An Open Letter to the Devils

If you’ll allow me, I would like to address the skaters of the New Jersey Devils for a moment.  Marty, you can sit this one out, get some rest. Weeksie, you can too. Go buy yourself a new crossword puzzle book or something to keep you busy on game nights.


Watching this season’s games, just as I do every year, I’ve found myself continuously mystified by how you guys keep coming away with the Ws.  I love your grit and gumption (almost as much as I love the word gumption), I love that you are a true team and all like each other and I love that you’ve utilized these qualities to amass a hefty 38 wins.


But seriously, you guys need to know that a hockey game is 60 minutes long.  Not 20, not 45, 60.  86,400 seconds. 1/24th of a day.

Really, I checked the rule books.  I know, I know, I was surprised too, but it’s true.

The thing is guys, we’re in the home stretch here, and you’ve got a shot, a real shot making it deep into the playoffs.  Heck, maybe even a shot at the Stanley Cup.  But you’re not going to get there until you stop taking 20 minutes of each game off.

Take Tuesday.  Great win, no question.  You capitalized on your opportunities, got the dirty goals you needed and came away with a solid victory.  But really, a 14 to 5 shot count against you in the first?

Or how about the game against the Capitals on Feb. 24? Again, props on the win, MadDog, you’re freakin’ awesome. But come on, you guys were outshot 28-10 through 2! What?!  Where were you guys for the first 40 minutes?

And those are both wins!

Look we all love Marty and we know he can bail us out if need be, but this is getting ridiculous.  I mean, are you guys angry with him or something? Is he hoarding all the Gatorade in the locker room? I just don’t get it.

I’m not gonna single anyone out here, this isn’t about that.  I still love you guys, 2ma still loves you guys (except maybe you vish.. you sorta suck, sorry.).  But really guys, it’s only an hour, and you’ve got plenty of time to rest between periods, so let’s pick it up alright?

Lord Stanley would, I’m sure, happily tell you that when we was your age hockey games were three days long and played with tree limbs and a medicine ball on a surface made up of  broken glass lightly lubricated with vaseline.

What’s that? Oh, he wouldn’t?  Hmm. Well, you guys have still got it pretty good.

Recap: Games = 60 minutes. You guys in games so far this season = 40 at best. Let’s make up the difference.

Hell, if you guys get outshot by Tampa tonight by 7 shots or less, I’ll call it a success.

Oh, and could someone buy Weekes a PSP and a copy of NHL ’08? He’s gotta get some practice in sometime.


  1. Tampa is last in the East and with a win the Devs could leap the pens and canadians into the first place seed. the next two games are must wins and as Steve points out must efforts. The Devs need to assert themelves in the first period of these two games. step on their opponents neck and go to the first intermission with a lead. A big road trip is on the horizon against Montreal, Colorodo and Minny. Lets get the momentum headed in the right direction.

  2. Sergeich says:

    Stevie, have you ever played this game? “it’s only one hour” LMAO

    I’m betting 6 dollars that in two minutes you’d need an oxygen mask at that pace… and guess what – those creatures in red/black uniforms are made of the same material as you and I. Can you comprehend what it takes to hold off guys like Ovechkin and Semin?

    Such a lame request, couldn’t possibly come out from an athlete.

    PS If it’s 10-28 but none of that 28 was allowed to be a quality shot and 3 out of 10 were scoring chances – guess what happens…

  3. Steve Stirling says:

    Sergeich – Lighten Up!

    For starters, yes I have, I played for 10 years.

    Secondly, I was being partially facetious in my request, I know these guys give a lot game in and game out. I know what it takes to do what they do, and its not easy. But really, they’re paid to do it, and there are plenty of teams that give it all for 60 minutes game in and game out, this year and in years past, and at the time I wrote this post I just didn’t think the devs were one of them this year..

    Props to Parise for the fight tonight though, that was pretty awesome. Elias gets a gold star too.

  4. To be honest, I don’t think most teams in the NHL are consistent period in and period out for 82 games.

    Yeah we notice our team’s warts because we see them game in and game out and because Sutter holds them publicly accountable unlike a lot of coaches, but having bad periods and off nights aren’t exclusive to the Devils by any means.

    At least the Devils (knock on wood) haven’t let slumps fester and have managed to avoid the real long losing streak so far – unlike Ottawa, Detroit, Philly, etc.

  5. Steve Stirling says:

    I think the point I was more trying to make with this (and perhaps I should’ve included this stat in the article, but I’m lazy.) is that the Devils have been outshot in 17 of their 39 wins this season, often by wide margins. And during several of those wins, I feel like they’ve been outworked.

    Sooner or later I think that’s going to catch up with them. Brodeur is a brick wall and all, but if he gets overworked — as I think last year proved — there’s a decent chance he’ll break down at the wrong time.

    And I think it’s been more noticeable to me because on other nights, against extremely talented teams (see their 4-0 drubbing of MTL earlier this season or their dismantling of teams like philly or carolina) they’re a well-oiled machine.

  6. it’s not always about number of shots, it’s about QUALITY of shots… look at when the Islanders popped 53 on Craig Anderson (insert awesome Matrix humor here, cause Matrix Humor is always awesome!) last week… most of the shots were of the crap and AIDS-variety and who cares how many they took??

    And I think I said enough about Marty being over-played… FREE WEEKES!!!…. but it’s not gonna happen and certainly not now, and even if it DID is it fair to ask Weekes to step into the shit after not seeing a live bullet in two months??