Thoughts From Section 209… Devils 2008-09 Season

OK…. so it took me some time to accept what happened almost exactly seven days ago…. I admit it… I was totally in love with this team… I fell into the whole “OMG look what we did without the egomaniac douche in net… imagine what we can do with just a shell of an mb30″…. and look we found out… seems to be like most.. ok… all the things I fall in love with (exceptions being my nieces)… the more deeply you fall in love with something… the harder it fucks you over in the end… and be honest… it hurt you too…. it kinda stunned me to put the Devils jerseys back into the closet until September… the apartment is clean from all the crap I just throw around because “Shit I gotta get to the arena”… well now I have time to clean up…. time to see movies… yeah.. all that crap too…

Don’t worry I’m almost over it… I am watching and enjoying round 2 of the playoffs (I CAN NOT watch Boston and Carolina… Boston annoys me much and I can’t say yay Carolina yet)… I’m still out there being the incredible scoring goalie (the backhand pass to Rob in goalie gear after spinning out of a body check was a thing of beauty)… but I’m still not over the fact that this amazing season is GONE……

Alright… so the Crosby-impression aside …. I do need to get some things out there… this was probably the most awesome year I’ve ever had following a team and making a bunch of brand-new friends and the whole in-arena experience (and even getting it to spill over into the Tavern of the Sun FINALLY)… and the fact I somehow sold 38 of 41 extra tickets and had a LINE of people wanting my playoff seats…. I need to thank a bunch of people…

So I need to thank EVERYONE who bought and shared in tickets with me and made the Section 209 experience truly the best place in the NHL to be this year and hopefully for decades through out… the regulars in the section, Brian his wife with the awesome bumper stickers Maggie and lil Nicky… Pete and his random goalie stuff…. Clutch for ignoring us most of the year…. the new people like Jamie and Andrew, the long-running friends… Mindy, Dee, Dave (dare I put your names together and start another shitstorm ;p), Paige and WHITE POWER Jane making their trips to 209..other NJDevs people like Bill (look out for South park induced beers!).. and even the people on the crazies side (yes you Mike Jeckel!)… and even the zeppoli-beer loving Gina… thank all of you guy, this season was the best and I owe ALL you guys, Section is more then just a place I sit now.. it’s a third home behind Sun Tavern in Roselle Park :-)

Anyway… we know what happened… I ain’t rehashing it… but I wanted to comment some on this team as a whole now… and I figured a good way to do it…a simple pass or fail.. pass I think you should be back next year… fail… get the fuck outta town!!! And in the process I get to throw in what I thought of them in the playoffs:

#9: Zach Pairse
Umm.. fucking.. DUH… top 5 player in the NHL right now.. hockey smarts are off the chart, plays hard AND in his own end… you build franchises around this kinda guy
PASS, you’re fucking retarded if you think otherwise!

#19: Travis Zajac
Emerged as the top center I told you all he was and gave us the Cangelosi mis-cue of the playoffs… SHANAHAN IN OVERTIME… 19, Steve… ZAJAC… SCWWWAAARRREEEE!! I still laugh at this, and this kid is gonna be good for a long time!
PASS

#15: Jamie Langenbrunner
The Captain, played well once healthy, sadly his season ended like it began.. banged up… not his fault
PASS

#26: Patirk Elias
Went cold in the playoffs… but was essential in getting Gionta time and space which he took full advantage of
PASS

#8: Danius Zubrus
Not as a #2 center but he has value on this team…. does everything but put up numbers, and he’s the effing mascot and icon of 2MA!
PASS

#14: Brian Gionta
The lil bastard showed me a LOT this year… if he can sign under 3.5 mil a year.. we gotta keep him… him and Elias need a center and were not the problem
PASS (but can NOT overpay)

#20: Jay Pandolfo
Had a nice playoffs… but really his skill and his role at his salary… umm.. NO… Lowell express for him, unless we can con a team into trading for him
FAIL

#11: John Madden
Saw WAY too much time on the ice in game 7… it killed us too.. he buries ONE of those breakaways and I am not writing this now… some of that is on the coaches… would love to see him all year with Rolston and Clarkson and at about 2 mil a season… if not… it’s future endeavors time here…
PASS (conditionally)

#18: Brendan Shanahan
He was solid, but overplayed (the Rangers fell into this trap too.. I know he’s smart and all but he’s slow as shit and it killed us defensively at times)… I don’t mind him as a depth/part time guy, but NO MORE PENALTY KILLING… and his busted lip quote earned him coming back as a mid-season addition again…..but he can NOT be a major piece of the puzzle..
PASS (conditionally)

#12: Brian Rolston
He gets some slack for the ankle injury and first year back issues, but a LOT is expected of him last year and that pp LASER he fired in game 7… better see more of that shit… his contract is unmovable anyway
PASS

#17: Mike Rupp
Does what he does and he’s cheap, improved greatly this year
PASS

#23: David Clarkson
Needs a serious chance to be shown what he can do… should be getting those minutes given to Madden and Shanny, gets his shit dirty, plays hard, scores goals and all the true Randy McKay grinder shit!! He needs to be part of the CORE not an outside piece
PASS

#7: Paul Martin
Steady, strong… complete defender… maybe the most underrated defender in the NHL now
PASS…NO BRAINER

#29: Johnny Oduya
He might not come cheap now, but he is coming into his own…can not be on the top pair defense next year, but he’s maybe the best defender on the market now and MUST be retained…
PASS

#5: Colin White
Bounced back to be the true one-eyed wonder… a bit slow, but that can be compensated for by giving him a PARTNER WITH MOBILITY, his problem was idiot coaching and not him, and he’s unmovable too :p
PASS

#27: Mike Mottau
Again his limits were exposed by the coaches asking him to do too much and putting that Madden/Pando/Shanny unit on the ice with Mottau and White… he’s a good defender but as 3rd pair and not in the top 4
PASS (and he’s cheap)

#28: Nick Havelid
So Lou goes out and gets a shot blocking defenseman with a douchebag goalie who whines when you block shots.. GENIUS… the guy is ok, but he didn’t mix with Salvador and they kept forcing in on them instead of trying one with White or Oduya, I don’t blame the player here I blame the fit..
FAIL… he’ll go somewhere he can be used right

#24: Bryce Salvador
Solid, and steady, but still kinda trade-able and we have young kids who need a shot (and yes I mean Corrente), I’d not cry if he stayed, but he’s movable and someone’s gotta go
FAIL (but again not through his fault)

#6: Andy Greene
I love this kid, you guys know that… again he stepped up in the playoffs and he gives a non-Martin/Oduya guy who can move the puck which is badly needed… again it’s up to the coaches to maximize him (try HIM with White for fuck’s sake!), and 209 shall chant ANDY GREENE for many years to come!
PASS

#25: PL^3
Eh, he’s a lesser Rupp, but he’s cheap and he plays hard at least
PASS

#16: Bobby Holik
Useless on the ice, took dumb penalties to the point of warranting castration, dumb comments and pissing at the coaches about getting hurt… and not to mention 38, slow as cement, and massively overpaid
… get the fuck off my team (least last time we purged him we won a Cup!)
FAIL… epically!

#2: Jay Leach
Nice solid guy, but could be let go for youth movment
PASS, but not emphatically

#10: Rod Pelley
Could be the 4th line center next year if Rupp/Madden go.. kills penalties… won’t score for crap but could be part of an energy line and God Forbid we let young legs play and develop!
PASS

#18: Nick Bergfors
If the God-effing coach LETS HIM PLAY he could be Gionta 2.0, or even a low end guy who can score on the 3rd or 4th line (cause you know like good teams allow that and stuff)… I’d like to see him (Vrana too) get a REAL chance and not 2 minutes a night!
PASS

#30: mb30
God I fucking hate him for blowing our season and not caring… I hate him for coming back and killing the fun but scary ride Scott Clemmensen
treated us too most of this season, his holier then thou bullshit and that fucking mask… you put up with the crap when they win.. he’s no longer doing that… best of all time?? HA… best in the league?? HA… he’s not even the best goalie FOR THIS TEAM NOW…. God I’d love to but I know better
FAIL (yes I don’t give a monkey’s shit about game 5 cause he didn’t in game 7)

#1: Kevin Weekes
The dude is a trooper’s trooper… always smiling… quality guy to have around… and a guy who’s willing to sit and be the douchebag’s bitch all year, that’s important too!! Perfect way for this guy to finish off his career it seems
PASS (cheap and willing to let the other guy be the guy)

#35: Scott Clemmensen
Like I said before and often.. damn he scared me… but damn it was fun!! Shame that Shane Falco didn’t get a chance to prove his weight in the playoffs… but that’s not anyone’s fault … well until it was too late to do something about it.. I’d love to keep him but he’s starting SOMEWHERE soon
FAIL (for his own good)

Head Coach: Brent Sutter
I’m torn… the regular season coach was awesome… no line matching, high tempo… forecheck…. pressure… playing modern NHL hockey…. the playoff Sutter, coached in a shell… afraid of his own shadow, overused his veterans (but yet 14 minutes for Elias WTF)… as much to blame for the fail as the douchebag in net.. it’s amazing how a guy who came from Canadian Juniors is so horrified to play young players… I guess some of this goes back to playing how the goalie wants *eyeroll*… but again no player above the team, WHAT? I could take him either way but I am sick of new coaches
PASS (barely)

GM/President: Lou Lamoriello
It seems like father time and the modern NHL may be catching up to him.. the scouting is eh… there’s very little forward depth in Lowell (the D and goaltending is ok though), and it still seems like Lou is doing too much… just focus on the damn team and let real experts figure out the rest already would ya?? It’s time to loosen up a little here… and this is the first time I openly wonder about the General Manager of this team.. this season ended in DISASTER and it must be fixed!
PASS (again you’re on double-un-secret-probation mister!)

Well that’s it… goodbye and goodnight 2008-2009… I’ll be around like always on NJDevs.com and Facebook as always… as for adding anything to 2MA… not sure for now… I’m really all about recaps and previews… maybe once the shock fully goes away I can preview the remaining games or cheap-shot Crosby… not to mention it’s effing Summer!! it’s time to get out there and play some hockey myself and get back into Summer Movie mode!! Thanks as always for reading this stuff again, I NEVER thought I’d get back into full-time writing again, but it’s been worth it because I always meet the most awesome people this way!!! Thank you all… and see ya in Short Hills for some floor/roller hockey!!!!