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The Brodeur Vs. Schneider Debate In New Jersey

Written by Running With The Devils on .

Martin Brodeur has been the starting goaltender for the New Jersey Devils for as long as I can remember.  Almost 21 years, and for most of his career, he has consistently won at every level, the NHL and the Olympics.  With Stanley Cups and Olympic Medals to his credit he has already secured a place in the Hall of Fame.

 

Now the question comes should he take a step back and let the highly coveted backup take a step forward? That’s exactly the case, as a recent strong spell from Cory Schneider has the 41-year-old legend re-considering his position. Brodeur praised his younger teammate’s consistency this season, and made it clear that his only goal is for the Devils to win games.

 

“At the end of the day, we need some wins and we’ve played well with him so far,” Brodeur told NorthJersey.com Monday. With their odds to win the Stanley Cup dwindling the Devils need to start winning.  

 

“That’s one of the things that I think it’s going to be over the next few months because we got ourselves behind the eight ball. We need to win.”

 

Brodeur had stumbled out of the gate early, posting an abysmal .865 save percentage, along with a 0-2-2 record and 3.40 G.A.A.  75% of Devils fans voted for Cory Schneider to be the Devils' top goaltender after Martin Brodeur's uneven start to the season.

 

But in the month of November, Broudeur has once again made a case to keep his starting job and perhaps even a spot on the Canadian Olympic roster.  He has, at the time of writing, allowed just three goals in four starts and posting a .968 save percentage in the month.

Schneider, like his stint in Vancouver where he stole Roberto Luongo’s job, has performed well when he's had opportunities.  His 1-4-3 record at the time of writing doesn’t give him the credit he deserves. He hasn't allowed more than three goals in a game this season. His 2.09 GAA is eighth best in the league just 0.01 of a point behind Brodeur.

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Betting on the New Jersey Devils

Written by Running With The Devils on .

This NHL season, which has been drastically shortened by the lockout between September 2012 and January 2013, has been a pretty miserable one for fans of the Devils, as the team from New Jersey, as they failed to qualify for the play-offs. Having been defending Eastern Conference champions the team’s collapse in form has been a shock for fans of the team – and also for many sports betting fans who would have considered the Devils amongst the favourites for the play-offs, just like the bookmakers did; but where does this leave the Devils?

Clearly for fans of the team from New Jersey there is little left this season – and this is true for anyone interested in gambling on them as well. It is all about rebuilding for next season now, with the hopes that this season has been nothing more than a blip. Certainly the form shown by the Devils in the modern era – which has seen them fail to qualify for the play-offs on only three occasions between 1988 and 2012 – suggests that this is the case, but the collapse this season demonstrates the risks involved in future bets on sports teams. Indeed the failure of hot favourites like the Devils could convince more than one punter to switch their attentions to playing at online casino sites instead.

After all nowadays these sites offer all manner of casino games which are tailored specifically to sports fans – with sporting themed slots games often proving to be particularly popular. Click here to play the best mobile slots at MobileSlots.net. The best of these capture much of the excitement of these sports through audio, video and themed reel icons, while also offering all the best features of slots games. These features include ultra-cheap play, fantastic jackpots and the excellent chance of winning a payout. Furthermore thanks to mobile casino apps you can play them from any location now – making them a more reliable way of betting on sports than placing a future bet on the NHL play-offs .

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Quick Hits: Duh!! They Spent $21 Million

Written by D. Wesley on .

Yes this is a Devils site but sometimes I see things in the hockey world that aren't Devils related bu I still want to touch on. These are going to be what I like to call "Quick Hits" and be warned, they will probably contain some offensive remarks from time to time. 

So I logged on to NHL.com and was met with a nice picture of Gaborik, Nash and Richards, which I posted below. I'm sorry but could NHL.com be sucking Ranger dick any harder?? "NY's top line could be the NHL's best" is what they had to say. Well for $21+ million spent on one line, I would hope they would be pretty good. Not really front page kind of stuff.

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Schenn Suspended 1 Game For Volchenkov Hit

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

Brayden Schenn will sit one game for his hit on Anton Volchenkov. Schenn came off the bench and skated right to Volchenkov, let his feet and targeted the head and upper body. No penatly was called on the play.

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Burke Fired By Toronto

Written by D. Wesley on .

In a shocking move by the Leafs yesterday, they showed Brian Burke the door and brought in Dave Nonis to be their GM. It's a move that shocked me that but is what this league does from time to time.

So with Burke the topic of this post, I just thougt I'd take the oppurtunity to share my favorite game against a Brian Burke team.

 

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Is "Just Drop It" Something You Could Do?

Written by D. Wesley on .


 

NHL fans are angry, there is no denying that. I’m angry, I just want to watch some hockey, talk about hockey and heckle my Rangers fan co-worker but without the NHL playing, it is impossible to do any of that. We’ve lost nearly 45% of our season to this lockout and fans are getting angrier by the day. Is it a surprise that a group of NHL fans are advocating something called Just Drop It?

Here’s the video that was posted on YouTube:

 

 

So after watching, we are to understand that in 10 days’ time, if the lockout is still in effect, for every game we lose, we are supposed to take that from them when they do return to the ice. During said ban, we aren’t supposed to attend any games, watch any hockey (highlights included) on TV or buy any merchandise.

Would the hardcore fan actually do this? I would imagine the casual hockey fan might not return but those hardcore ones? Like I said, I am angry. And like I’ve said previously, I feel under appreciated by the NHL but the fact is this: Most fans, including myself are going to come back. We as fans are kind of stupid. We run up credit card debt in order to attend games or in order to buy the latest merchandise. I’ve know people who put watching a game on tv or attending a game in person above their responsibilities that have to their families. I’d argue that the bigger issue the NHL faces when play resumes is not fan loyalty but rather their sponsors. Will sponsor want to dump money into a league that doesn’t blink twice at locking out players and canceling games? What can the NHL offer to any of their sponsors that the NFL, NBA or MLB doesn’t already?  I’ve digressed.

This mission that these very loyal NHL fans are on has a few problems:

1)      We’ve been waiting for the NHL to end the lockout and return to the ice. If you lose 10 games between Dec 21st and the end of the lockout, you’re telling me that you have enough discipline to not tune into opening night? I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.

2)      I don’t think there is any way that this will reach enough people that would follow through where it actually hurt teams. I’ve heard a lot of people willing to continue to watch on TV but give up their season tickets. That will be felt by the owners not a bunch of empty threats about not returning for a certain amount of time.

3)      By saying you’ll boycott X number of games and not buy merchandise during your X number of games boycott, you are basically saying eventually you will be back and eventually I will start running up my credit card debt to support my NHL habit, they’ll just have to wait X number of games. I say shit or get off the pot. You want to walk away from the NHL, go ahead and do so but saying you’ll going to walk away but return in 3 weeks’ time is kind of dumb.

I do applaud them for their effort. No one likes to sit idly by and wait, I just don’t think this will do much. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe come opening night, the NHL will be playing to an empty arena.

So I throw it to you. Are you going to boycott the NHL once they return?

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Which Group Has The Most To Lose?

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

The precedent the NHL has set for lockouts is a huge problem and a lot of people are losing out because of it. Yes, players and owners are losing money but they are the ones in control right now. They are the ones that can put a stop to the lockout. With so much focus on the NHLPA and the NHL, it begs the question, who is losing the most because of this lockout? Here are a couple I came up with (in no particular order) and please feel free to add some that you think I missed in the comment section below.

  • The Fans – I think this one is obvious. As fans, we wake up every morning and log on to our favorite sports website to find that the lockout hasn’t been resolved. Even when talks seem to be going well, they come to an abrupt halt with either the owners or players talking about how they were “deeply offended” by the other side. We are powerless and for a lot of us, we don’t have any other hockey options. So there we are, sitting, waiting, wishing for a season to begin. (Did I get the song in your head? If not, here you go…) The big question I have, which I really can’t answer, is this: if you are a season ticket holder and the ultimate outcome of this is the cancelation of yet another season, do you go back? I’m not a season ticket holder but if I was, I would have a hard time giving that much money over to a league that doesn’t really seem to appreciate the fans. The NHL would really have to do something for me to make me want to give them that kind of money. Personally, I’d take the cash, buy a bigger flat screen and watch in the comfort of my own home. Yes, they get money from me watching but I’d have a bigger TV for other things as well.
     
  • Older Players – Yes, they are players and have some say in what is going on but it seems that some players want to take what the NHL is offering and some don’t, so they aren’t in complete control. All I know is that there are a number of players in this league that are very near retirement. After the 2004/2005 lockout, guys like Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, Adam Oates and Ron Francis never got to return to the ice. These were guys that left a huge mark on the game and they just faded away from the NHL. No swan song, no farewell tour and most importantly, no victory lap. If we lose this season, which older players have we seen play their last NHL game and did so without knowing it was their final game? Daniel Alfredsson, Teemu Selanne, (gulp) Marty Brodeur? Let’s hope we get all these guys a victory lap.
     
  • Small business with ties to the NHL – On game night, I invite you to take a stroll around Newark (don’t worry, it’s safe.) Take a moment and realize the amount of bars and restaurants are packed both before and after a game. I haven’t seen the numbers for Newark but this doesn’t only happen in Newark. This happens near every arena in the NHL. In one city, I read of a bar losing between $60,000-$80,000 a month. Millionaire league owners and players fight over hockey related revenue, escrow, and make whole while at the same time putting Mr. Joe Schmo Hockey Man out of business. I doubt people are making the trip to Newark to go drinking in some bar if they aren’t in town to watch a hockey game.
     
  • State of Michigan – While I am not a fan of the Winter Classic, there is no denying that it brings in some decent money for the hosting city. This year’s Winter Classic seemed like it was going to be done on a much larger scale which probably meant even more money for the state of Micigan / city of Detroit. Michigan was to play host to the Winter Classic this year but watched that cash cow get pulled from underneath them. It would have been cool to see the NHL play a game in the Big House, which maybe they will do someday but as for this year, it was cancelled back in October.
  • The Minnesota Wild – As much as this one pains me to talk about, the lockout definitely hurts them. The Wild made potentially the move of the year with the off-season pick up of free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. No doubt Minnesota paid a ridiculous amount of money to do this, but there was a palpable excitement in the air, which Minnesota hasn’t seen in a long time. According to USA Today, “They have sold the equivalent of about 4,000 new season tickets since the day the 13-year, $98 million contracts for Parise and Suter were revealed, signaling the most-anticipated season in the franchise’s 12-year history. Thanks to the NHL lockout, though, the mute button has been pushed on the buzz and begs the question, will the casual fan that just bought their first set of season tickets because they bought into the buzz just opt to get their money back and forget about the NHL. If you are a casual fan, the message that fans don’t matter must be a lot louder and clearer than it is for the hardcore fan.




 

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Where Are You As A Fan?

Written by D. Wesley on .

 

Six months ago our Devils were battling for hockey’s ultimate prize. They would go on to lose that prize in 6 games and I thought that might be the worst a hockey fan could feel. Less than a month later, I saw my favorite current Devil bolt out the door to his hometown hockey team which only proved that losing the Cup wasn’t the worst feeling for a Devils fan. Then we arrived at the expiration of the current CBA and all of the sudden, it was 2004/2005 all over again, hockey was on hold and lost cups and lost players didn’t matter at all. All that mattered is that hockey wasn’t going to be played in the foreseeable future.

The emotions that NHL fans are feeling vary depending on the fan. Some have gone and gotten their hockey fix from other leagues. Some are done with the lockout, done with the NHL and just done with hockey all together. And then there are the few that have put hockey on a shelf somewhere and said I’ll be back whenever you get your act together.

I can only speak for myself but I don’t fit into any of those categories, not exclusively anyway. I kind of rise and fall with the news, well at least lately I have been. When the lockout first started, I stopped paying attention. I had a feeling that it would a long process but thought it would certainly have an end between the United States Thanksgiving and Christmas, so a few weeks ago I started paying more attention to the news, to Twitter feeds, etc. When it became clear that both sides were going to drag this out, I began to seek some kind of hockey fix from something other than the NHL.

I’ve tried to get my hockey fix from other leagues but the problem is that I live in Northern NJ and the AHL isn’t broadcasted in my neck of the woods and I am unwilling to pay for it online. Besides, I hear the production values are horrendous. When I tried to tune into the KHL games that sometimes get television coverage, I can't seem to connect with it. Besides, they play at 3am and while I would love to see Kovalchuk light up sub-par Russian goalies, sleep is way more important to me. I’ve tried to watch college hockey but there is just no consistency with the broadcast schedule and no real investment in schools/players on my part. Sadly, the NHL is really the only hockey that will do for me and the only fix I currently have is NHL13 but that only goes so far.

Sometimes, I find myself relating to the people I know that are just like “screw this, I’m done with it” after every failed negotiations becomes front and center with all the hockey media. Both sides try to spin the story so it looks like the other guy is the one being a massive jerk and responsible for screwing the fans but I’ve come to realize, it’s both sides that are doing the screwing. Both sides constantly mention that the NHL has the “greatest fans in the world” and every time I hear it said, it makes me want to puke. If we are so great, we deserve more. We deserve to be watching hockey. I constantly think about the people that depend on the NHL actually playing games (bars, restaurants, clothing stores, arena staff, etc.) and just can’t imagine how they feel on a daily basis.

Then there are times where I can relate to the people putting the NHL on a shelf somewhere only to dust it off when it returns. I love hockey and I’ve loved hockey for a long time. My oldest son is just getting interested in it and the NHL really does do a lot for a kid interested in hockey. How do I just walk away from a game that I have invested money and time into? As angry as the NHL/NHLPA and the lockout make me, most days I realize I will be back once they are. I may not be a crazy and obsessed hockey fan like in years past but I don’t see how I can just turn my back and pretend the NHL doesn’t exist.

This week, I was hopeful, more hopeful than I have been in recent memory but after last night, I am back to being a depressed hockey fan. I was hoping for a resolution so that I could get back to what I enjoying doing on this site. This is usually the time of year where I spend A LOT of time researching and writing Devils content, watching games and interacting with fans on the internet. Last season, I brought on three very passionate Devils fans to help me grow this site and we had really found a groove near the end of the regular season and through the playoffs. We all were starting to do podcasts and netcasts and things were really starting to pick up and this blog was starting to get noticed. Now, the groove is long gone, the appetite is certainly gone and so are most of the readers.

I watched last night as the two sides played tug-a-war with my emotions. One minute I was told that the two sides were very close and then the next minute was told that wasn't true and after actually listening to what the NHL said, realizing they aren't close at all. After last night, we sit here, scratching our heads and asking “what’s next?” I honestly have NO clue.

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Report: Kovalchuk Would Consider Not Coming Back To The NHL

Written by D. Wesley on .

Ilya Kovalchuk Game 1

Add Ilya Kovalchuk's name to the list of Russian players who may stay overseas if the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement sees salaries reduced.

The star winger told a Russian news outlet on Tuesday that if the league cuts the players' pay in any new deal, he may stay in Russia where he's playing with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League.

"Basically, I don't rule out staying in Russia in the case of a reduction of our salaries in the NHL," Kovalchuk told Sportbox.ru. "I just don't understand why they needed to sign such contracts. Or they were just hoping to cut the percentage later? I believe that the contracts must be respected and this is a fundamental question. There's no way the head of the (NHL Players') Association and the hockey players will agree on the wage reduction."

Kovalchuk, 29, signed a 15-year deal with the New Jersey Devils in 2010 worth $100 million.

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Lockout Continues

Written by D. Wesley on .


As this lockout continues, please join me in boycotting shop.nhl.com. If the NHL can't give us our game, why the hell should we give them our money??

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