COMMENTRANTY: The Long Trek & The Pessimist’s Reaction

Plus one in OT!So this is how it stands: one big game left on the record-setting road trip and the Devils are 3-4-1, collecting seven of a possible 16 points thus far, with two more big ones up for grabs Thursday night. If you have anything to do with the Devils — from Lou Lamoriello to the losers who just blog about them (wait…) — you can’t be thrilled with those numbers. So much fuss is being made league-wide about the Devils poor play as of late. In a way, it’s flattering.

The Devils have long been a team that is synonymous with winning and success. So naturally, when it is discovered that the team is sub-.500 only eight games deep, fans across the league can’t help but start gossiping. There have been rumbling tirades that “Brodeur is finally on the decline” and that it’s “impossible to replace Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski,” even one absurd comment that “Brodeur is being exposed for the fraud he is – no defensive system = no W’s for Marty and the Devils.”

Um, is there maybe a slight inkling of a possibility that maybe, just maybe it’s nothing more than…a poor start? It’s no secret that most hockey fans are quite the apocalyptics (is that even a word?), but this is borderline ludicrous. It really burns my ass that there are people writing this team off as a failure this early in the season. Does anyone realize that the Devils are the only team league-wide yet to play a home game? To be honest, there’s much more to laugh about just across the river.

It's gonna be okay.I am in no way making excuses for, or justifying the sub-par record the Devils have established, but I am not maiming this team just yet. The Devils offense has displayed some dangerous talent and a serious will to fight for every single loose puck throughout the course of a game. The defense has made steady progress – keeping in mind they’re short one mighty anger-riddled enforcer. Brodeur has not played well, but you cannot expect that to continue. Even during his darkest games this year, he has showed signs of brilliance. A bit confusing, yes, but promising nonetheless.

So take the past and put it behind you. There is one game left on this hellacious trip. Thursday night’s contest between the River-rival Rangers will be the biggest game of the young season for Black ‘n Red. A win over the hated rivals would breathe a whole new life into the team, as well as give them the opportunity to greet their hometown fans for the first time with a somewhat-respectable record to boot.

I cannot assure you that the team will turn it around and post another 100+ point season, nor can I assure you they will even make the playoffs — but I can tell you this: this is the New Jersey Devils we are talking about. Feel free to write this team off all you’d like, but it would be foolish to make such asinine assumptions.

Comments

  1. The Media has been speaking of the Dev’s demise for yrs, they ran their mouths when Holik left, when Stevens retired, when Nieder left,etc etc etc, and forget about when Gomez left, The Media and the Rags fans laughed at Us Fans because We lost Him and they got Him, Hell they even declared the Rags the next champs. If We lost faith everytime The Dev’s built a Superstar and lost Him to more $, We would not be here enjoying this site, yes We panic over the losses and curse Our Players when they make a bad play, but Hey that’s passion baby and We have it for Our Team, and as much as We get mad at stupid plays, how many of Us have actually turned off a game? no matter what win or lose We have faith and We still drink the coolaide. Now bring on the Rock.

  2. it’s funny how people claim marty is only good cause of the defense in front of him..but (correct me if i’m wrong) didn’t marty have the best year of his career with a record breaking amount of wins and 12 shutouts when our defense sucked?
    i think the rock and mr. langenbrunner will provide a spark for this team, and also, if the 2nd period is erased from games..

  3. Dana B –

    I’ve been writing letters to the league for years, asking them to annex the 2nd period. Never once did I get a response. I wonder if they even read my letters anymore?!

  4. The thing that pisses me off is that the two players that I feel would benefit the most from this new system (Langenbrunner and White) are injured. I have complete faith that the Devils will turn around and play some of the best hockey in the league. And 2manadvantage don’t be so quick to point fingers, you’ve done your share of Brodeur bashing. 🙂

  5. ILoveJamie15 says:

    Right on! just when everyone thinks we can’t win, we prove them wrong. The media is pathetic, the devils don’t cater to greedy players like Gomez and Rafalski. Heck, if all they care about is their ridiculous salaries, then they have no place on the devils. Once Jamie Langenbrunner comes back, things will change. Just you wait, ranger fans, the cup’s not yours till its over.
    Maybe it’s just me but it looks like the media has made them cockier than they usually are telling people that the Rangers will win the cup hands down this year; well right now it looks like it’s all gone to their heads!
    Silly Rangers, paying ridiculous amounts of money to get the best players is no way to win the cup. Not that they’d know that what with everyone drooling all over Gomez and Drury.

  6. even one absurd comment that “Brodeur is being exposed for the fraud he is – no defensive system = no W’s for Marty and the Devils.”

    Whoever says/thinks this didn’t pay attention last season.

  7. MIKE HARRISON says:

    I have a coment on the Gomez thing, the only thing that bothers me about it, is Lou knew last season already that Gomez wasn’t gonna sign with the Devils this year, everyone on the team heard he was gonna test free agency and get a fresh start somewhere else…..so why didn’t Lou get something in return before he lost him??? If Gomez got such crazy $ from the Rangers, Lou could have gotten some quality draft picks and or players for him. And maybe we wouldn’t be as bad right now.(and Lou could have got real quality for Niedermayer instead of losing him for nothing also)That’s what really hurt our team lately, quality players gone and nothing in return. The league is getting so even now, that 1 or 2 good players makes all the differance.

  8. I agree, you’d have to think that win-or-lose against the Rangers, they still have a respectable record, considering all of their games have been on the road. It’s hard to play over .500 on the road, and now they’ll be coming home this weekend.

    Now if we can just tighten up defensively, make Oduya the 7th d-man, and get Elias and Gionta on the top of their game, and we’ll be good to go.

    They’ll make the playoffs this year, I guarantee, and from there it’s a crapshoot. Who knows if the $trangers are ever going to find chemistry, as they let go of the only center (Nylander)who can find chemistry with Jagr, and Gomez and Drury look lost on the team. I’d be more worried as a Rangers fan this year than as a Devils fan

  9. Look at the numbers from last season and this season through the first 9 games…

    2006/2007 – They started 4-4-1
    2007/2008 – If they beat the Rangers, they will be 4-4-1

    hmmmm

  10. We have played really bad over the first 8 games. Period. They need to develop a better defensive strategy or else its going to be a very long season. We can put the puck in the net, that’s evident. But stopping the other team’s O is where we’re in trouble.

    We need size, speed and talent on D. Pretty much lacking that right now. Matvachuk would have provided a little guidence in that he’s in his mid 30’s and been around the league for a while. But he’s gone, so we’re still left with mediocre talent. I like the guys we have, but changes need happen. We’re too small on D and too inexperienced.

    Never thought I’d say this, but Whitey is missed.

    Some one needs to step up as a leader on this team and hold players accountable and it can’t be the coach. Pando, Mad Dog or someone else needs to be the voice. At the sametime, I think we need to get our lines in order. Too much movement and players changing lines. Can’t form any type of flow with another guy if we’re moving all the time.

  11. PatD –

    RE: Brodeur Bashing

    Very true, and we won’t deny it, but we joke all in good fun. I am pointing out fans and “experts” who are being super serial about the demise of Brodeur, which is not cool.

    – Joe

  12. I agree with Joe,We as fans go to the games wear the gear, and spend the money to support this Team can get frustrated at the players and talk all of the smack that We want to amongst ourselves if We choose to, that is Our right, it’s the media and Fans of other Teams that have no right to talk crap, that pisses Us off. I have an annoying Sister that gets on My nerves, I give Her a hard time always but God forbid anyone else does, then they have Me to deal with.

  13. Oh ps. according to T.G. Brookbank gets the go for Thursdays game.

  14. Brookbank is in for Thursday. Hope the bench O suck ya

  15. Johnny wont Suck-ya he’ll DO-YA.. but hopefully hes not playing, im sick of seeing him play with Martin on the top D line, he really doesn’t deserve.. Andy Greene does, hes been our best D-man so far

  16. am i the only one who remembers the devils road trip last season when they went 1-4-1 and lost to some great teams like phoenix? they always have a tough run on long road trips, and gee, nothing like 9 games on the road to start a season. i’m going to claim food poisoning to get out of my staff meeting early and catch the game via live-capping right here (as seen on the west coast), folks!!