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TropicalFruitGirl26

2017-18 NJ Devils Season

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Hischier.jpg

 

Everything New Jersey Devils during their '17-'18 campaign.

 

@MadDevil

I will be watching this team a little closer than normal this year for two reasons:

 

1-- I have invested in a few Devils players for my fantasy hockey teams this year (Adam Henrique, Taylor Hall, and Cory Schneider). In seasons past, I have steered clear of NJ players.

 

2-- I really do think this team has a shot at a post season berth.

 

I realize fans such as yourself know very well the defense still needs lots of work, but I think they got the forwards headed in the right direction and the defense may not have to be great in the Metro this year...but just do enough, while Schneider does his usual outstanding job in net.

 

Nico Hischier (above) looks like he belongs in the NHL and there are some other players I never heard of, but look damned good out there (at least in the first game against Colorado), and I am talking about Will Butcher and Jesper Bratt.

 

I think both the Rangers and Caps may have taken steps backwards in the Metro, the Isles are the Isles, the Flyers and Canes will be scrambling themselves to try and make the post season (IMO they have no better shot at the post season than NJ does...probably all three teams on par with each other in that regard), so that leaves Pittsburgh as the only 'complete' and close to a lock in the Metro to make the post season.

 

I think that is good news for the Devils as things look like they could have opened up for them.

Now they gotta do their part.

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Hmmm.....Bryce Salvador on the analyst panel between periods and on the Devils' post game show.

 

Fans may have wanted him off the team ON the ice, but he really seems to know what he is talking about hockey-wise wearing that suit.

And I never realized what a good looking man he is too! :eyeroll:  

 

Hopefully, Deb Placey can keep her hands to herself...... :shifty:

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I'm honestly just blown away by Jesper Bratt. 19 year old 6th round picks just do not normally look that mature. The kid has been fantastic on the PK through the preseason, and all he does is score a couple points in his first NHL game.

 

All three rookies (Hischier, Bratt, Butcher) had strong games today. The more I watch Nico the more I can see he models his game after Pavel Datsyuk. He's got that same kind of smoothness to his game, and is really damn good defensively for an 18 year old. The kid just looks like a Devil.

 

Oh, and look how much better the defense moves the puck without Ben Lovejoy. Please take note Hynes, and do not revert to having him playing 20+ minutes a game.

 

The only negative from the game today was Palmieri getting injured. I don't think Johnson intended to go knee-to-knee on him, but it really did not look good for Palmieri. It sucks because he was playing like a man on a mission through the preseason.

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21 minutes ago, MadDevil said:

I'm honestly just blown away by Jesper Bratt.

 

 

 

 

Me too!

And I didn't even know who he was before this game.

 

In fact, I was so impressed, I added him as my FOURTH Devil for fantasy hockey...dropping Montreal's Andrew Shaw in favor of him. :shifty:

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Only two games (and we are talking the Avalanche and Sabres here), but these young new Devils look pretty darned good out there.

 

Fast, with a nose for the net, even decent defensively, allowing Cory Schneider to give the top of his head some rest by not having to stand on it for 60 minutes straight!

 

But even when the defense breaks down, Mr. Schneider is there to make the stops he needs to. He looks quite refreshed from what he looked like last year.

 

For fantasy hockey purposes, I am quite happy with Schneider and my newest addition, Jesper Bratt.

I expected Schneider to have good numbers but Bratt, whom I mentioned I never even knew about before, is certainly a nice surprise.

 

Very nice 6-2 win against Buffalo to back up their earlier 4-1 win against Colorado.

 

Yea, yea, I won't be hanging my fantasy hockey season with NJ based on two games (and neither should the real NHL team), but I gotta believe this is quite the encouraging start for Devils fans to be witnessing right now.

 

Starting Wednesday though, business, as some say, will pick up.

NJ will be facing the high powered offense of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto, come back home to face Ovechkin, Backstrom, Oshie, Holtby and the rest of the Capitals, go across the Geo Washington Bridge to Madison Square Garden to face the hated Rangers, then back across that same bridge back to Newark where they will receive a visit from another high powered offense, none other than my very own Tampa Bay Lightning, with Stamkos, Kucherov, Hedman, Johnson and Brayden Point all in tow!

 

The New Jersey Devils will find out a bit more about themselves after that little stretch I would think.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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Can somebody check Bratt's birth certificate to make sure he's not actually 25 instead of 19? It's incredible how good this kid looks. How many teams trust a 19 year old 6th round pick to not just kill penalties, but create offensive chances while doing so?

 

It's just so refreshing to see speed and creativity, compared to the usual Devils dump-and-chase slogfest of the last several years. I don't know how long the fun will last (they haven't exactly played powerhouse teams), but I'm going to enjoy it while it does.

Edited by MadDevil
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13 hours ago, MadDevil said:

 

 

It's just so refreshing to see speed and creativity, compared to the usual Devils dump-and-chase slogfest of the last several years. 

Years? YEARS?????? don't you mean decades, lol??

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8 hours ago, yave1964 said:

Years? YEARS?????? don't you mean decades, lol??

 

The 2011-12 team that went to the Cup Final played a more attacking style than most Devils teams, but that was the last team I would say was "exciting" since the team that went to back-to-back Finals (when the boring, trapping Devils finished in the top 2 in goals for both seasons).

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Here we go, Devils fans.....three games in, the team is doing well, but they now face their toughest test in the very early season: the undefeated, but more importantly, HIGH scoring, Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

Nice wins against the Avs and Sabres, but frankly, those teams don't feature the kind of attack that the Leafs will likely bring tonight.

 

That said, the Devils themselves look faster and more dynamic, and the Leaf defense still hasn't proven itself to be fool proof either.

So there may be a seam or three the Devils can exploit.

 

I think NJ has an edge in goal but the Devil D is gonna have to play alert and smart to maximize Cory Schneider.

 

Not a large sample size, but the NJ PP is currently at #1....if that really is going to mean something for them, tonight would be a good time to prove it as Toronto's OK sits at 19th....again, small sample size.

 

Looking forward to this game tonight.

 

Every year, I take a team outside my own (TB, Min) to be a pseudo fan of.

In the past, I have done so with Edm, Cgy, Ana, NYI, NYR, etc.....this year, it will be the NJ Devils, as they finally have players who make watching their games fun again.

 

And since I do play fantasy hockey, I even invested in some Devils players as well.

Schneider, Henrique, Hall, and Bratt.

 

So far, I have NO Leaf players on my squads, so no conflict of interest in this one.

 

Let's go boys!

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Now this is the Cory Schneider I know and love. I don't know what he did in the offseason but he looks so much more steady in there than he did last season. Of course it helps to get 15 goals of support in just 3 games.

 

The team as a whole just seems fired up about this season. They're sticking up for each other like they didn't last year. They're still giving up more shots than I'd like, but that's going to happen when you open it up with a still pretty mediocre defense corps.

 

Even if it does end up going sideways at some point at least they won't be boring and lose, which is an improvement on the previous 5 years.

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Debs, along with Colorado, have to be the big early surprises. Both teams are playing some really good team hockey. 

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What is this scoring goals thing the Devils are doing? 

 

Nico finally breaks through with a pair of goals against Ottawa in a nice come from behind win (thanks to OT specialist John Moore). The kid has been everything advertised. He's not quite strong enough yet, but he's so damn smart and is just tenacious on the puck. He reminds me a bit of Parise in that regard. His defensive play has, for the most part, been incredible for an 18 year old. He and Hall seem to be finding some chemistry, which is nice. As much as I have a soft spot for Zajac, it's nice to see Hall playing with a highly skilled and creative center.

 

Also, Will Butcher has been a fantastic signing so far. He's just so calm with the puck and is making passes I don't think the Devils defense has made in years. He's not the fastest guy around but you can tell he's got a high hockey IQ.

 

The Devils are actually fun to watch. Who would have ever thought that would happen?

Edited by MadDevil

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@MadDevil

 

Congrats on your team beating the Lightning the other day.

It took a shoot out to do it, but they got it done when in the past, a team with the firepower of Tampa Bay would have likely buried a Devils team that didn't have some of the players it has now.

 

So that makes two high powered offenses (Toronto and Tampa Bay) that the Devils not only keep pace with, but defeat as well....then last night's win against the Senators (who have been pretty stingy in goals allowed), putting up a 5-spot against them.

 

Sure, the Devil D may still need work, but as we have all seen by now.....New Jersey has things going in the right direction, and they are damned exciting to watch.

 

Jesper Bratt though.....cooling down? Looks like it.

Hopefully John Hynes doesn't tinker too much with the team's formula and just continue to let the young guys do what they do.

 

And tough loss on Cory Schneider not being able to finish the Sens game.

Last I heard, DTD, so hopefully it won't be a long term thing.

 

Keith Kinkaid finished the game pretty well, but Schneider is definitely part of the exciting recipe the Devils now have....and they surely will need him if they have any shot of making the post season.

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Devils looked kinda....I dunno...slow in that game last night vs the Oilers.

 

I realize Edmonton has a fast team, but so does Jersey now.

For some reason, NJ players always seem to be caught either standing still when a play comes their way, or JUST getting started on their skating...in which case the fast Edmonton players looked that much faster going right by them.

 

Of course, the Devils, like any other team isn't gonna win'em all, and they are subject to playing a clunker occasionally through the course of the season, but word from the post game show after that game was that coach John Hynes was non too happy with the Devils play.

 

Interesting pattern NJ is currently on record-wise:

Win 3, Lose 1.... Win 3, Lose 1..... Win 3...and just lost 1 to the Oilers.

So...they are due to win the next three, right?  :)

 

Hey, if I am a NJ fan, I'll take that pattern all season long!

 

Let's see how they do in Calgary later on.

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It would be nice if they could get a damn PP on this trip too. So far in 2 games they've drawn a total of 1 penalty, which I find hard to believe that Vancouver and Edmonton combined only committed 1 penalty. 

 

The good thing is Hall is in beast mode this year, so hopefully that continues. Hischier has gone kind of quiet, although he hasn't really played poorly. Bratt isn't quite as productive as the first 10 games, but is still playing wise beyond his years. The weaknesses in this team defensively have started to show up more though. And Cory seems to go from completely on to giving up 3+ goals, which is starting to worry me a bit. It kind of reminds me of how Rask has fallen from elite to just good the last couple years. And Cory will be 32 by the end of this season.

 

I was hoping for at least 3 out of the 6 points on the trip (the western Canada trip has been rough for them in recent years) so if they can put together a better game against Calgary to close it out that'd be nice. Also, whoever came up with their November schedule should be fired. They have a stretch of 7 games in 12 days, 3 days off, and then another 7 games in 12 days.

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Hall had 8 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in his first 19 games last year too. Not sure if he is in beast mode or if this is just par for the course.

 

I noted in fantasy that he has always been a fast starter. He had 9 goals and 15 assists in his first 20 the year before as well.

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This guy has been a good signing for them. What a play.

 

 

 

Avs should could use him.

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The rookies have just been ridiculous for them this year. Butcher, Hischier (good God does he remind me of Datsyuk), and Bratt. The last time the Devils had this many rookies contributing this much was probably 1999-00, when they had Gomez, Madden, and Rafalski (who I don't think was technically a rookie because he was 26).

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5 hours ago, MadDevil said:

The rookies have just been ridiculous for them this year. Butcher, Hischier (good God does he remind me of Datsyuk), and Bratt. The last time the Devils had this many rookies contributing this much was probably 1999-00, when they had Gomez, Madden, and Rafalski (who I don't think was technically a rookie because he was 26).

Butch, HeShe and the Brat. Sounds like the regulars at an alternative night club.......

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But in all seriousness the Devils are a fun team to watch this year. I feel they are still missing skill on the blueline but the rest of it is coming together nicely. I thought for certain that Shattenkirk was going to end up there in July, that the Rangers simply couldn't make the economics work but they surprised me. If the Devils continue this pace I could see Mike Green being added at or before the deadline to run their first team power play and allow everyone else to slot down accordingly. 

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They'd need to pair him with Andy Greene, just for the hilarity of hearing the commentary.

 

"Greene passes to Green, who gives it back to Greene, then back to Green again for the one timer..."

 

Although I would say they need a lefty more than they need another righty. Greene (Andy that is) should be at most a 2nd pairing guy at this point in his career. Moore should be a 3rd pairing guy. Mueller may still have top 4 potential (he was playing pretty well before getting hurt), but I don't feel safe banking on an aging Greene and maybe Mueller being a 2nd pairing guy when he comes back.

 

It'll be interesting to see what Shero does around the deadline (assuming the bottom doesn't fall out in the next couple months). He's been pretty frugal with his assets so far. I don't think he'll mortgage the future, but it's kind of hard to not try to do something when it's been 6 years since the Devils were in the playoffs. 

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4 hours ago, yave1964 said:

But in all seriousness the Devils are a fun team to watch this year. I feel they are still missing skill on the blueline but the rest of it is coming together nicely. I thought for certain that Shattenkirk was going to end up there in July, that the Rangers simply couldn't make the economics work but they surprised me. If the Devils continue this pace I could see Mike Green being added at or before the deadline to run their first team power play and allow everyone else to slot down accordingly. 

Meh...I said it before, and I will say it again...I really think ShatTheBed is overrated.

Not 'terrible' mind you, or not like he isn't worth having on your team, but I just don't get why teams were falling over themselves trying to see if that guy would sign with them.....or what the big flippin deal was with "Where will The Kirk sign?"

 

He's made it pretty clear anyways since WAY before he got there that he wanted to be in NY and specifically a Ranger. Well, good for the Blueshirts. They got their guy and everyone else can kindly move along.

 

Devils were spared ShatTheBed IMO.

NJ has lots of cap room now...they will have even more when some salary comes off the books both at the end of this year and next.

I think they could do better while the team continues to round itself into a playoff contender.

 

Which leads me too....................

 

 

3 hours ago, MadDevil said:

They'd need to pair him with Andy Greene, just for the hilarity of hearing the commentary.

 

"Greene passes to Green, who gives it back to Greene, then back to Green again for the one timer..."

 

Although I would say they need a lefty more than they need another righty. Greene (Andy that is) should be at most a 2nd pairing guy at this point in his career. Moore should be a 3rd pairing guy. Mueller may still have top 4 potential (he was playing pretty well before getting hurt), but I don't feel safe banking on an aging Greene and maybe Mueller being a 2nd pairing guy when he comes back.

 

It'll be interesting to see what Shero does around the deadline (assuming the bottom doesn't fall out in the next couple months). He's been pretty frugal with his assets so far. I don't think he'll mortgage the future, but it's kind of hard to not try to do something when it's been 6 years since the Devils were in the playoffs. 

 

 

.................. some possible pieces the Devils could add on defense.

 

Now, I know @MadDevil you mentioned the trade deadline, and yea, if NJ is in it (and at this point I have to think they should be), then maybe a minor deal or two would suffice for the time being.

 

But after the season?

Some interesting defensemen will be UFA's.  None as "heralded" as ShatTheBed, but in NJ's case, that is probably a GOOD thing.

 

Here are FIVE possibilities...interesting for a variety of reasons:

 

1--- Washington's John Carlson.

Currently making $3.9M, is 27 yrs old, and can be a steadying influence on the Devils blue line. He won't put up eye popping numbers and his salary should reflect that (maybe he can be had for something like $4.25 - 4.75M?), yet he CAN contribute on offense here and there. But his biggest draw would be solid defense, experience, and he is still in his defensive prime.

 

2--- Columbus' Jack Johnson.

By no means is this guy a great defenseman, but he is again, another guy who has been around, can be solid in his own end, brings a bit of sandpaper to the table, is still just 30 yrs old and can likely be signed to a short term deal (maybe a two year deal?) for much less than his current $4.3M AAV salary.

 

3--- Boston's Zdeno Chara.

Hey, don't laugh. 

Yes, Big Z is 40, yes he is a shell of his former self.....but I gotta tell ya, that shell is better than a good number of much younger defensemen available out there now and if the Devils can somehow persuade him to be a Devil on a one or two year deal with a slight bump in AAV on what he is making now (currently $4M AAV), he could provide a WEALTH of experience, know-how, and how-to for some of NJ's younger players, particularly defensemen like Severson, Butcher, and maybe even Mueller.

 

Chara won't be the offensive force he was in Boston, but he still has a bit left in the tank and could be a nice defensive player who can still find open players...and the Devils, IMO, have faster and more dynamic forwards to pass to than the Bruins currently have.

And he could be a part of some miracle run by NJ during the time he would be there.

Whether he wants to retire as a Bruin is another matter, but Boston seems mired in Middlesville, while NJ seems trending upward. 

Big Z could help a bit with that upward trend and go along for the ride too.

 

4--- Kings' Christian Folin.

I liked him in Minnesota and was disappointed the Wild didn't keep him on...and I even think Minny is regretting that move (along with trading away Marco Scandella), as their defense just isn't the same outside of Suter and Spurgeon (and even those two have had their issues this year).

But I digress.

 

Folin is currently making LESS than 1M, but he too can provide a solid defensive presence, nothing fancy about him, and DOES have a pretty mean, heavy point shot, and if properly motivated, has been known to play a bit of a rough, physical type defense without taking a bunch of penalties.

A nice inexpensive blue liner who brings a bit of toughness, decent defensive play, a cannon shot and is still just 26 yrs old.

 

5-- Arizona's Luke Schenn.

Yep, another "hey don't laugh" potential signing.

I know Flyers fans on this board in particular ripped this guy to shreds on a regular basis, but you know, I've watched him play in the desert, and while he won't ever be confused with an elite defenseman, or even a really good one, he isn't as bad defensively as many people made him out to be (ok, well, maybe he was before, but he seems to have come into his own a bit at age 28 now) and I believe can provide good defense along with a bit of intimidation as he has become a pretty good hitter at the blue line....and is only making $1.25M, and could probably be had with maybe a three year deal with a $2.5 - 3M AAV cap hit.

 

Schenn could be one of the biggest hitters the Devils have had since Anton Volchenkov and his relatively low PIMs count suggest he can do so without going overboard and taking a bunch of dumb penalties in the process.

Another possible low cost, still-young, decent short term defenseman with experience and a bit of snarl to add to NJ's blue line.

 

 

In addition to the above 5, the Devils could also look into giving John Moore a nice extension, as I think he is an underrated player.

Dalton Prout would need a new deal too, but honestly, as tough as he is, I don't see him providing much else for the Devils.... see Luke Schenn if NJ wants a guy who is tough but does other things too.

And of course, after next season, the Devils and their fans I am sure would love to see Ben Lovejoy shown the door.

Doesn't bring a bunch to the table for the $2.7M he makes...and usually a big liability on the blue line.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26

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Carlson would be a nice addition if the Caps don't get him locked up. It would help make up for the Devils drafting Tedenby over him.

 

Johnson might not be a bad addition either, although it would have to be a short term deal. Chara doesn't really fit the up tempo style of game they're going for. Schenn I've never been a fan of.

 

The real issue isn't the middle-bottom of the defense, it's the top of the defense. Severson and Santini are the only two top 4 defensemen they have long term. Greene is looking like age is finally catching up to him, and after that it's Moore (who should be a bottom pairing guy), Mueller (who is more likely a bottom pairing than middle pairing guy), and Butcher (who may have top 4 potential but is no guarantee). They need a legit top pairing guy they can put with Severson or Santini, and probably another to put with whichever one isn't with the top pairing. And those two players need to be able to play the left side. Of course getting said top 4 defenseman is another matter entirely. It would probably take a pretty significant piece from the Devils to get that kind of player, and while they're better than expected this year, I'm still not sure they're at the point to be dealing significant assets.

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The Anaheim Ducks have acquired forwards 

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 and 

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, along with a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman 

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 and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 or 2020 NHL Draft.

 

@MadDevil

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Watching a bit of Devils and Sabres.... man, this NJ team seems to be transforming almost overnight from a fast, somewhat offensive oriented team with good goaltending and a somewhat soft defense, to one that is a pretty strong, fast, offensive oriented team, with a decent defense (Vatanen has helped in that area...big time) and damned good goaltending.

 

NJ is a team that just looks determined, rabid along the boards and not afraid to lay the hits on the opponents.

 

I realize it's the Sabres they are playing currently, but they are on a 4 game win streak, 6 of their last 7, and have beaten teams much better than the Sabres in the Rangers, LA, Anaheim, Dallas...just to name a few.

Devils have been taking it to lots of teams not named Buffalo or Detroit, folks.

 

Unless a team like the Pens or Caps get it together and make a monster run, NJ could very well win the division and make plenty of noise in the post season.

And this team hasn't even reached full potential yet....

 

Exciting time to be a Devils fan indeed.

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  • Most Liked Posts in This Topic

    • 1
      Post
      I'm honestly just blown away by Jesper Bratt. 19 year old 6th round picks just do not normally look that mature. The kid has been fantastic on the PK through the preseason, and all he does is score a couple points in his first NHL game.   All three rookies (Hischier, Bratt, Butcher) had strong games today. The more I watch Nico the more I can see he models his game after Pavel Datsyuk. He's got that same kind of smoothness to his game, and is really damn good defensively for an 18 year old. The kid just looks like a Devil.   Oh, and look how much better the defense moves the puck without Ben Lovejoy. Please take note Hynes, and do not revert to having him playing 20+ minutes a game.   The only negative from the game today was Palmieri getting injured. I don't think Johnson intended to go knee-to-knee on him, but it really did not look good for Palmieri. It sucks because he was playing like a man on a mission through the preseason.
    • 1
      Post
      Only two games (and we are talking the Avalanche and Sabres here), but these young new Devils look pretty darned good out there.   Fast, with a nose for the net, even decent defensively, allowing Cory Schneider to give the top of his head some rest by not having to stand on it for 60 minutes straight!   But even when the defense breaks down, Mr. Schneider is there to make the stops he needs to. He looks quite refreshed from what he looked like last year.   For fantasy hockey purposes, I am quite happy with Schneider and my newest addition, Jesper Bratt. I expected Schneider to have good numbers but Bratt, whom I mentioned I never even knew about before, is certainly a nice surprise.   Very nice 6-2 win against Buffalo to back up their earlier 4-1 win against Colorado.   Yea, yea, I won't be hanging my fantasy hockey season with NJ based on two games (and neither should the real NHL team), but I gotta believe this is quite the encouraging start for Devils fans to be witnessing right now.   Starting Wednesday though, business, as some say, will pick up. NJ will be facing the high powered offense of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto, come back home to face Ovechkin, Backstrom, Oshie, Holtby and the rest of the Capitals, go across the Geo Washington Bridge to Madison Square Garden to face the hated Rangers, then back across that same bridge back to Newark where they will receive a visit from another high powered offense, none other than my very own Tampa Bay Lightning, with Stamkos, Kucherov, Hedman, Johnson and Brayden Point all in tow!   The New Jersey Devils will find out a bit more about themselves after that little stretch I would think.
    • 1
      Post
      Can somebody check Bratt's birth certificate to make sure he's not actually 25 instead of 19? It's incredible how good this kid looks. How many teams trust a 19 year old 6th round pick to not just kill penalties, but create offensive chances while doing so?   It's just so refreshing to see speed and creativity, compared to the usual Devils dump-and-chase slogfest of the last several years. I don't know how long the fun will last (they haven't exactly played powerhouse teams), but I'm going to enjoy it while it does.
    • 1
      Post
      The 2011-12 team that went to the Cup Final played a more attacking style than most Devils teams, but that was the last team I would say was "exciting" since the team that went to back-to-back Finals (when the boring, trapping Devils finished in the top 2 in goals for both seasons).
    • 1
      Post
      Debs, along with Colorado, have to be the big early surprises. Both teams are playing some really good team hockey. 
    • 1
      Post
      The rookies have just been ridiculous for them this year. Butcher, Hischier (good God does he remind me of Datsyuk), and Bratt. The last time the Devils had this many rookies contributing this much was probably 1999-00, when they had Gomez, Madden, and Rafalski (who I don't think was technically a rookie because he was 26).

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