Monday, November 20, 2006


College, Leafs, & What You Already Know

There are a few things of note on this day:

First, Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail has an article stating that the Devils are heavy with college-developed players. I'd like to state that among the many things Lou Lamoriello has done, him, scouting director David Conte, and the Devils scouting staff has been nothing short of brilliant at drafting. How else would the Devils remain contenders for over 10 years?

However, I'd like to make the point that the team does not prefer college developed players. You may say, but John F, look at the team. Brian Gionta, Brian Rafalski, John Madden, Zach Parise, Paul Martin, David Hale, Travis Zajac, and Jay Pandolfo are all college guys - that's most of the young, offensive, and defensive core. You're right, they are (or will be) core players to some degree and they are from the US College system.

But consider some other top Devils. Martin Brodeur stayed in the QMJHL instead of going to college in 1989-1990. Scott Gomez was picked right out of the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. Jamie Langenbrunner was developed in Peterborough of the OHL. Patrik Elias played in the Czech Republic, as Sergei Brylin came from Russia. Johnny Oduya played in the 'Q' and then was signed out of the Swedish Elite League. More to the point, look at some of the recent Devils' draft picks: Matt Corrente (2006 1st rounder, Saginaw Spirit), Alexander Vasyunov (2006 2nd rounder, Russia), Kirill Tulupov (2006 3rd rounder, Russia now in Moncton of the QMJHL), Nicklas Bergfors (2005 1st rounder, SEL), Mark Fraser (2005 4th rounder, Kitchener), and Petr Vrana (2003 3rd rounder, Czech Rep.) for proof that the Devils go for whom they think is best guy available. Regardless of where they are being drafted from (or where they will go after being drafted).

Second, Trendon Lynch is On Fire about the Leafs announcers. See, Trendon, has yet to learn the many secrets about the Devils with respect to the rest of the NHL. I learned this from being on HFBoards for far too long. One being, the Devils are just responsible for everything bad about hockey. When they win, it's boring and terrible. No way could NJ beat a team cleanly. No, no, they trap and they turtle and they bore and the announcers whine like babies, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Our team is exciting, it's the Devils and their pillow-inducing brand of hockey that suffocates the game and therefore win. (ASIDE: When they lose, suddenly the Devils are a good team and it's a good thing that team X beat a quality squad - oh, and those Devils aren't that good anyway.) I'll tell you (and you, the reader) some more later.

Third, Bill Clement writes at MSNBC in an article that Martin Brodeur guy is pretty good. Like, top 5 goalies in NHL history good. As Devils fans, we already know that; but it's good when a hockey-media guy gets it as well. It's also a good reminder, go check it out.

OOPS EDIT: No, the Devils play Phoenix on Wednesday. I guess I need to sharpen my calender reading skills. All the same, have a good day/night.

While it's nice to hear an analyst say Brodeur is top 5, it's an insult at the same time. Clement's "cons" say it all - if Brodeur had the same numbers with a team that didn't trap, he'd be the greatest ever. He's never won the Hart because the Devs play a team game. He barely won the Vezina, getting robbed in 97 when he had better numbers than Hasek, but not the highlight reel saves. Clement's an idiot and sadly, it's the same for a lot of the national media guys (read: Melrose).
All fair points. Which is why I'm happy he at least recognizes he's a top 5 goaltender and pointed this article out.
I'm also happy that he's considered top 5, but I have a premonition that when he's eligible for the HOF, people are going to say "he played for a defensive team," "he never won an MVP award (regular season or playoffs)," "he only won so many games because he played so many," and "his win total is inflated because of all his shootout wins." Though they're true, he's still the best.
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