Friday, September 26, 2008

The Devils Season Preview

The following man needs no intro. [Puck Daddy] has the floor.

The Devils have a team with players

By Greg Wyshynski

My buddy Dave Pagnotta from The Fourth Period thinks my beloved New Jersey Devils are going to miss the playoffs this season, and for good reason: He’s a bitter fucking Habs fan who has seen Lou Lamoriello borrow Montreal players, coaches, systems and mystique for the last 14 years to win three Stanley Cups and four conference championships. Which is slightly better than having Brian Savage and Michael Ryder teach a generation of Canadiens fans the French word for crushing disappointment. (I believe it’s pronounced “Tremblay.”)

Of course, pissing off others is a basic tenet of the NJD faith; a point of pride akin to being a Nader supporter in a blue state. The Devils play the trap. The Devils are boring. The Devils ruined hockey. Lamoriello wrote secret loopholes into the CBA that only he knows about. Brodeur is a product of a defensive system/illegal equipment/east coast bias. We hear it, we accept it, and then we giggle about Sergei Brylin having his name on the Cup three times.

But here’s the truth: We know they’re boring. Painfully boring. Offensively challenged, creatively bankrupt and with about as much personality as Ben Stein reading the NASDAQ. The box scores show the Devils occasionally will receive things called “power plays.” I’m pretty sure they decline them.

So it was interesting to see Jersey make a legit free-agent splash, signing Brian Rolston. Granted, he already has Lou’s Kool-Aid pumping through his veins, but he’s a player that suddenly gives the Devils two better-than-average scoring lines and allows the depth to trickle down to the fourth line. And he may actually give the team a pulse on the power play.

Here are some other reasons I’m rather excited about the Devils this season:

Losing to the Rangers in the first round last year was pretty much rock fucking bottom. Being in your own building and seeing more fans for the opponents than the home team … boy, we were partying like it was 1994 again. I don’t want to say losing to the Rangers is still an emasculating experience for a Devils fan, but I’m pretty sure the last playoff home game in Newark was Modell’s ball gag and gimp box night. Speaking of which …

No one was killed at the Prudential Center on a game night last season. Not only did Barry Melrose get out of Newark with his wallet, but the police state around the arena offered a modicum of safety for those frightened North Jersey white people that came in on the train. Now that we’re in Year 2, the Star Trek Genesis project that is a professional sports arena will begin to transform the surrounding neighborhood. Goodbye ethnic nail salons; hello shitty bars that overcharge for imported beer!

Zach Parise is dreamy. The kid’s been over 30 goals in each of the last two seasons, and is sort of the David Wright of the Devils: Natural talent, cornerstone of the franchise and a player you’re genuinely excited to see continue to mature. Until he decides the Devils’ system is holding him back, he has a bitter contract dispute with Lamoriello and is unceremoniously traded away and/or leaves as a free agent. Happens to the best of them.

Brodeur will continue to be the Lysol for our shitty defense. The Devils defense once had Stevens, Niedermayer, Daneyko and Rafalski. Now it has Oduya, Salvador, Mottau and Martin. Marty’s playing behind the hockey equivalent of wet toilet tissue every night, and yet his numbers remain strong and he’s winning Nabokov’s Vezinas. Best of all: No Sean Avery to call him fat, wave his stick in his face and make fun of him for reading Elle instead of Vogue.

Bobby Holik is back. I really can’t get jacked about this signing, what with Mike Peluso and Randy McKay out of the league. But it’s cool, because the Devils are paying him like the guy who cleans the shitters at White Castle. Who, ironically, is also the guy who makes the burgers.

Finally, we’re not the Islanders. The Flyers, Penguins, Rangers and Devils are all making the playoffs. The Islanders are making sure the aisles are clean for the New York Dragons arena football season. Because that team’s won at least one division title in the last 20 years … unlike other Coliseum tenants.

So, in summary, fuck Frank Pietrangelo. Thanks for reading.


J.S. said...

the one thing we do know is that the Devils will not finish in first.

Wyshynski you stink

Kevin said...

"The Islanders are making sure the aisles are clean for the New York Dragons arena football season."


At least we're not the third hockey team in the NYC area. We're second!!! *walks away, confused*

debrisslide said...

Devils will make the playoffs, then they will get emasculated by some subpar team and we'll forget about them again.

Robo-Pope said...

The Rangers too? I doubt. But the other three, probably.

Dr. Turkleton said...

El Diablo! Dios mio! El Diablo!


BlacknGold66 said...

Admitting that your team is boring doesn't make it any easier for us to tolerate.

dying alive said...

We know they’re boring. Painfully boring.

Finally, a NJD fan who actually admits it...unlike the rest of your brethern who try to convince us that we're crazy for not seeing the heart-pounding excitement of The Trap.

I always feel giddy when the Pens score first, because I know I won't have to spend the remainder of the game watching Devils defensemen continuously waddle to the blue line and dump the puck.

Brett said...

If anyone's heading to the DEVILS/RANGERS game this Saturday afternoon, let me know, I'd love to talk all things hockey during the intermission(s).

Max Power said...

Has anyone located a solid link to view the game yet? I'm limited because I'm a at work and the man limits my internet capabilities.

Paul said...

That was pretty fuggin funny. Unfortunately, that boring-ass team will be playing the Pens in the home opener. Yaaawn. Go Pens.

Max Power said...

morning skate

fleuryous said...

Will the game be playing on 640 AM in Toronto?

Carroll said...

@fleuryous: AM640 usual broadcasts their games.

The Goon Blogger said...

Stastny DOESN'T bury it!


fleuryous said...

Aw, Carroll, you're the best. haha

HockeyTownTodd said...

Not only will the Devil's be instrumental in the Pens missing the playoffs, I think they will make it to the 2nd round this year.

P.O. said...

TIOPS now charging for access? wow what a joke

Max Power said...

Todd's been smoking dryer lint

ripney66 said...

@dying alive-

Is it just me or is the NJD trap of 2008 nearly identical to the trap of 1998? And dare I say 88, 78, I could go on and on and on.

bigaudio said...

Wysh, you've outdone yourself with this one.

Of course, that is not saying much.

Being a Devils fan is enough of a curse for anyone to bestow.

I don't think the Devils ruined hockey all by themselves, they had help.

As for Martin "Flopsie" Brodeur, he IS the product of a defensive system. He is also a product of milkshakes for breakfast. HE GAVE UP 2 DOUBLE-OT GOALS TO STEPHANE MATTEAU in the SAME WEEK for christmas' sake.

It matters not how many Cups they have won, STILL nobody gives a flying intercourse what they do and nobody goes to the games. They need to be re-located. How about to KC where they also have a new arena nobody goes to. It will feel like home right from the start.

Is it true that the NHL wouldn't allow the Devils to start the season in Europe because they were afraid Europeans would actually see them play and realize the NHL is a joke league? Or was it they didn't want to pay the freight on Martin "Fatso" Brodeur's portable refrigerator?

I'll help ya load the u-haul.

stokes said...

Sid's In tonight; TK with a two year re-up

xxglovesoffxx said...

solid preview.

AceWilde said...

I don't know which was more boring. Watching a Devils vs. Wild game or reading this preview.

KaylaJ said...

yes, but when does lou fire his coach and take over? details man! details!!!

eileenover said...

If the Pens were as boring as the Devils, I wouldn't even be a fan.

So is AM 640 the only option for tonight's game?

Max Power said...

I need a feed for the game. HELP HELP HELP. I don't want to miss the game!

KaylaJ said...

:( i've got the 640 thing up, but no sound is coming from it

Hockey Joe said...

Even the Devils preview is boring.


Rolston was a big free agent signing back when the Devils were last relevant and ruining hockey the first time around. They must've told him they were going to retire his number in the swamp to get him back.

numberninetyeight said...

Greg Wyshynski is one of the most biased hockey writers ever. When he isn't writing about stuff that has no relevance to hockey he is doing everything in his power to bash the pens, especially Crosby. I will no longer read any of his posting on yahoo and I recommend that the rest of the pens fans unite and do the same.

Billkamm said...

Wow what's with all the Wyshynski hate? I love the Puck Daddy blog on Yahoo. I think he does a great job.

Whale4ever said...

C'mon Greg...Frankie P. made us all believers in Connecticut for about 38 seconds.

I'm a bit biased since he lived across the street, but sooooo what.

Great preview, btw.

Doogie2K said...

At least we're not the third hockey team in the NYC area. We're second!!! *walks away, confused*

Actually, you are the third, and NJD is the fourth (fifth if you count the disastrous New York/New Jersey WHA franchise that lived for a couple of years in the early 70s). Lest we forget the New York Americans, the true "first New York team."


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