Several years ago, when the Sabres were in the midst of a goaltending controversy, we stumbled across a trade suggested by a fan on the interwebs. This well-reasoned, highly-plausible proposal was as follows: The Sabres would trade Ryan Miller and Martin Biron to the Devils for Martin Brodeur and Colin White. The fan explained that this solved everybody’s problems, and was one of those win-win deals for both teams; the Sabres would be giving up a headache of a goaltending controversy and be acquiring a hall-of-fame netminder still in his prime, and would shore up their D with a top-pairing, physical defenseman with a Devils pedigree and two Stanley Cup rings. Meanwhile, the Devils would be giving up the cornerstone of their franchise and their top D-man and be getting in return the entirety of the Sabres’ goaltending controversy. It made perfect sense! How did that trade, and the billions like it suggested by fans every year, not get made? Because professional NHL general managers are chicken, or stupid, or both, that’s why! In the spirit of that trade that never happened, here are a few proposals of how we’d be moving players around right now if we were GMing the Devils and any number of other teams.
1. John Madden and Johnny Oduya for Vincent Lecavalier.
Read Full Post »
As you’ve probably heard already, Gentle Reader, the Devils opened their new arena on Saturday night. Being the hard-nosed journalist-types we are, we opted to stay home and watch it from the comfort of our couch, but we can imagine what sorts of fancy bells and whistles The Rock is sporting. Sure, everyone’s been reporting on the things like the various swanky lounges, the 732 flat-screen TVs, the cinderblock pillar-free home dressing room and the easily accessed public transportation, but what IPB is here to help you discover is the things no one is talking about. Here’s a look at some of the less publicized amenities the Devils and staffers will enjoy in their new home:
1. A 20-man hot tub; The Ralph Engelstad Arena no longer holds standard for multi-man hot tubs with its 12-man tub. This new one in The Rock blew Zach Parise’s mind.
2. A foeces-free all-you-can-eat oyster bar that finally lets Patrik Elias indulge his greatest passion in a food-safe and Hepatitis-free environment. On paper this seems like it should be a marked improvement over the foeces-ridden oyster bar at Continental Airlines Arena that was catered by Crazy Ivan’s Sheremetyevo Airport Foecal Oyster Shack, but in practice, Elias has been demonstrably petulant about the change.
3. 732 whiteboards, all with titillating behind-the-scenes information on them such as “Bus is at 5:15″. The whiteboards are strategically placed so that there isn’t a single spot in the arena where a person can stand without being able to clearly read at least one.
Read Full Post »
We are hoping beyond hope that Lou Lamoriello drank a toast at some point this offseason to his new Devils team, just like Dr. Frankenstein in The Bride of Frankenstein — “To a new age of gods and monsters!” And, well, if he didn’t, we will. This year our beloved team is a really bizarre — dare we say freakish? — combination of familiar faces and a totally new look, and we’re here to help you, Gentle Reader, anticipate who and what about the 2007-2008 Devils will be god-like and who and what will be monstrous.
GOD: Brent Sutter
From what everyone has been saying about him since his hiring was announced, we fully expect Coach Sutter to be able to walk on water. And the way everyone seems to think that he’s someday going to be our new Lou, he damn well better walk on water. Of course, the way the coaching situation has gone for our boys since the lockout ended is reminiscent of “The Lord Of The Flies”, only the kinds of players Lou has on the roster means they don’t become a group of savages when they find themselves without a strong authority figure, but rather unleash a lethal passive-aggressiveness that drives good men to the brink of insanity. Sutter is talking a big talk that he’s not going to stand for more of that craziness, and this preseason he’s shown that he’s inclined to back it up. Stripping Patty Elias of his C? Instituting an aggressive forecheck? Refusing to obsessively match lines? Breaking up Pando and Madden? He means business! We’ve spent the last few Springs watching the Devils fade out with a whimper in the postseason thanks to a stubborn insistence on being a passive, reacting team. Sutter seems to be the guy who’s going to take us back to the glory days in 2000 and 2001 when the Devils swaggered around the ice, setting the pace and dictating tone. We’re going to go out on a limb and say that we are not going to see a third Spring with Lou behind our bench.
Read Full Post »
We have a terrible track record when it comes to attending NHL practices. We’ve had the distinct pleasure of sitting through an optional game-day skate in Buffalo that featured a grand total of six Amerks and Andrew Peters, and on this past Saturday we spent three hours freezing our fannies on the bleachers at South Mountain Arena so we could take in the sights and sounds of exactly zero players taking the ice. So when Pookie decided to take a day off from work so we could make the long drive back up to West Orange today, we should have expected the worst. Well, call us optimists (or people who don’t learn from our mistakes), but we had high hopes. We also came prepared — after spending over five practice-less hours lurking at the rink over the weekend, this time we brought a travel cribbage board.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Andy Greene, Bully Pulpit, Marty Brodeur, Patty Elias, Paul Martin, Playoffs, Richard Matvichuk, Scott Gomez, Travis Zajac, Zach Parise on April 22, 2007 |
2 Comments »
We just spent a few minutes wandering blindly around stately IPB Manor repeating over and over through our giggles, “Oh my God! Oh my God! I can’t believe it!” That can only mean one thing: the Devils advanced out of the first round. As our biorhythms have settled back into a state of relative normalcy, it’s time to assess the good, the bad and everything in between from our beloved boys’ series with Tampa
Our Three Stars for the series:
1. Duh — Zach Parise. This series gave Zach a chance to demonstrate to the league something he’s known since 2003: he shouldn’t have fallen so far in the draft. (We bet the Islanders would really have liked to have had a player like him during their first-round loss… And no, we’ll never get tired of saying that.) He’s had that crazy motor all year, but in the first four games he just kicked into overdrive. He got skill goals, hard-work goals, lucky goals… whenever the Devils needed it, Zach was there to score. The best part about having a player like Zach on the second line is that externally it takes a lot of pressure off the top line as they know there are other reliable sources of offense, but internally it puts a ton of pressure on the EGGers to keep up. At least we hope that’s the case. Surely Gio, Gomer and Patty have enough pride to want to be more than just the nominal top line. Right? Right?
2. Richard Matvichuk. How is it possible that a guy who played only one game all year makes us completely unconcerned that Colin White missed the bulk of this series? Matvichuk led the way for our entire D-corps, playing smart, solid minutes and blocking shots as consistently and intelligently as any guy in the NHL does these days. (The general media obsession with defenseman shot-blocking is one of our major pet peeves. So often you see guys leave their feet and get out of position, or stick out vulnerable body parts and end up injured, or deflect pucks into the goal, or screen their goaltender. But the Devils, and Matvichuk in particular, are brainy blockers, knowing when to let Marty handle shots and managing to stay engaged in plays or in position when they do take the blocks.)
Read Full Post »
(Final Score: Devils 3, Lightning 2)
Our pre-game predictions, based on the Devils long and storied history of choking in possible elimination Game 6′s, hover between 4-0 and 6-0 TB.
Oh no. Pierre McGuire’s working the game. He starts out with an interview with Vinny and it looks like Pierre is trying to climb into Vinny’s uniform with him, then when the angle cuts in closer to show Vinny’s face, you can see Pierre’s lips moving hungrily. He could not possibly be more creepy.
We really don’t like watching the feeds on NBC. Yes, the HD is nice (no Devils HD availability here in Flyer Country), but the three-man “booth” makes for very awkward chemistry. Could they possibly make Pierre behave like a sideline reporter rather than a second color guy? Doc ends up not doing play-by-play but rather serving as an Eddie-Pierre facilitator, and the dynamic between those two always reeks of pathetic toadyism on McGuire’s part and thinly veiled disgust on Eddie’s.
19:51 Icing already? SERIOUSLY???
19:42 Madden and Pando on a two-on-one, Madden misses the net. Pierre is horrified Torts is going with the checking line against Vinny. Um, that’s not been a bad matchup for TB.
Read Full Post »
Devils 3, Lightning 0
(As we are writing this Boomer is sitting to the side, narrating her own blog post to herself, “Like a vintage Rolls, Marty was priceless… And Patty at auction wouldn’t draw a bid.”)
Well that’s a bit more like it! That was 60 minutes of classic Devils hockey; they gave up a zillion shots but Marty was only called upon for monster saves on a few occasions, they took only a handful of shots themselves but managed to score when it mattered most, and somehow it just never seemed for a second that the outcome was in doubt. Tonight we named Marty, Matvichuk (recently upgraded in IPB nickname parlance from “Matvisuck” to “Matviclutch”) and Gomer the three stars. Yeah, that’s right: Gomer! (The anti-star award goes to Zach Parise. What is up with him not scoring even one goal? We expect so much more from him!)
Read Full Post »