Monday, July 28, 2008



On this edition of The IPB Hour (Not Actually An Hour), Pookie and Schnookie discuss the logjam of (the poor prospects!) and consider what lines would Brent Sutter start with. They ultimately conclude it may be pointless as the lines will undoubtedly change within the first period and then there's this deer. I don't recall whether they tried to trade Brian Gionta for the deer.

As a nice, if not old, related post - new-ish Devils blog Section 209 actually has a detailed write up of what the starting lineup will look like. Frank Pyzik's reasoning should be read. I do disagree with some of the decisions. While a Zubrus-Holik-Rupp line would be interesting (and big!), Zubrus is too skilled to be playing on the fourth line. Ultimately, I think we'll see him on the second line - with Langenbrunner dropping back to the third line and Clarkson on the fourth. Still, good call on putting Gionta on the off-wing. I wouldn't like to see Colin White and Bryce Salvador on the same pairing as they could have trouble with speedy forwards; but I do agree that the third pairing is a toss-up at this point. Still, good work.

A new-er Devils blog, Hell on Ice, Richard Adragna has a short eulogy for Sergei Brylin. No, he's not dead, but his NHL career essentially is when he signed with SKA St. Petersburg (link goes to Gulitti interview). Brylin was utility forward who proved useful - either as a checker or a spot-filler when injuries struck - and was a part of the team's three Stanley Cups. Yes, he faded in this past season; but he will be remembered for his times prior. While a Brylin-like player may not make the difference between winning or losing the Cup; you need guys like Sarge to get there. Was he crucial or important enough to retire his number? No. But he will be remembered fondly in the hearts of Devils fans.

Speaking of Gulitti, he reports that Jamie Langenbrunner will remain captain. Repeat after me, Devils fans: You don't need to be the best player on the team to be the leader. Yes, it would be a bad season for Langenbrunner if he, say, puts up just barely above 30 points. But it wouldn't be an indictment of his role as captain. Now, if he can't motivate the team and step up in the locker room, that would be a valid strike against his captaincy. I'm just getting that out there now before we hear the complaints in, say, January.

From Puck Daddy, we learn that Jay Bouwmeester did, in fact, sign with the Florida Panthers according to the Miami Herald. So scratch him off the list of future Devils unless that list title ends with "I wish they could magically get." (Aside: On my list of future Devils that I wish they could magically get? Two words: Jack Johnson. But it'll never happen.) Also from Puck Daddy, the Islanders will have a sweet third jersey this coming season according to NY Rivalry. Hopefully, New Jersey can finally stop having ridiculously difficult games against them this coming season.

Lastly, also thanks to Puck Daddy, check out this interview Wyshynski had with NHL 09 producer David Littman if you're into things like games, hockey, both, and fun in general. In the NCAA games, I really dig the "Be a Legend" future as it allows me to create a gigantic (7'0") power running back by the name of Bolt van der Huge and work to become a Scarlet Knight superstar. What Littman is aiming for definitely is appealing and I'd love to give it a shot. Is Blast Hardcheese a good hockey name?

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We tried to trade the deer for Gionta, but the woods behind the house wouldn't go for it unless we threw in draft picks. It wasn't that great a deer.
Blast Hardcheese is a great name for a hockey player!
Not Canadian enough. I advise Blast Grandefrommage.
you don't have to be the team's best player to be captain, but you do have to lead by example. If you're capable of scoring 30 but score only 13, you're not leading. If you're a locker room leader, you don't have to be named captain to have a positive impact on the team. What the devils really should have gone after in the off season is a true leader. They have the talent (though not a true first line center or number 1 d man) to go deep in the playoffs, just not the heart. Holik and Rolston are not leaders. Langs and Elias are not captains (at least based on the last two seasons).
How about Biff Checker? THAT'S a hockey name!
Biff Checker...hmmm. That's an interesting concept. The only other idea I can think of for that line of thinking is Slab Slewfoot would be good if I wanted to be a griefer and/or the NHL 09 answer to Bryan Marchmant (watch your knees!) I'll have to keep thinking.

Thrawn: The Devils have cultivated many players within the organization who know it well and know what's best. Going out and getting a leader is for teams that have no actual leaders. Who on the market could have stepped into this locker room and become the leader without even playing one game in Devils red?

As far as Langenbrunner's performance is concerned, yes, he had a bad season last season. But if the guys in the locker room listen to him, that's all you need. I'm going to look at his numbers because considering his advancing age, asking for 20 could be far more reasonable for Jamie.

And if you don't like Jamie as a captain, John Madden is RIGHT THERE as the next best option.
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