookie goaltender.

    Unlike Dallas & Detroit we don’t have a rookie head coach behind our bench.

  25. MantaRay says:

    I recoginzed the Havelid mistake on a previous post. And yes, Burns is a master at matching lines.

  26. MantaRay says:

    Yes, but this is the big show. Marty’s been here and done it.

    Giguere has been standing on his head for the last month; he’s had a week+ to think about it and may start believeing his press clips and his agents bid for a new contract.

    If there was a two day layoff the Ducks would be focused on hockey, but with Disney as an owner looking to build interest in them so they can sell them at a bigger profit margin, they have the team focused on publicity, not a good idea.

    That is why I think Giguere will not be as successful this round.

  27. MantaRay says:

    Lalime is simply no Mike Dunham!

  28. Wills says:

    Unlike Detroit and Dallas, Nj doesn’t have the same firepower upfront. Detroit had the same forwards that they won the Cup with the year before but they still couldn’t score on JS. Goaltending wasn’t the problem with Detroit and Dallas it was scoring.

  29. TC_4 says:

    You know what’s ironic B, remember when Fleury scored the O.T goal against the Oil to send the 91 Smythe Semi to 7? I was at the game, and I remember my dad walking out of Northlands and saying “that was just a terrible hockey game”. Compared to the first 5 games, it was! But, it was on the NHL network Sunday morning, so I taped it. Today, I swear people would walk out of that game saying “that game was terrific!!!” I think that speaks volumes of how bad things have got. I agree 100% about looking forward to the offseason. Oilers will trade their pick and Rita to Carolina for the second pick and grab Nathan Horton.

  30. bender says:

    Yup, If you would have told me then that the NHL was gonna be this way now, I would have gave up on hockey and started watching Football sooner. I’ve only been a die hard Football fan for 5 years, and with the decline of hockey, and the uprising of Football…..it’s even hard to watch a Flyers game some nights and I can watch College Football and NFL all weekend.

    I look at the old games on Espn Classic and dream of games that were exciting and full of legitimate scoring chances, everyone had a shot to win, and you didn’t need to sell your soul to the trap devil.

    That would be a great trade for the Oil, It would give you that big centre you’ve been drooling about. Some of the Flyer fans have been thinking he would fight nice in our system as well.

  31. MantaRay says:

    The playoffs are not about fire power, its about making the least amount of mistakes.

    Detroit won the Cup because of Hasek, not their scoring.

  32. MantaRay says:

    As someone who was at SC finals at both the Joe Louis Arena and the Raleigh Sports Center last season:

    The major story line was how “the Little Latvian” Irbe pulled off miracles beating Montreal and heavily favored Toronto as last season’s version of the Cinderella/underdog team.

    Not very different from Giguere beating Dallas/Detroit this season.

    Saying that Lalime is not a very good goalie, just shows, once again, how little you know about hockey, goaltending and winning in the NHL.

    FYI: The Devils “much poorer” PP is ranked #6 in the playoffs compared to the “better” PP of Anaheim which currently ranks #13.

    I know your just learning about the game of hockey, but let share some more wisdom:

    Lucky bounces and mistakes are part of the game.

    Nice try.

  33. mikster says:

    You’re talking about two rounds after the Canes played the Devils.

    Come on, Irbe could not beat the Devils last year, you know it and you should NOT AVOID THAT FACT. He did beat the Leafs and Habs, but he did not beat the 1st round Devils. Accept it. Giguere beat the 1st round Wings.

    Hmmm, HUGE difference there.

    Lalime is NOT that good. And i said he is a little better than Cechmanek. Is Cechmanek bad? No, just not that good, and Lalime is a little above that. He needs to learn how to get through screens (search the puck) since he just stands still hoping the puck will hit him. He can’t do that. As a goalie, you must look around the player that is screening you. Lalime doesn’t do that enough. He also needs to position himself a whole lot better as that was a big factor in that series.

    New Jersey is 7th on the PP. You’re making your team look better by giving wrong facts. Doesn’t work!

    My mistake there was that i based the PP on the reg-season, forgot to click the ‘Playoffs’ link.

    I’ve never seen anyone as insulting as you. You don’t accept other people’s opinions and when you disagree with one’s opinion you immediately make ridiculous and offensive statements regardng their hockey knowledge.

    My opinion is that Lalime is not that good, why? For those reasons. And, i made a good explanation by mentioning Cechmanek, who is superb in the reg-season but come playoff time…hmm, NOT THAT GOOD.

    Yet, you don’t accept my opinion and you insult me by saying that i am just learning the game of hockey? Then why the hell am i vice-admin of this site? Why am i even a die hard fan of hockey if i am just learning about it?

    That was very offensive and just unacceptable, and now you’ve done too much of this to not just me, but to others as well.

    Stop thinking yourself as the smartest hockey fan of this site, stop offending and making insults to others, and accept and respect other people’s opinions.

  34. MantaRay says:

    I don’t think I am the smartest hockey fan. I will always admit when I am wrong.

    I am always open to debate with intelligent fans.

    I have never insulted any one on this site unless it was in response to something either derogatory or just baseless that can’t be backed up by the facts

    (e.g. your Lalime comment or your fallacious/erroneous comparison of Devil/Ducks special teams).

    Your position is meaningless unless you speak intelligently about your subject matter.

  35. devfanman4 says:

    everyone’s been jumping on the ducks’ bandwagon. I need to step in here and help out Manta Ray. This is not going to be a cakewalk for either team, but the Devils do have a better team than the Ducks. They have 3 lines that can score and 3 solid defensive pairings and one of the greatest goalies of all time. With Burns behind the bench they will not take the Ducks for granted. Once they solve Giguere this series is over. You can not stop the Devils. Call me a homer or whatever, but whose team is in the Stanley Cup finals for the 3rd time in 4 seasons?

  36. devfanman4 says:

    defense wins cups

  37. Pock says:

    Devils in 5. This isn’t Detroit or Dallas. This is a team built around defense that is very opportunistic in there chances. Oddly enough i expect the devils to carry the play. Its gonna be alot better series then most will think, fast breakouts and catching defenses on odd man rushes will be the difference. I expect Gomez and Elias to really pick it up and get more playing time w/out one primary line to check.

  38. Rushing says:

    I’m sorry but I’m going to have to go out on a limb here and go with the Ducks. I really hope you aren’t saying that the Ducks never faced any DEFENSE while they were in the Playoffs so far. I really hope you aren’t saying that Dallas didn’t have any DEFENSE. I mean gee, Turco just set the new Modern day GAA record. Dallas was #3 in goals against this year yet, Detroit was #8, yet the Ducks still overcame that.

    Now…..Detroit was the #1 scoring team in the NHL while Dallas was tied for 6th yet again, , the Ducks overcame this. Minnesota was 8th.

    Now…….Tampa Bay is the 12th highest scoring team, Boston 14th, and Ottawa tied with Minnesota as 8th. So….I would say so far the Ducks have put on more of show.

    NJ may very well go on to win but……..the Ducks certainly have my attention.

  39. defenestrate says:

    A.) There is no such animal as a “rap song”. That is an oxymoron.

    B.) I loved hockey in the 80’s, but I doubt we’ll see a resurgence, because the talent pool is too diluted (like a Vancouver gene pool). Let’s hope the CBA does do some good, and it’s not “meet the new boss – same as the old boss”.

    No one plays to win anymore – they play not to lose.

    I watch the NLL when I want to see passion and actual goal-scoring.

  40. Pock says:

    Definately not saying they haven’t faced any defense. They’ve made short work of two of the best teams in hockey, what i’m saying is that New Jersey will play defense before offense. These two teams were 1st and 2nd in the league this year in one goal games, that says something about both there styles. Lets hope Anaheim was just rusty tonight.

  41. Rushing says:

    That certainly wasn’t the Mighty Ducks of the first three series.

    At the same time, I have about 4 Upper Deck rookie cards of Giguere(one signed) and 3-4 other rookie cards of his. I also have about 7-8 cards of him for this year. If the Ducks go on to win that would make their value shoot up. 🙂

  42. DG says:

    “I know your just learning about the game of hockey, but let share some more wisdom:”

    If that doesn’t sound like a flame, I don’t know what is.

    You have the right to speak your mind, but if you’re going to be rude, please keep it to yourself.

    RealityCheck (A.K.A. DG, Vice-Admin)

  43. MantaRay says:

    Oh-oh, did someone have a hissy fit at the Vice-Administers Tea party?

    DG- I have no beef with you, so just relax.

  44. MantaRay says:

    No offense Rushing, but the regular season doesn’t mean squat in April-May-June.

    I would think based on the regular season your Stars and the Wings took the Ducks very lightly.

    The Devils will not.

  45. bender says:

    A) What’s wrong with rap, DAD???? Am I playing it too loud in my room!!! LOL

    B) Your right about 80’s hockey, but I don’t think the pool is as diluted as we think, there is lot of untapped potential out there.

    True.

    The NLL rocks, I can’t believe it’s popularity hasn’t shot off yet, I was praying we would get a team in Edmonton last year, but alas we have to wait again, When we do, I’m getting season tickets!!! (and not for me and mikster, I’d rather go with Leaf Expert)

  46. defenestrate says:

    Leaf Expert? Ouch. I’m sending you both to “Raymond Moses” on Jenny Jones.

    That would be like me and Canucklehead going on “Jeopardy”.

    “My delinquent teenagers”. Lord, lord……

    I have season Mammoth tickets. You can come here and watch real lacrosse. Then we can go to a D.U. – C.C. hockey game and watch how it’s supposed to be done on the ice.

    SCTP

  47. Rushing says:

    Ok…..let’s look at just the playoffs. Ducks (prior to the Championship series) 12-2, and that’s against the #1, #2, and #6 ranked teams. The Devils’ record in the playoffs is 12-5, and that’s against the #1,#3, & #7 ranked teams.

    New Jersey had Home Ice against two of the three, the Ducks had Home Ice not once!

    No, the Stars didn’t take them lightly. They took them without Guerin(2-3 games-never 100%), Turgeon(a game or two), Young(two games)….and these are three of their best players. Let’s take Langenbrunner(sp) out, and keep Nieuwendyke out, and add another good player a game or two and see if that helps your Devils ok?

  48. MantaRay says:

    First off, Guerin out in the playoffs is a GOOD thing, he is not a good playoff performer (ask the Bruins, which is why they didn’t sign him–but thats a totally different issue).

    Niewy is out…probably for the series and we will still beat them. We just got out an incredible series with Ottawa and it made us a much better prepared team. Thats why I think this series will end early.

  49. Rushing says:

    First of all, that Guerin was on another team and didn’t have the backup that he does here.

    Second, look at the way Langunbrunner has changed since being put on NJ. A totally different player. The very same with Nieuwendyk. Langenbrunner wasn’t the Stars top Playoff player and Nieundyk sure did a lot better than he had done so far. Sorry dude…..but each team change can do wonders for each player.

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