First, and foremost, I apologize for the hiatus during a busy few days. Family priorities were forefront (everyone is ok) and thank you to those who reached out.
Will the real Devils please stand up?
Be careful what you wish for, they said. We wished for a healthy team and we have 2 losses to show for it. I believe we haven't seen, yet, the real healthy Devils as the last few games they just came short right out of the gate. Tough to play catchup desperation hockey with 5 minutes left.
Playing on emotional high from the COVID layoff and winning games caught up to them and as Coach Ruff said
"Everyone could see we had some fatigue in our game."
Maltsev out while Kuokkanen draws in.
While Blackwood will start after Dell made his Devils debut the healthier Devils should look something like this:
Zacha - Hischier - Bratt
Johnsson - Hughes - Palmieri
Kuokkanen - Zajac - Gusev
Wood - McLeod - Bastian
Murray - Subban
Smith - Seversen
Kulikov - Vatananplay.
Zacha on the wing immediately stands out. Having many centers has been a challenge for Ruff has had to juggle. And Zacha has shown, of late, he needs to play.
The thing that also stands out from a team perspective are the following stats;
They have a slowed 28th most goals in the league (having played less games). I was surprised given Blackwood's strong play.
Power Play 22nd in the league. Again, good PP puck movement of late but no scoring.
Penalty kill is 31st.
And lets not talk about the shootout.... (please lets not talk about that!)
The Devils need to score. Period!
Congratulations to Travis Zajac having played 1000 games - with one team!
Congratulations to Nico having the honor of the "C" on his chest!
This brings me to two questions Id love some feedback:
1- Does Nico deserve the "C"?
2- Does the "C" carry the same meaning and respect today....or is it just a formality now a days?
Personally, I believe the "C" and captains have gotten younger and younger as the league has gotten younger and younger. The person who wears the "C" doesn't need to be a veteran, doesn't need to be vocal, may not always lead by example or is the hardest working player. It is also assumed that everyone should lead and be a leader.
I do believe the "C"means less today than it did 20 years ago and these young players getting the perceived responsibility could only be a distraction. Id love to see a guy like Palmieri be our Captain, for example.
So, what are your thoughts on the meaning of the "C" in today's game?
Lets go Devils!
The Devils Advocate"