10-24-2003, 08:54 PM
I realy think the Devs are learning from past experiances, at least I hope. In 2002 after a first round exit thanks to the Cans the one thing that most of the players said was how much hockey they've played in the last two seasons. Stanley cup appearances in both 2000, and 2001 realy took a toll on the team. This year they need to be concerned with playing solid hockey while saving somthing for the playoffs which they've done in the past six games. Playing solid hockey and getting untimley goals scored by the opposition. I look for Burns to give the team some time to wake up from the Stanley Cup hangover and shorten the leash in a month or so. Lets face it. All teams are gunning for the Devs right now and game 5 of the year vs the Panthers isn't as exciting as playing in the Cup finals just 3 months ago. The Devs know what they need to do and when. They have the leadership and it's a good sign that Martin in my eyes played his best game I've seen tonight against the Pens. We'll see.
10-24-2003, 09:23 PM
I'm with you entirely here, although I think its somewhat irresponsibly premature when hockey writers liberally throw around the term "Stanley Cup Hangover" in juding this team solely on 5 or 6 games as a few of them have done. I think 20 games is a much better barometer of this teams maximum celings and floors. Plenty of warning signs through the first four to five games worth watching closely, but the losses and ties weren't piling up on account of a team wide lack of effort or intensity or from repeated rookie mistakes on the blue line. The current record reflects some bad breaks, bad bounces, lots of missed opportunities, and two of our best defensive players in Madden and Stevens struggling to regain a pretty lofty elevated level they were in back in June when they were world beaters. Fans aren't used to seeing this team lose two games in a row or make mistakes period so exceptionally high expectations carrying over from the end of Game 7 in the Ducks series are going to magnify everything to a crazy degree this season. We need to face the reality that we were incredibly spoiled by what we witnessed last year as things couldn't have gone any better then they did. We're due for some growing pains with the 5,6, and 7 defensive spots being completely changed up.
I'm really torn with the literal phrasing of Stanley Cup Hangover in this sense as it more or less implies the entire team is playing like they drank themselves into a ridiculous stupor all night long when in reality they've been in every single game played thus far.
10-24-2003, 10:10 PM
The Devs know what they need to do and when.
Exactly. There is no need to get worked up about a slow start. They season is still young....
Voice of Reason
10-25-2003, 07:37 AM
Agreed; although having a little more scoring punch can't hurt.
It's very tough to keep the intensity going all season when you have to play tight every game. Being able to average 3-5 goals/game takes some pressure off the checking game. Having to scrap to protect 1 goal leads every game can wear you down fast. I know NJ has done this many times before, but the best NJ team I saw was when they had Almo and a legit scoring threat from 2-3 lines. They didn't have to play a ferocious trap night in/night out because they knew they could overcome being behind. This team hasn't shown that yet, but it is still real early. Chances are some of the faces we're seeing now won't be here come April. Hopefully some better scoring balance will be a result.