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Besides an excellent joint effort from Keith Kinkaid and Cory Schneider, the Devils weren't very good in their 3-1 win over Carolina Saturday night.
A lot of that can be attributed to having a highly mediocre roster, but some of it comes back to the puzzling lineup decisions the Devils continue to make.
For all of Michael Ryder's faults, he possesses a good shot and is surprisingly one of New Jersey's better pure offensive players.
Despite that, he continues to sit on a nightly basis, even though a few solid games would likely make him a very tradeable piece.
Asset management is key in today's NHL, and is very important when you're trying to turn a team around and retool/rebuild on the fly. The Devils don't seem to be doing a great job with that, at least in terms of Ryder.
From Bruce Garrioch: Here's a thought courtesy of an executive: If the Devils want a draft pick for winger Michael Ryder then president/GM Lou Lamoriello may want to stop scratching him. "If he keeps this up then he's going to have to give somebody a draft pick with Ryder so a team will take the contract off his hands," said the executive.
Ryder is a UFA at years end, so I highly doubt they'd have to move a draft pick with Ryder, but that kind of tells you how this whole thing looks from afar.
Jordin Tootoo has played some decent 5 vs 5 hockey of late and is a serviceable 4th liner, but he shouldn't be in the top-9, and he shouldn't be anywhere near a power play unit. After all, it's been, what, 15 games now(?) and he still doesn't have a power play point to show for it.
Time on ice totals from last night:
Jordin Tootoo - 18:51
Patrik Elias - 18:09
Mike Cammalleri - 18:02
Adam Henrique - 17:42
Jaromir Jagr - 12:13
Scott Gomez - 11:50
If the Devils plan on moving Jagr, and perhaps Gomez, prior to the March 2nd deadline those guys should probably get better than bottom-6 minutes. I mean, limited ice coupled with no production won't have GMs banging down Lou Lamoriello's door trying to acquire them.
Lamoriello has had a lot of success at the NHL level, and has been with the Devils longer than I've been alive, but I have a hard time getting on board with a lot that's going on right now.
On Marek Zidlicky and the trade deadline
My interview with Devils prospect Joseph Blandisi
On New Jersey's declining penalty kill
Jaromir Jagr wants a trade to a contender
Devils wasting elite season from Cory Schneider
Damon Severson in elite company