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Old
04-18-2004, 05:58 AM
  #1
Laches
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Random round one thoughts

-Much of the blame for the Devils quick first-round exit should be pinned on Brodeur. He was outplayed by Esche all series, and flat-out whiffed on Markov's unscreened 40-footer late in the third today. He's labeled by many as being the best goalie in the game, but that's a tougher argument to make after seeing up get outplayed by a career backup like that.

-I wish the Boston press would lay off Joe Thornton a bit. He's played poorly, but he's obviously not healthy. In contract to all the flack the Habs players have (deservedly) gotten about feigning injuries, it doesn't seem entirely fair to shred Jumbo Joe who's doing the honorable thing, sucking it up, and playing hurt. If you want to criticize Sullivan for using him in such a prominent role when he may not be up to the job, fine, but give Joe a break.

-I turned off the Calgary-Vancouver game once the Nux went up by 4. Big mistake. That sets up a pretty intriguing game 7.

-Surprise surprise, another poor postseason showing by Mr. November, Keith Tkachuk. You'd think he'd have found a way to step up and elevate his game in the playoffs by this point in his career.

-What was actually surprising was the poor showing by Dallas. I saw them going deep into the playoffs, they couldn't get deep into the first round. The only thing Turco saved was Marty Brodeur from the Most Disappointing Playoff Performance by a Goaltender award. Gotta believe that there are some pretty big changes coming in Big D.

-Who would have thought back in October that three weeks into April, we'd be saying that the road to Lord Stanley goes through Tampa?

-It's kinda too bad that either Toronto or Ottawa has to go home after one round. They're both great teams that are fun to watch, and I think Barry Melrose may be right when he says they're the two best teams in the conference. My guess is this series will go 7, and the Leafs will come out on top, goaltending being the difference.

-

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04-18-2004, 08:08 AM
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I'm a little surprised...

I actually gave more credit to the Devils' forwards and Pat Burns' system than they deserved. The Devils look mostly like a one-line team. Without Stevens, they lose that edge on the backline, and other defensemen weren't playing well as a result of the added pressure (most notably their captain, Niedermeyer). Esche impressed, but always didn't have to.

The 'Bolts were no surprise - although Dipetro's turning into an NHL goaltender.

The Leafs may be the best team outta all left in the playoffs. Their forwards are as good as any bunch. The don't have the best defense, but they have diverse defensemen. And I think Belfour's game is on. He may not be shutting out the 'Sens like Kflabby did, but Kflabby wasn't facing the Sens either.

I thought St. Louis would pull one out. Tkachoke didn't show up, but neither did Pronger. I thought Osgood was good enough to pull something out...I was wrong.

Detroit..no surprise except that the Predators were able to pull out a couple wins.

Dallas....thought they had nothing from the beginning. Letting Hatcher walk was a big mistake for them.

Colorado - Can't see them getting past the second round. The remaining goaltenders and defenses are better.

This VAN/CGY series is great. Love western Canadian hockey, eh?

MTL's making a series outta this one. Theodore may be back (After giving up a real softie). Raycroft may break. And Boston's depth may hurt them.

These playoffs are wide open. There really isn't one great team out there. There's been some spotty play. Soft goals going in, etc. It's been entertaining thus far, but teams will have to tighten-up in the next round.

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04-18-2004, 10:00 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laches
-Much of the blame for the Devils quick first-round exit should be pinned on Brodeur. He was outplayed by Esche all series, and flat-out whiffed on Markov's unscreened 40-footer late in the third today. He's labeled by many as being the best goalie in the game, but that's a tougher argument to make after seeing up get outplayed by a career backup like that.

Brodeur wasn't his best in the series, but he was screened on the Markov goal by Colin White. Esche is just 26, it's not like's he 32 years old. Of the starting goalies in the NHL playoffs, only Raycroft and Dipietro are younger than Esche.

If you want to place blame on the Devils for this season or the series, I'd point more to Lamarillo. He didn't pick up a veteran to help replace Stevens, and he never got anyone to fill the Nieuwendyk void, making them a one line team. His biggets move was for Viktor Kozlov, who ended up being a healthy scratch in 3 of the 5 playoff games.

Devils usually win because of defense and they get scoring fro everywhere. The Devils can't win a series when they get no goals from Langenbrunner, Friesen, Madden, Pandolfo, Kozlov, Brylin, Stevenson, Rafalski etc. etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laches
-I wish the Boston press would lay off Joe Thornton a bit. He's played poorly, but he's obviously not healthy. In contract to all the flack the Habs players have (deservedly) gotten about feigning injuries, it doesn't seem entirely fair to shred Jumbo Joe who's doing the honorable thing, sucking it up, and playing hurt. If you want to criticize Sullivan for using him in such a prominent role when he may not be up to the job, fine, but give Joe a break.
Thornton hasn't yet earned the benefit of the doubt. If he had some big playoff series in the past, then I think the Boston media would be more forgiving about his injury and give him more leeway. With no playoff series win yet, and especially losing to Montreal 2 years ago as the #1 seed, the heat is on.

It also doesn't help matters when you're not scoring and then also taking dumb penalties to set the Habs up on PP's where they cash in.

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04-18-2004, 10:04 AM
  #4
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Devils looked and were banged up. Marty is starting to descend. No surprise if he's playing for another team next year. Flyers are in for it regardless of whom they play next round.
Lightning has a serious offense and Goalie to boot. The Islanders are going to lose a bunch of players and Yashin is not one of them.
Sens/Maple Leafs in the next round would have been good. Go Leetchie Go!!!
Montreal and Boston are both sloppy. Either of the two will exit in the next round.
St.Louis's playoff run is over, sing the blues. Coach Q. Osgood stinks. San Jose won't go far.
Red Wings have Cujo.
Dallas is done.
Whoever Colorado plays next round, it won't be as good as Flames/Canucks series. Another series that should have been played in a later round.
Colorado/Maple Leafs.
Leafs in six.

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04-18-2004, 10:08 AM
  #5
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1) I refuse to accpet the fact that Scott Stevens is that much of a difference maker. Other teams have lost important players and have overcome the injuries.

2) The Devils lack of depth at forward and lack of size on the blueline was exposed.

3) Martin Brodeur is still the best goalie in the league. But, at 31, expecting him to play 75 games is no longer smart or even effective.



1) The Rick will be a good one but someone needs to reel him in a bit. On the second TB goal in the last game I have no idea what he was doing behind the net.

2)

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04-18-2004, 11:32 AM
  #6
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-Well SBOB, I think that since Stevens has been on that backline so long, the Devs do feel like a big part of the team is missing. Niedermayer, had what, no points and minus 3 for the series? He's got some great skills, but he's no leader.

-Calgary/Nucks series has been fun to watch, though i can't believe the Flames couldn't pullout game 6 in OT. Great comeback, i hope they win game 7.

-The Leafs/Sens remaining game/s should be the best of that series.

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04-18-2004, 11:42 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
-Well SBOB, I think that since Stevens has been on that backline so long, the Devs do feel like a big part of the team is missing. Niedermayer, had what, no points and minus 3 for the series? He's got some great skills, but he's no leader.
Actually had one goal and was a (-6) for the series. It wasn't due to bad play by Niedermayer. The guy had to carry the load. In each game the Devils were dressing three defenseman that were either rookie or AHL defenseman (Martin, Hale, Giroux, Albelin).

As a Flyers fan I would much rather have played the Devils with a healthy Stevens and no Niedermayer.

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04-19-2004, 10:12 AM
  #8
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[QUOTE=FletchThe Devils look mostly like a one-line team. Without Stevens, they lose that edge on the backline, and other defensemen weren't playing well as a result of the added pressure (most notably their captain, Niedermeyer). Esche impressed, but always didn't have to.
[/QUOTE]
I think that you hit the nail, right there Fletch. I think that this showed clearly who the most important player in that franchise is. With no Stevens to man the backlines, the D did not have that intimidating look to it. White is a prescence, but not like Stevens is. With no Stevens, the Flyers drive to the net was relentless. And with more rebounds, came more goals. On top of that, Broduer did not have a prarticularly good series as it is.
And I will also add what I said once before. I think that their lack of size was exposed. Holik was missed. Size was missed.

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04-19-2004, 11:10 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
As a Flyers fan I would much rather have played the Devils with a healthy Stevens and no Niedermayer.
You think after all these years Flyer fans would know a thing or two about the Devils. I think you're off on this one, how many times did the Flyers beat the Devs in a 7 game series where Stevens played?

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04-19-2004, 11:19 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
You think after all these years Flyer fans would know a thing or two about the Devils. I think you're off on this one, how many times did the Flyers beat the Devs in a 7 game series where Stevens played?
We've played the devils twice and lost twice, in 1995 and 2000.

In those years Stevens was a better player than Niedermayer, but not at this point in their careers. Niedermayer was the best defenseman in the NHL this year IMO.

As poor as the Devils offense is, it would have been close to non-existent without Niedermayer.

Stevens is still a good defenseman, but he's lost a step & a half, and is not the dominant player he was in the mid-90's.

Stevens not being able to play is not the reason the Devils lost this series.

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04-19-2004, 11:37 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
We've played the devils twice and lost twice, in 1995 and 2000.

In those years Stevens was a better player than Niedermayer, but not at this point in their careers. Niedermayer was the best defenseman in the NHL this year IMO.

As poor as the Devils offense is, it would have been close to non-existent without Niedermayer.

Stevens is still a good defenseman, but he's lost a step & a half, and is not the dominant player he was in the mid-90's.

Stevens not being able to play is not the reason the Devils lost this series.
You may be right, but i happend to believe he's one of those players in the NHL that instantly make the team alot better if he's on the ice, because of who he is/was/etc. Including Niedermayer, who yes, played great this year in the regular season, but the playoffs he looked lost, and i think it was an effect of not having Stevens there.

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04-19-2004, 11:45 AM
  #12
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Originally Posted by Bluenote13
You may be right, but i happend to believe he's one of those players in the NHL that instantly make the team alot better if he's on the ice, because of who he is/was/etc. Including Niedermayer, who yes, played great this year in the regular season, but the playoffs he looked lost, and i think it was an effect of not having Stevens there.
I think Niedermayer was worn down. With no Stevens and for a while no Rafalski Niedermayer got worn down a bit.

Also because of the devils lack of size the Flyers forwards continuously got in on the forecheck and were able to punish the Devils defenseman more than ever before.

Since 2000, besides Stevens they lost Holik, McKay and Arnott. Two big centerman something they never replaced. McKay especially killed the Flyers. He'd score 15-18 goals a year and 6 of them would be against the Flyers

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04-19-2004, 12:39 PM
  #13
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Had Stevens been in...

Brodeur would be more confident and Niedermeyer would be less worn down. As such one or both of those first two games in Philly could've easily gone the other way (both 3-2 victories by the Flyers) and the series could've been a heck of a lot different. I actually think that that one person could've been a difference maker in the series.

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04-19-2004, 12:49 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
Brodeur would be more confident and Niedermeyer would be less worn down. As such one or both of those first two games in Philly could've easily gone the other way (both 3-2 victories by the Flyers) and the series could've been a heck of a lot different. I actually think that that one person could've been a difference maker in the series.
The Flyers are simply a deeper team then the Devils, with or without Stevens. They roll out four lines that can do damage, while the Devils only have one. The irony of the whole thing is that the Devils proved many times in the past how easy it is to beat a one line team, which is what the Devils are now. Even if Stevens is in the lineup, the most this series goes is 6 or 7 games, and the Devils would still lose. Philly is just better this year.

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04-19-2004, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
Had Stevens been in, Brodeur would be more confident and Niedermeyer would be less worn down. As such one or both of those first two games in Philly could've easily gone the other way (both 3-2 victories by the Flyers) and the series could've been a heck of a lot different. I actually think that that one person could've been a difference maker in the series.
#1. The Flyers were also missing our best defenseman, Desjardins.

#2. Stevens still doesn't help the Devils 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines score goals.

Yes, all 4 games were close, but in the end the series did end in 5 games, not 6 or 7.

Time the Devils played with a lead - 22:32

Time the score was tied - 86:50

Time the Flyers played with a lead - 190:38


The Devils are a great team when they have the lead, but they were only able to get the lead once in the series.

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04-19-2004, 01:29 PM
  #16
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Either way, I think we ALL agree that the Devils glory days coming to an end is great news for the rest of us Patrick division chumps

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04-19-2004, 01:39 PM
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John...

what I did mention was that had those first two games been won by the Devils, the series could've been much different. Confidence could help the 2-4 lines score. Both were close games and what happens if Philly doesn't jump out to early leads? Can't the Devils possibly win 2-1? Can't the complexion of the games change with Stevens? The Flyers' gameplan change? Yeah, he's one guy, but he was the team's best defenseman.

Yeah, Desjardins was missing, but that wasn't the point I was trying to get across. The point was of how dependent this team was on a guy like Stevens. He was the team's most important player and its captain. That was a big difference in the series to them, I believe.

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04-19-2004, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
Either way, I think we ALL agree that the Devils glory days coming to an end is great news for the rest of us Patrick division chumps
Who said anything about the end of the glory days? The Devils have the best GM in the business and a good farm system. They will bounce back, they always bounce back.

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04-19-2004, 01:46 PM
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Who said anything about the end of the glory days? The Devils have the best GM in the business and a good farm system. They will bounce back, they always bounce back.
I wouldn't be too sure of that. They've got some kids on the way,
and Brodeur isn't done by a mile, but that team is no longer as dominant as they've been. Maybe a few trades here and there might make me think otherwise, but as the team is now i'd say they've come
back to the pack after being ahead of most all these years.

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04-19-2004, 02:15 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
I wouldn't be too sure of that. They've got some kids on the way,
and Brodeur isn't done by a mile, but that team is no longer as dominant as they've been. Maybe a few trades here and there might make me think otherwise, but as the team is now i'd say they've come
back to the pack after being ahead of most all these years.
Throw in the uncertainty of the coaching situation, also.

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04-19-2004, 02:42 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemurphy
Devils looked and were banged up. Marty is starting to descend. No surprise if he's playing for another team next year. Flyers are in for it regardless of whom they play next round.
Lightning has a serious offense and Goalie to boot. The Islanders are going to lose a bunch of players and Yashin is not one of them.
Sens/Maple Leafs in the next round would have been good. Go Leetchie Go!!!
Montreal and Boston are both sloppy. Either of the two will exit in the next round.
St.Louis's playoff run is over, sing the blues. Coach Q. Osgood stinks. San Jose won't go far.
Red Wings have Cujo.
Dallas is done.
Whoever Colorado plays next round, it won't be as good as Flames/Canucks series. Another series that should have been played in a later round.
Colorado/Maple Leafs.
Leafs in six.
Did you really say ..No surprise if Martin Brodeur is playing on another team next year?
This isn't Mike Dunham we're talking about...I had to stop reading your post after that comment. Devs were beat up..but the Flyers were hungrier and the more aggressive team throughout the series...Good bounces...solid goaltending...Did you really say Martin Brodeur before? I still haven't stopped laughing.

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04-19-2004, 02:50 PM
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Did you really say ..No surprise if Martin Brodeur is playing on another team next year?
This isn't Mike Dunham we're talking about...I had to stop reading your post after that comment. Devs were beat up..but the Flyers were hungrier and the more aggressive team throughout the series...Good bounces...solid goaltending...Did you really say Martin Brodeur before? I still haven't stopped laughing.
No doubt, Charlie mustve been hangin' with Rick James again when he wrote that

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04-19-2004, 03:02 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseydevil
Devs were beat up..but the Flyers were hungrier and the more aggressive team throughout the series...Good bounces...solid goaltending.
Couple things. Yes the Devils were injured but it was their lack of depth at forwards and lack of size on defense that was the biggest issue. That and playing from behind the majority of the series. Good bounces? I firmly believe that teams create those bounces by working hard and the Devs were outworked. Lastly, I think it is no longer fair (if not smart) to have Brodeur play 75 games anymore. He looked tired. He has carried an enormous workload over his career. Time to get him some help.

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04-19-2004, 05:55 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
I wouldn't be too sure of that. They've got some kids on the way,
and Brodeur isn't done by a mile, but that team is no longer as dominant as they've been. Maybe a few trades here and there might make me think otherwise, but as the team is now i'd say they've come
back to the pack after being ahead of most all these years.

Come on, the Devils are run incrediably well. They consistantly put out a solid team and always have guys coming up through the system. Right when Stevens, Nieds, a handful of fowards, and Broduer leave they will have Arohen (sp?), Parise, Pihlman, Hale, and Martin to replace them. Who knows who they will draft in the next couple of years, they always seem to find the gems. I hate the Devils but Lou knows how to run a team. I don't see him letting them fall apart. He knows how to win.

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04-19-2004, 06:48 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potter
Come on, the Devils are run incrediably well. They consistantly put out a solid team and always have guys coming up through the system. Right when Stevens, Nieds, a handful of fowards, and Broduer leave they will have Arohen (sp?), Parise, Pihlman, Hale, and Martin to replace them. Who knows who they will draft in the next couple of years, they always seem to find the gems. I hate the Devils but Lou knows how to run a team. I don't see him letting them fall apart. He knows how to win.
Lou has done a great job, but eventually the tide has to turn.

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