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Don Cherry on Joe Thornton, the Devils, Pat Burns, and the trap

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Old
11-16-2003, 09:22 AM
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Don Cherry on Joe Thornton, the Devils, Pat Burns, and the trap

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/

Coach's Corner Real Video
Coach sounds in on Jarome Iginla's performance this season and once again pleads for a no-touch icing rule in the NHL.

Grapes gives the Devils their due at 3:09:

"They never quit. Did you see the game? Everybody knocks NJ. Check the shots. Did you check the shots? I'll betcha they are on the top 5 right now in shots. They dont play the trap. Best coach in Pat Burns"

 
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11-18-2003, 03:00 AM
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It's a shame that yopu guys get that rap after winning the cup in 95. that was lemairs team and the devils of today are a very fast and tough team. your run last year was the best thing i saw in hockey since my habs beat the bruins in 01. espically against ottawa

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11-18-2003, 01:07 PM
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I find that when the Devils are down a goal or tied and playing for a win (which they don't always do) they can be as exciting as any team. However when they shut things down (and thats quite often) they are a very boring team to watch.

The difference between them and teams like the Canucks (offensive team, considered exciting - and I'm not a Canuck fan, just using them as an example) is that when the Devils get a one goal lead they don't try to get that extra goal or two, they defend that one goal lead while the Canucks keep going all out and try to build a 2,3,4 goal lead, the defensemen might not pinch as much, but they don't completely abandon their offense.

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11-18-2003, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
The difference between them and teams like the Canucks (offensive team, considered exciting - and I'm not a Canuck fan, just using them as an example) is that when the Devils get a one goal lead they don't try to get that extra goal or two, they defend that one goal lead while the Canucks keep going all out and try to build a 2,3,4 goal lead, the defensemen might not pinch as much, but they don't completely abandon their offense.
Luckly, they didn't use this "hockey theory" vs. NYR, FLA, PHI, NYI. It's hard to believe why the Devils (especially this year) is trying to hold the lead especially when they've given up many leads so far this year.

No dis-respect, but even a small comparison between the Canucks and NJ is horrible. Yeah, I wish NJ had *stars* like Naslund and Bertuzzi....

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11-18-2003, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sluggo
The difference between them and teams like the Canucks (offensive team, considered exciting - and I'm not a Canuck fan, just using them as an example) is that when the Devils get a one goal lead they don't try to get that extra goal or two, they defend that one goal lead while the Canucks keep going all out and try to build a 2,3,4 goal lead, the defensemen might not pinch as much, but they don't completely abandon their offense.
See that isn't necessarily true in my eyes. I think it may have been the case at one time, but not now. The Devils press for the extra goals under these situations, but have problems burying shot after shot every night. NJ has to be at the top of the league in scoring chances not finished right now. We have guys who can score, but it never seems to be an easy task for them. This team forechecks with great skill when they aren't in possession of the puck.

 
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11-18-2003, 02:09 PM
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Some stats for NJ:

SOG: 29.9 (5th)
SOGA: 22.9 (2nd)
Differential:7.1 (1st)

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11-18-2003, 04:27 PM
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Well I'm not a big Devils fan (I don't hate them or anything) but a friend of mine is, and watch them mostly so I can talk to her about them and thats just what I've noticed watching them. Teams like the Leafs, Canucks, Oilers, Avs, Lightning (ie - the exciting teams) don't really close down the game with a 1 goal lead, they try to expand that lead, the Devils don't (if they get a chance to score they take it) they just shut the game down. And they are by no means the only team that plays like that, however thats why they get labeled as a boring team while others don't.

As for the talent, the Devils have had a ton of scoring talent on their team the last ten years (I've only seriesly paid attention to them for about 6 months, so I don't know the reasons for all the trades) but have traded a lot of them away and let some walk. Had they kept (and I'm sure there are good reasons they weren't kept) guys like Mogilny, Arnott, Syk...(I can't spell his name, hes with the Ducks now), Holik, even Nieuwendyk they they could have the talent to play a more offensive game.

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11-18-2003, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
Teams like the Leafs, Canucks, Oilers, Avs, Lightning (ie - the exciting teams) don't really close down the game with a 1 goal lead, they try to expand that lead, the Devils don't (if they get a chance to score they take it) they just shut the game down. And they are by no means the only team that plays like that, however thats why they get labeled as a boring team while others don't.
I disagree. Here's what I observe. The Devils play 2 different games. When the puck is dropped, they play agressive hockey, but they are patient. They are careful not to make mistakes, but they work hard on offense. When they get the lead nothing changes. I think other teams percieve it as "clamping down" but they're really just playing the same way the were when the game started. The game against the Rangers was an excellent example of that. When they scored, their game stayed exactly the same. They were patient and precise, but they did not go into any kind of shell or prevent defense.

The Devils' other game comes out when they are behind, and I'll admit that it is very exciting to watch because The Devils do posses tremendous skill. They start skating faster and taking more chances to do things like keep the puck in the zone with a diving play, or risk a cross ice pass. I find that when The Devils are behind, they are as offensively potent as almost any team in the league.

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As for the talent, the Devils have had a ton of scoring talent on their team the last ten years (I've only seriesly paid attention to them for about 6 months, so I don't know the reasons for all the trades) but have traded a lot of them away and let some walk. Had they kept (and I'm sure there are good reasons they weren't kept) guys like Mogilny, Arnott, Syk...(I can't spell his name, hes with the Ducks now), Holik, even Nieuwendyk they they could have the talent to play a more offensive game.
Most of us wish that Mogilny was still here, but other than him, the departures have helped the team overall. The Devils from 1999 to 2001 probably had the most offensively talented group of forwards since the Islanders dynasty. Trust me, any Devils fan that tells you he doesn't miss the A line is lying. But when the locker room fractured, Lou made the right call.

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11-18-2003, 05:27 PM
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"When the puck is dropped, they play agressive hockey, but they are patient. They are careful not to make mistakes, but they work hard on offense"

This is the boring hockey. They'll only send one forechecker and seem more worried about giving up a goal then getting one. When they get behind, thats when they become an exciting team to watch. When you watch the "exciting teams" they ALWAYS play like the Devils do when the game starts or they are up by a goal or two.

LIke I said, I don't know why they were all moved (you just said something about the locker room being bad) which I can understand, but at the same time they didn't bring compairable offensive talent back in to replace those players (kinda like the Leafs with their defense).

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11-18-2003, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
"When the puck is dropped, they play agressive hockey, but they are patient. They are careful not to make mistakes, but they work hard on offense"

This is the boring hockey. They'll only send one forechecker and seem more worried about giving up a goal then getting one. When they get behind, thats when they become an exciting team to watch. When you watch the "exciting teams" they ALWAYS play like the Devils do when the game starts or they are up by a goal or two.
Your "boring hockey" seems to describe many teams in the NHL today (Montreal, Buffalo, Ottawa, etc.).

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11-18-2003, 05:40 PM
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NJ_Devil_Boy - Thats one of the problems with the NHL right now, and why so many people are trying to figure out how to "fix" it.

I would also say that the Devils are more defensive with ties then other teams, and because they are so good as closing down the ice it makes their games slower then some other teams who do the same thing.

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11-18-2003, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sluggo
NJ_Devil_Boy - Thats one of the problems with the NHL right now, and why so many people are trying to figure out how to "fix" it.

I would also say that the Devils are more defensive with ties then other teams, and because they are so good as closing down the ice it makes their games slower then some other teams who do the same thing.
There is always a penalty for perfection. I for one don't find defensive hockey boring. Often it's a goaltending show, but that's just me.

Just because a team has skill (like Ottawa), doesn't mean they won't play "boring hockey." I live in Toronto, and am listening to the game on AM640 right now. Looking at the stats, Sundin 0 shots, Nieuwendyk 0 shots, Roberts 0 shots, Mogilny 1 shot. Toronto is an "offensive" gifted team, but guess what, you wouldn't know it by the way they play. Do you consider that "boring hockey?"

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11-18-2003, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
[B]This is the boring hockey. They'll only send one forechecker and seem more worried about giving up a goal then getting one. When they get behind, thats when they become an exciting team to watch. When you watch the "exciting teams" they ALWAYS play like the Devils do when the game starts or they are up by a goal or two.
I guess it's a matter of perception. I don't find the Devils brand of hockey boring at this point. Yes, there are other teams that take more chances, but that kind of hockey is usually not played with much success in the playoffs.

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LIke I said, I don't know why they were all moved (you just said something about the locker room being bad) which I can understand, but at the same time they didn't bring compairable offensive talent back in to replace those players (kinda like the Leafs with their defense).
Well, I could let you know why they were all moved if you like.

Mogilny was let go because he didn't score enough in the playoffs and Lou thought that some of our prospects were ready to step in and do the job (they weren't)

Arnott was traded because after Mogilny left The A Line got a lot more defensive attention and had more pressure to produce. When they buckled, The Devils literally had no offense. Arnott was percieved as a locker room distraction, so he got was traded for two forwards. The thinking was that Nieuwendyk was more skilled than Arnott, just older, and Langenbrunner would help on the 2nd line where Mogilny used to be. Niuwendyk was a good player, but didn't come close to producing as much as Arnott and didn't play well with Elias. Next to go was Sykora. He was traded because he didn't produce after the A-Line was broken up, so Lou got good offer from Anaheim and made the deal. Holik was let go because he thought that 3rd line centers should make $9 million per year and Glen Sather agreed.

As for why the talent wasn't replaced, that's mainly because Lou never signs free big name UFAs. In terms of the trades, I think he did get good talent back, it just wasn't enough to make up for Mogilny and Holik, who left with no return.

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11-18-2003, 05:55 PM
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Goal tending shows are great. One of the best games i've seen was the Leafs v.s Blues in the 93 playoffs. The scorew as only 2-1, but there were 93 shots in that game. But you look at the Devils/Ducks finals - for two games the Devils held the Ducks to just 14 shots. Thats boring. They play a great defensive game, but its boring to watch. And I'm finding it fustracting now because I've seen what they can do when they open it up, they could be a much more exciting hockey team.

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11-18-2003, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
Goal tending shows are great. One of the best games i've seen was the Leafs v.s Blues in the 93 playoffs. The scorew as only 2-1, but there were 93 shots in that game. But you look at the Devils/Ducks finals - for two games the Devils held the Ducks to just 14 shots. Thats boring. They play a great defensive game, but its boring to watch. And I'm finding it fustracting now because I've seen what they can do when they open it up, they could be a much more exciting hockey team.
Boring to some maybe.

Yes, 2 games may have been classified as "boring", but there were also 2 games with scoring (Games 5 & 6), 2 OT games (Games 3-4), and what is move exciting than a Game 7. Don't forget, you have Anaheim fans saying the Ducks were too well rested/rusty. So let's not blame all on NJ playing "BORING hockey". How about the brutal play of the Ducks? Maybe if they had shown up to play, the Ducks would've had more shots on net in Game 1 & 2.

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11-18-2003, 06:10 PM
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The 14 goal games were games 3-4, not 1-2.

And I started watching hockey in the late 80's and early 90's. I like offensive hockey. I'd rather see teams getting 40-50 shots a night rather then 23. And I've always found the Devils to be a team that won't play for a 2 goal lead, they'd rather protect the 1 goal lead, and that generally leads to boring hockey. Big hits, fights, scoring chances and goals are what's exciting in a hockey game, and if you are playing to protect a lead, not score, then you eliminate the goal scoring and chances (which many would argue are the most exciting parts).

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11-18-2003, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sluggo
As for the talent, the Devils have had a ton of scoring talent on their team the last ten years (I've only seriesly paid attention to them for about 6 months, so I don't know the reasons for all the trades) but have traded a lot of them away and let some walk. Had they kept (and I'm sure there are good reasons they weren't kept) guys like Mogilny, Arnott, Syk...(I can't spell his name, hes with the Ducks now), Holik, even Nieuwendyk they they could have the talent to play a more offensive game.
In the last 10 years the Devils rank 7th in total GF. They have led the league once, finished 2nd 3 times, and are one of only 10 teams that have not scored less than 200 goals in a season in the last 10 years. They actually scored more goals than any other team from 1996-97 to 2000-01, and are the only team to have scored more than 290 goals in a season in the last seven years.

I think the reason most people think the Devils are boring is that they've heard it so often that they expect to find them boring. The can't score tag was put on them in 96 and despite being among the top scoring teams over the next 4 years, it was never removed.

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11-18-2003, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
The 14 goal games were games 3-4, not 1-2.

And I started watching hockey in the late 80's and early 90's. I like offensive hockey. I'd rather see teams getting 40-50 shots a night rather then 23. And I've always found the Devils to be a team that won't play for a 2 goal lead, they'd rather protect the 1 goal lead, and that generally leads to boring hockey. Big hits, fights, scoring chances and goals are what's exciting in a hockey game, and if you are playing to protect a lead, not score, then you eliminate the goal scoring and chances (which many would argue are the most exciting parts).
Big hits? Name a better hitter than Stevens in the NHL?
Fights? Not enough fights for you between NJ vs. PHI, NYR, TOR over the years?
Shots on net? NJ usually out shoots their opponents. They get their far share of chances.

If you're expecting 40-50 shots in every playoff game...it's time to WAKE up. If you're expecting shootouts in playoff games, it's also time to WAKE up. No one was complaining about the Wild's run last year. When the Stars won the Cup, no one cared they played a defensivestyle. The team they were playing were a trapping team. Game 7 in 2001 vs. the Avs...when they had the lead in the 3rd, guess what style they were playing? A team stack with talent Sakic, Forsberg, and Co. were also playing to PROTECT the lead.

I don't know where this is going. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you want to 1) protect the lead 2) play "BORING" hockey 3) whatever...it can happen. The bottom line is winning.

I like everyone else hear tons of proposed changes. IMO, they could make nets bigger, rinks bigger, no blue line, no red line, no lines period, goalies say in net, etc. Teams will find a way to play this defensive style/"BORING hockey".

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11-18-2003, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sluggo
Goal tending shows are great. One of the best games i've seen was the Leafs v.s Blues in the 93 playoffs. The scorew as only 2-1, but there were 93 shots in that game. But you look at the Devils/Ducks finals - for two games the Devils held the Ducks to just 14 shots. Thats boring. They play a great defensive game, but its boring to watch. And I'm finding it fustracting now because I've seen what they can do when they open it up, they could be a much more exciting hockey team.
So how is it that Dallas and Edmonton can play an exciting playoff game, go to double OT, and only generate 54 shots? How come when TO wins a 2-1 game, you hear things like "they played a perfect road game", while Devils are just "boring".

When the Oilers were scoring 400+ goals a season they were only averaging 33 shots a game, so hoping for 40+ a game is not asking for offensive hockey, it's asking for the total elmination of defense.

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11-18-2003, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BM67
In the last 10 years the Devils rank 7th in total GF. They have led the league once, finished 2nd 3 times, and are one of only 10 teams that have not scored less than 200 goals in a season in the last 10 years. They actually scored more goals than any other team from 1996-97 to 2000-01, and are the only team to have scored more than 290 goals in a season in the last seven years.

I think the reason most people think the Devils are boring is that they've heard it so often that they expect to find them boring. The can't score tag was put on them in 96 and despite being among the top scoring teams over the next 4 years, it was never removed.
It is interesting how when NJ had the SEA line, you really didn't hear every week about how BORING hockey was. It doesn't seem like it is really boring hockey that is pi**ing people off. It's more like NJ is WINNING using that style. In that case...rock on.

Kind of sad if you look at the great Avs teams over the years, but yet they only managed 2 Cups. All that offensive power and only 2 cups.

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11-18-2003, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67
So how is it that Dallas and Edmonton can play an exciting playoff game, go to double OT, and only generate 54 shots? How come when TO wins a 2-1 game, you hear things like "they played a perfect road game", while Devils are just "boring".

When the Oilers were scoring 400+ goals a season they were only averaging 33 shots a game, so hoping for 40+ a game is not asking for offensive hockey, it's asking for the total elmination of defense.
Why even have goalies in the game eh?

I haven't heard this one yet, but why are goalies allowed to go into the butterfly. One would think if they took that out of the game, there would be more holes at bottom part of the net. Scoring could actually soar.

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11-18-2003, 06:46 PM
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Big hits? Name a better hitter than Stevens in the NHL?
I never said the Devils don't deliever those things.

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If you're expecting 40-50 shots in every playoff game...it's time to WAKE up. If you're expecting shootouts in playoff games, it's also time to WAKE up
Dude thats what Hockey used to be like. I've never heard people complain about a 5-4 game being boring, or the 93 Leafs or the 85 Oilers etc.... called boring teams. And they would have 30-50 shots games, regularly. There were exciting teams to watch. If they were up by one they didn't close the game down and protect the lead, they opened it up and tried to get another goal.

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"I don't know where this is going. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you want to 1) protect the lead 2) play "BORING" hockey 3) whatever...it can happen. The bottom line is winning"
That attitude is part of the reason hockey is dying in the US. Its boring and people aren't watching it. One of the favorite jokes of one of the Toronto boardcasters is "there are a lot of fans here dressed up as empty seats".

Quote:
"So how is it that Dallas and Edmonton can play an exciting playoff game, go to double OT, and only generate 54 shots? How come when TO wins a 2-1 game, you hear things like "they played a perfect road game", while Devils are just "boring".
Depends on the game. Shots only count if they are on net, there could be a lot more scoring chances that don't count etc.....

Quote:
When the Oilers were scoring 400+ goals a season they were only averaging 33 shots a game, so hoping for 40+ a game is not asking for offensive hockey, it's asking for the total elmination of defense
Thats averaging, a lot of Oilers games had more then that, and some had less which brings the average down (but even 33 is ten higher then 20-23, which seems to be average now) and is MUCH more excting then 14. And even if they didn't a shot on a play, they weren't closing down the neutral zone and dumping and chasing. It was open and free flowing.

Quote:
I haven't heard this one yet, but why are goalies allowed to go into the butterfly. One would think if they took that out of the game, there would be more holes at bottom part of the net. Scoring could actually soar
Its not so much more scoring, but scoring chances. Thats why making the nets bigger or banning the butterfly wouldn't help. Like I said, one of the most exciting games I've ever seen was a 2-1 game, but there were 93 shots on goal.

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11-18-2003, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BM67
I think the reason most people think the Devils are boring is that they've heard it so often that they expect to find them boring. The can't score tag was put on them in 96 and despite being among the top scoring teams over the next 4 years, it was never removed.
I blame the media mostly for all the rash generalizations that repeatedly contribute to hockey fans believing this to be the case. Most of the time when you see people post stuff like this you find out in subsequent posts that they aren't even watching the Devils play games - only basing this on what they've heard rehashed in the papers and from other teams fans (2nd and 3rd hand reports) who are likely jealous of NJ's success over the last 11 years. There is a genuine social stigmata that equates great defense with boring these days and if I had a quarter for every article I come across saying defensive hockey is whats ruining the sport, I could retire early from this alone. This site is a great place to talk hockey by all means, but its become increasingly more prevalent over the last year and a half that people here have a higher appreciation for great goals over great blocks, great hits, great saves, etc... in the grand scheme of things which is really shortsided to me when people try to breakdown whats exciting in hockey and what isn't. The incredibly narrow minded equation: more goal scoring = more exciting misses out on a tremendous number of great things in this sport which we as Devils fans get to watch every single night of the regular season. I can only hope the Devils show Jeremy Roenick and the Flyers just how boring this team is with more wins in the regular season and playoffs.

 
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11-18-2003, 07:56 PM
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Russell Crowe has a brilliant quote in the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World revolving around discipline, honor, respect, and courage that every Devils fan can relate to in a big big way. It summed up last years team perfectly.

 
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11-18-2003, 08:22 PM
  #25
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While I pine for the days of the A line, I'll never forget how special it was for guys like Pascal Rheaume and Jeff Friesen to win the cup. If ever a team was greater than the sum of their parts the 02/03 Devils were that team. I'm a yankee fan too, and I remember when they steam-rolled the comptetition in 1998, last year's cup win was much more satisfying.

Watching a bunch of 'common' forwards acheive such extrordianry things was truely inspiring. It goes back to the tortise and the hare, and it makes you believe in virtues like hard work and patience.

That's why I like the way The Devils play.

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