Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NY Post,
“It’s a long year. We’re only four games in,” Brent Sutter said after the Devils fell to 1-3 on the season, shut out 3-0 by the Panthers here last night. “The guys are competing and playing hard. I don’t have an issue with that at all.”
But the Devils may be taking this egalitarian “all men are created equal” stuff too far. It’s as if they’re trying to prove - by necessity - that systems are more important than skill. The evidence is mounting against them.
from the NY Post,
Lamoriello indicated he’d pursue a deal rather than seek waivers on Matvichuk, who is slated to earn $1.3 million this season. He is in the last year of a contract he signed as an unrestricted free agent July 12, 2004, before the last lockout and before the advent of the “new” NHL.
Lamoriello, asked if Matvichuk was not suited to Sutter’s more aggressive system, said, “I would have to say that, yes.”
Martin Brodeur said, “He proved last year when he stepped in that he could do the job. He’s still a pretty gritty player, blocking shots and being mean. His speed has a lot to do with it.”
from Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Brent Sutter clearly wasn’t happy after this one and held a closed-doors meeting before the media was allowed in the locker room. In fact, Sutter pulled Arron Asham, who scored his first goal as a Devil in the second period, out of a live interview with the Devils’ radio team so he wouldn’t miss the meeting.
from the Staten Island Advance,
With new coach Brent Sutter refusing to play the kind of passive, line-matching style that has made the Devils targets of criticism around the league for years, the harness is off Madden. His two goals were instrumental in the Devils’ 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers Saturday night and suggested that this could be the start of a new Madden.
“I try to score goals as much as anybody,” Madden said. “Have I been put into position to score goals? No, but things have changed.”
from Scott Burnside and Damien Cox at ESPN,
Editor’s note: We are starting a new feature here at ESPN.com called “Friday Faceoff” where ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Will New Jersey make the playoffs again or is this the season we see the demise of the Devils?
Scott Burnside: OK, I know, I’m late. Still, I’m in better shape than the Devils. I know Damien is a sensitive soul, so I’ll go easy on him knowing he believes the Devils to be infallible. So I will provide the one-word answer to the question in question—no. Next?
from Fire & Ice,
Sutter said he would make a decision on whether to have a captain and who it will be after Jamie Langenbrunner returns from sports hernia surgery (probably near the end of November).
“There won’t be a decision on the captaincy until Langenbrunner is healthy,” Sutter said.
from the Star-Ledger,
“I know of some places where not everyone gets treated the same,” Asham said, referring to the Islanders, whom the Devils defeated, 2-1, last night at the Arena at Harbor Yard to finish the preseason with a 4-2 record.
And which player or players might have gotten preferential treatment?
“(Alexei) Yashin maybe,” Asham said.
Even though there were clearly some issues, and Asham even had a fight with goalie Rick DiPietro during one practice, he did not leave the Islanders with a lot of bitterness. He felt it was time to go and the Islanders weren’t devastated that he left.
from the NY Post,
Danny Markov was one of the top three unrestricted defensemen July 1, and he’s still looking for a contract with a contender. Markov and Colin White are different sorts of defensemen, but the Devils are likely to be without White (eye) for some time, and even when he returns, any team would be improved by a mobile all-around backliner of Markov’s quality.
The Devils figure to have a cap liability of some $48.7 million toward the limit of $50.3 million when their season opens Thursday in Tampa, Fla., and could use their old savior, the Long-Term Injury exemption, to exceed the limit, with Jamie Langenbrunner’s $2.8 million, White’s $3 million and Cam Janssen’s 600G all likely listable.
from the Bergen Record,
“I’m not saying we’ll have someone with the ‘C’ or won’t have someone with the ‘C’. I don’t know,” Sutter said Thursday. “But we’ll probably have someone with ‘A’s’ on their jerseys, that’s for sure.”
Sutter said, “it’s nothing to read into,” but he still is trying to get a read on which players would best fit the leadership roles on his team. Elias eventually might be his captain, too.
“I’m not saying what they had here last year was right or wrong,” Sutter said. “I just wanted time to go through it and the decision, whenever it’s made, is going to be the right decision as far as the makeup of our team and how we want to play and so forth.”
from The Record,
They’ve moved out of Continental Arena and can’t move into Prudential Center until Oct. 27. That’s forcing them to travel for all six of their preseason games and open the regular season with nine consecutive road games.
This might be Brent Sutter’s biggest challenge in his first month as an NHL head coach. A team could dig itself a significant hole while trying to find its identity during those first three weeks of the season.
“It will be a different experience definitely going on the road for the first nine games,” Jay Pandolfo said. “You’ve got to learn to win on the road right away.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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