Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

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Peter_Doherty
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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:38 pm

I have a similar 3rd line to yours but mine has a bit less grit and a bit more skill with Rasmussen-Bjugstad-Clowe.. Loving the size in that line and they are really performing well... Also have a lot of size in my 4th line with Lapierre-Brodziak-Bernier.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:46 pm

As the challenge goes on, I'm trying to make my team bigger and grittier as much as I can.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:57 pm

I'm not that obsessed with size and grit, it just happened that the best deals i could get was for big players... That Bjugstad deal was just too sweet to pass up :)

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:45 pm

Great Q3 for me in season 2, we are sitting in 3rd only 2 points away from #1 in the conference. I made a trade a week before the deadline where i sent Merrill and my 2nd round pick to Ottawa for Bobby Ryan, he will slot into my 2nd line with Cammalleri and Zajac. I liked Merrill but given that i drafted Werenski and i have Gelinas and Greene already at LHD i felt OK sending him for Ryan, Urbom will take his position in the lineup this season unless i find a good rental pickup at deadline, otherwise i will probably just look to get a depth guy.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:20 pm

Just finished Season 2 as second seed and faced Rangers in the first round, got swept :(

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by CJ » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:29 pm

Peter_Doherty wrote:Just finished Season 2 as second seed and faced Rangers in the first round, got swept :(
Who took the Stanley against who?! Just curious. :-)

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:18 pm

jhcjobpb wrote:
Peter_Doherty wrote:Just finished Season 2 as second seed and faced Rangers in the first round, got swept :(
Who took the Stanley against who?! Just curious. :-)
Caps won against Wild...

Just went through the draft aswell and picked up Taylor Stacey and Mitchell Balmas in the first 2 rounds, after that it was only scraps...

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by kuulapaa » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:35 pm

Was not going to take part in this because of no spare time but I had to because of it's the Devils ;)

Strange team, strange results in Q1 of the season. PP is good, PK is great but the team is 14th in the East. There's not much to add to that - or actually there is:
Injuries:
- G Schneider
- LD/RD Gelinas
- LD Greene
- RD Larsson
- LW/RW Clowe (season starting injury but anyways)
- LW/C/RW Elias
- C/RW/LW Gionta
- RW Jagr
- RW Tootoo

All of the injuries were minor ones, Gelinas and Larsson lost some two weeks both and they were the longest absences but even with short term injuries that amount really isn't helping my lines to gel even a bit. And usually the injuries really start piling around the Xmas :roll: .

What comes to players, I think we're not seeing Zidlicky, Salvador, Gomez, Gionta, Havlat, Tootoo and maybe Jagr either in the team roster next season. Alto we need to find someone to score the goals Jagr has scored now...

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:01 pm

I would seriously reconsider Havlat if i was you, he had an OK first season for me but an excellent second season when i gave him more ice time since Jagr didnt resign.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by kuulapaa » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:10 pm

Peter_Doherty wrote:I would seriously reconsider Havlat if i was you, he had an OK first season for me but an excellent second season when i gave him more ice time since Jagr didnt resign.
As it is only some 21 games in the season I'll surely have to reconsider but Havlat's stamina is now at 9 and I'm guessing it will not be rocketing up in future. I didn't believe I'd ever say this but I think I'm really going to miss Jagr :-D

I also called Matteau up because of all the injuries. He joined the team on November 22nd and played five games in November. And guess what? He ended up getting the Rookie of the Month Award! Awesome!

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:50 am

I guess Havlat is regressing earlier in your save then, he is starting to regress a bit for me now in the off season between season 2 and 3..

Talking about that off season im in August now and my UFA signing was Michael Grabner, to make room for him i traded Cammalleri to Oilers for a 2nd round pick... Grabner fits my team alot better since im going for alot of speed :) Werenski is looking great and will be my HG this season, he will probably be on the 2nd pair with Severson.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:54 am

I gave up on Havlat after the first season. He was starting to decline. Then again, I've been biased against all of the old-timers on this team since the start. I'm liking the younger players on this team and the younger guys I've brought in.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by Peter_Doherty » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:28 am

Havlat had a great second season for me with 80 points, i'm looking to maybe trade him now but his value isn't great so i think he will stick in the lineup, possibly i'll just drop him a line or two...

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:10 pm

Woo-hoo! :joy:

We made the playoffs in season 2. We're the #3 seed and we face the Islanders in the first round. We won our season series against them 5-2-1 and outscored them 24-16 in those games. I've got strong hopes that we'll get past the first round. I plan to continue to roll 4 lines and match lines. We've got the depth to do this and it will keep out PP guys from getting tired.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by smokey » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:15 am

Just started this. Feels strange having the Devs play a puck control/offensive game, but it's what the NHL has become, and the team is off to an excellent start.

*EDIT*

After 15 games played, a few things have become obvious. Compared to previous challenges, it's quite a luxury to have the entire top-6 consisting of legitimate 50+ point scorers. Combine that with a good goalie, and this challenge should be a bit easier than the previous ones (I'm thinking the real challenge begins after season two with the aging core gone). The D is so-so, but I'm outshooting my opponents almost every night, so Schneider only needs to perform on an average level. I also like the depth, although the likes of Ryder, Gionta and Bernier are getting old. Also, for some reason I haven't noticed a significant drop in performance late in the game, despite most of the players having poor or really poor stamina.

Also, the Devils lack proper defensive d-men, and that's just crazy.

*EDIT*

Aaand I take that back what I said about being easy. Winning over half of the games and 13th in the east, this is McDavid-ing stupid.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:17 pm

Finished up my second season. Swept the Islander in the first round of the playoffs. Came up against the Red Wings in round 2. Went to 6 games with them but they beat us. Red Wings went on to win the conference and then the Stanley Cup.

When trophy time came around we had Henrique come up second in Masterson voting. Matteau and Armia came up 2nd and 3rd in Calder voting. Vitale came in 3rd for the Selke. Klingberg made the All Rookie Team.

I haven't done the draft yet. We've got the 25th pick. Oilers pick first. I'm not exactly excited about this draft. There doesn't seem to be much of interest past the top 15 or so.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:22 pm

So I'm going to try for a third season. I've got 2 weeks, so hopefully I'll be able to pull it off.

I'm still in the off-season but I'm pleased to say that I did 2 things I set out to do. First and foremost, I was able to sign my key UFA target. I was able to bring in Milan Lucic from my beloved Bruins and he'll add to the considerable size and grit that I've already put on this team. I'm going to try him out on my top line with Henrique and Armia. I think he should be able to make some room for them!

The second thing I was able to do was trade off the smurfy Cammalleri. He performed well in the first two seasons but his scoring took a dip in the second season and he pretty much disappeared in the playoffs. Plus, with Lucic on board, I didn't have a spot for him. He's the kind of guy that needs to be on one of your top two lines be to be of any use. So I shopped him around. The Islanders were interested. They had a guy that I wanted and tried to pry away from them last off-season. They had acquired Liam O'Brien from the Capitals for Kulemin in season 1. I sent them Cammalleri for O'Brien and Lessio. I didn't want Lessio but they didn't want him either and since Cammy was B player and O'Brien was a C player, I had to add another C player to the trade. O'Brien is a big, physical, and gritty kid. Scouts compare him to a poor man's Backes, second line potential. The one area of this kid's game that I see preventing him from that is his shooting. Still, he's only 21 at this point and I can see him bringing some value to the team.

Sometime during the season I could see myself trading Ruutu. He played only 4th line and PK (with a few fill-ins elsewhere) last season and just isn't worth his $2.4M salary. He's out of my core now, so I'm free to ship him out. Right now, he's riding the bench and will be used in place of injuries.

I also signed a bunch of my prospects that were able to play in the AHL. I added a defenseman, a few LWs, and a couple C to my AHL roster. I wish I had some RW to send over there. I also sign my stud 2nd round pick from the first draft. He killed it in juniors last year. I'm figuring Nathan Noel will probably be my HG for the next season. He's 19 right now, so I'll have to send him back to junior for this final season but I've got him signed so that he'll count as a HG (even though I probably won't get that far). Noel isn't as big as I'd like to have my players but this kid's talent is insane. I don't know how he made it to the second round. When he joins the roster it will probably mean Vitale moving down to the 4th line and Zajac moving to the 3rd line but that could work out okay.

I kept my coaching staff the same as last season because I was fairly pleased with what I had. I didn't have to fire any scouts but I did add some due to some retiring or not re-signing. We're in good shape moving forward.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by smokey » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:23 am

This is absolutely crazy! After 60 games I lead the league in scoring, despite having one of the worst power play %. Devils scoring 3+ even strength goals per game is just unreal. I've rarely had a team that could score like this, and we're still talking about the rather-watch-paint-dry-than-this-boring-snoozefest-Devils.

A few other points:
- Seth (who?) Helgeson is second on the team with a +29.
- All the roster players have at least a point, except for Kinkaid.
- The first in the stats with less than 10 points is Ryder, at 17th, meaning 16 roster players have at least 10 points so far.
- The entire top six is looking to score at least 50 points, Zajac, who's 6th on the list (and who makes the most money), has 39.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by sao.phim » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:02 am

My first challenge Season 1 recap:

First half of the season went pretty well. Despite several injuries we were leading our divison and holding 3rd place in EC after Q2. Team looked very composed and first three lines were producing fine and on equal level. Big issues with low % for PP and PK (however, after re-schuffling special teams got better).
During Q3 complete breakdown came on, many injuries completly dismantled lineup and significant drop of perfomance of key figures did not help either. It looked that there is nobody willing to pull the team back on track. I started to extend contracts for summer UFA's in January/February, so not sure how it affected drop-off in their performance from Q3 later on..
We finished season on 11th Place in EC, 14 points behind last wildcard spot.
Jaromír Jágr led the team in points (29+51), despite heavy decline of his physical and skating attributes in second half of the season. Unfortunately, he refused to extend the contract.
What worked really well almost all season, was second line Matteau-Henrique-Havlát. Zajac also did not disappoint.
As for defensmen, Gelinas (AvR over 8.0) appeared as true #1. Židlický & Larsson have rotated in 1st pair. A. Greene was rather disappointment (AvR 7.14), very incosistent and not producing well. I was surprised by steady perfomance of Salvador (despite low Stamina), whom I have used in pairing with Merrill and Larsson from time to time as mentor. Severson got taste of NHL (4 games only), for the future I will use him as my first HG. I waived C. de Haan from Islanders.
Goalies - Schneider was solid.
After the season, I decided to let the old guys walk away (Židlický, Ryder, Salvador, Jágr) and focus on getting new blood during summer break. Potential risk will be solid PP without Židlický and Jágr.

In SC final TB beat LAK.

Draft lottery won FLA, but decided to trade 1st round pick to LAK for J. Middleton, S. Watson and 2nd+3rd 2015!! So, Kings now have McDavid in their organization... Jets (last place in regular Season) choose J. Eichel with their pick.
We picked 9th. I went for Hanifin (orig. ranked as #4), but I had temptations to take Zácha, Barzal, Marner or Rantanen. In later round, I picked B. Boeser, B. Carlo, J.Forsbacka Karlsson and J. Mandát.

In the summer we have to hire RW scorer and improve our PK.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by sao.phim » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:24 pm

Have to admit, that the rules make the game really challenging. :-k

Season 2 Recap

UFA signing - Michael Frolík
Offseason Trades/Players In: T. Rattie (RW - future asset), C. Clatterbuck (disappointing, but will give him one more shot)
Arrivals during Season: M. Read (underperforming), S. Milano (future asset), J. De La Rose (another future investment), Anders Lee (claimed from NYI waivers in October)

Again, 11th place in EC, missed playoff for 5 points, horrible Q3, very inconsistent performances from the team - were able to lose to EC dead-last Sabres twice in a row, but next week smash EC leading Capitals at home 8-1. Lowest PP in my history of all seasons I have ever played (was not able to replace Jagr&Zidlicky sufficiently). Have to improve both Special teams and the defense next season.We lost tons of games just by one goal..

From individuals, Henrique & Matteau were doing great, Frolik had his carrier high (62 pts), Camalleri, Zajac, Lee, Havlat also OK. But Elias, Ruutu, Josefson, Zubrus, Read, Clutterbuck - all of them total bust.
As for defense, rather nobody standing out, young HG Severson did quite OK, hopefully next season he will grow more. I hope I did not rush him too much, gave him plenty of TOI in second D-pairing and 1PP. But I feel we were lacking experience in our D-core, so have to focus on getting more experienced Defender in the summer, preferably with high Influence attribute.
C. Schneider very solid again.

Nonetheless, Board was delighted with our performance (What the Dickens?)..

In the summer going to sign Hanifin and will let him play in Albany next season (in last two seasons he acquired 114 and 127 pts resp. in 55 games for US-NTDP!!!)

Draft:
I went for:
Mascherin - C - Scouts evaluate him as Tavares, Krejčí or Kadri, 177/89, 38+55 in 66 games for Kitcheners
M. Tkachuk - LW - like Milan Lucic, 187/88
G. Bilodeau - RD, C. Boyce - C, T. Laday - LD, K. Kielly - C

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by sao.phim » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:15 pm

Season 3 Recap

UFA signings: R. Polák, D. Helm
Offseason Trades: J. Gorges
Season Arrivals: O.Pavelec, N. Yakupov, O. Bjorkstrand, B. Ritchie, N. Aube-Kubel

Significant improvement, Devils won Division and qualified to playoffs from 3rd place in the East. Unfortunately, we faced there future SC winners Canadiens and got swept away 4-0.
Improvements in Power Play and Defence. Schneider rock solid. Frolík recorded career high 67 points again. Havlát scored 75 points as RW in top line, has not missed a single game and that earned him contract for another year despite being 36 years old. Henrique won Lady Byng trophy for second time, leading team in points (84), ATOI, Av.Rating 8.55. As for HGs, Severson kept improving, Kujawinski rather disappointed (horrendous +/- rating, second in teams PIM despite playing less minutes than originally expected). During Q3 we got hit by series of injuries (Greene, Henrique, Gorges, Zajac, Larsson missing in same time), but A. Lee step up and recorded AvR 10 in 5 of 7 games as first line center!

After season I decided to ship away/let leave M. Read and C. Clutterbuck, whose performance was just frustrating considering their salaries... Bottom lines will supplied from Albany. Despite very weak Q1, young Devils finally qualified into AHL playoffs, crushing almost every opponent in Q3 and Q4. Future looks promising for Devils family. Hanifin was voted into First AHL All-Star team and next season will move to main Devils roster. J. Mandat, S. Milano, T. Rattie, B. Ritchie, De La Rose were all looking good and producing well.

In the draft we had four picks in first three rounds only (picking as 25th) and we utilized them for getting four European wingers (two Czechs, one Russian and one Swed).

Our previous year top pick A. Mascherin had a great season and recorded 164 points (80+84) in 61 appearances for Peterborough, AvR 9.16. This guy will be a beast!

For next season, we have to acquire reliable goalie back up, because Pavelec refused to extend his contract. Apart from Hanifin (whom I will use as third HG) I would like to incorporate at least one or two guys from Albany into Devils roster.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by sao.phim » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:51 pm

Sometimes, I don't get AI logic of contract extensions - Colorado just did not sign their 2015 top prospect M. Marner and let him walk away to sign in Toronto. In the same time, Maple Leafs did not sign their top pick from same draft class Z. Werenski and he is free agent now. Both of them had great seasons from 2015 to 2017. Both of them were picked in first round of 2015 draft. Both teams having 3M+ $ in cap space..

My current D-core is good, Gelinas, Larsson, Severson and Hanifin locked until 2019, only Greene will have to be replaced after next season, but maybe I will try to grab Werenski from FA now. Feel like cheating on Maple Leafs, but...
Other option from FA is goalie (Holtby, Hackett, Markstrom) or forward (Marchand, N. Foligno, Hagelin, B. Schenn, Kadri, Daňo). There are even veterans like Datsyuk, J. Thornton, P. Marleau, T. Vanek, A. Steen or J. Spezza available!

But probably Devils will take Werenski, future top-4 D Gelinas-Severson, Hanifin-Werenski "for free" looks to good to waste.. :-k

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by batdad » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:24 pm

I cannot recall, and am not involved in this challenge...are there age limitations on UFA's?

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:03 pm

That's my mistake. I forgot to add the age restrictions to the alternate core roster rules. I'll update that for the next one.

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Re: Challenge #35 - New Jersey Devils Discussion Thread

Post by sao.phim » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:28 pm

Ops, now I see it in Gameplay Rules for NHL Challenges, that player should be at least 24 years old to be qualified for UFA. So, my bad as well, sorry guys!
As the end-date for this challenge is after tomorrow and I will be hardly able to complete this season, I am gonna keep Werenski in Albany for the rest of the year.

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