On The 2007/2008 Devils

Every year during the free agency period, I read the forums and chat boards, and see many of my fellow Devils fans go crazy over the Devils sometimes losing big free agents and their failure to sign them. It is like an annual right. But, every year, the Devils put a good team on the ice. And, with a new arena opening up this year, GM Lou Lamarillo will not put a crap team on the ice.

One of the things about being a Devils fan is that we do not expect to just make it to the Playoffs every year, maybe make it to the second round. We not just expect to make it to the Finals. We expect a Cup win every year. Detroit fans are like this, as well. These two teams are the winningest ones since the begining of the 1990’s.

Teams constantly lose good players. That is modern professional sports. Sure, they can be hard to replace, especially if they are a potential hall of famer, or a definate hall of famer. You think Boston was real happy Ray Borque left? Reggie going to the Yanks? Reggie White to the Packers? Or any number of big trades/free agency movings? It happens, you just say "oh, well, time to move on." Shoes can be hard to fill, and they might never be, but you go and do what you can. No one will ever fill Scott Stevens shoes. No one can fill The Babe’s. But the teams have to keep playing, right?

One of the other things about being a Devils fan is that the players are not elevated into some sort of better then thou icon. These are the guys that you would see out and about, say hello to, and move on. They aren’t getting into all sorts of legal trouble, going out to the clubs with their bling and posse’s, and being generally innaproachable. The Devils have always sort of been like a family.

Personally, I am not that concerned with the loss of Rafalski. While he is a fantastic setup man, with one of the better deflectible wrist shots in the game, I have been unimpressed with him taking the puck up the ice. He used to have some great speed, but, he has been taking the puck slowly up the ice, instead of using that speed to move the defense back to get it into the zone. With all due respect, he can be replaced. Travis Andy Green, Johnny Oduya, and some of the other folks in the minors will be able to fill that spot. Maybe a free agent pickup. Neidermayer hurt a lot more, yet, the Devils moved on, and did their thing. Oduya has some speed, and has done some coast to coast, as has Green.

Gomez hurts quite a bit more, especially with him going to the Rags. He is one of the best stick handlers out there, and was able to really move that puck up the ice with speed, backing the defenders off. A good set up man, as well. But he was not worth that much money, and the Devils will be able to move someone up, or change up the lines. They will survive.

Clarkson was impressive during his brief time up, and should have a good chance at making the team. Why not give Rupp a bigger role, rather then just being a banger? He does have some pretty good speed. Let Madden and Pandolfo (remember when everyone called him Pandorko, and wanted him traded?) have a bigger role as a scoring line. Both are very fast, good puck handlers, and can score, if they are allowed to take more chances. Open it up.

We still have Zajac, Elias, Gionta, and Parise. Brylin will do whatever is necessary. Some good, solid defensemen. And Marty is still Marty, the backbone of the team. Maybe a bit more rest during the season, though.

Of course, next year, we will be having the same conversation.

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4 Responses to “On The 2007/2008 Devils”

  1. MunDane says:

    AS an Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks fan, I ahve to say I am as devoted as you are. And I ..Hey something shiny!

    Yeah, we love the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim out here. So there!

  2. Stix says:

    I am Blues fan here and we got Kariya and Tkachuk back. It is looking promising for them this year. They are going to get back into the playoffs this year and maybe be a contender for the Cup in a few years

  3. Bleed Dodgers Blue, MunDane. A Dodgers/Angels series would be interesting. Congrats on the Ducks winning. They really, really looked good. I think they are the model team for the salary cap era.

    Stix, I am glad for the Blues. They are a proud team which was down on its luck for a few years. They should make it into the Playoffs this year, I predict a 5th seed in the West.

  4. darthcrUSAderworldtour2007 says:

    My son and I were in Philly watching the Devils pre-game skate, and Zach Parise was the last one off the ice, and had the class to stop by the boards and sign my son’s program. I grew up with the Les Canadiens dynasties of four in a row 1976-1980 and I refer to the NJ Devils as the Montreal Devils! Brian and Scotty will be missed – bigtime!!

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