NEW JERSEY DEVILS: Broken "EGG" Shells
....And then, the Captain, Jamie Langenbrunner, was traded to the Dallas Stars for a 3rd round pick.
Welcome to the lighter side of Beelzebub...because what's happening to the Devils is turning into a joke in the worst degree. Every Hockey Fan in Tartaros, N.J. is through scratching their heads. Now they're just itching to give up and go back home. It's 1:50pm on a Saturday afternoon. The first period just ended between New Jersey and Philadelphia. The Flyers hold a 2-0 advantage over the Devils on some more bad defense and shoddy goal work by Johan Hedberg.
Maybe all those rumors (and they are just that...rumors!) about signing Ilya Kovalchuk were true about making the Devils more attractive for a particular "Russian" Buyer. Maybe. Who knows?..
But how else can you explain the radical departure from Lou Lamoriello's and the Devils' normal way of doing business and handling their roster needs? Forget the coaching change. Big Lou always fires head Coaches. There's nothing new there to work with.
Coming out of the NHL Lock-Out season, every GM, to include Lou Lamoriello, had problems adjusting to the Salary Cap. But if you want to point to something...anything, to better help explain how the Devils got into this current mess, you have to go back to the day they decided Scott Gomez wasn't worth the money he was asking for and let him escape across the Hudson to play for the Rangers. That's the moment when the vaunted "EGG Line" of Patrick Elias, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta was broken up. Scott Gomez went to Broadway, and the eddy in the current Devils' whirlpool was born.
Brian Gionta was the next EGG snatched from Big Lou's clutch. He likewise said nix to Gionta's price and let him go. Patrick Elias represents the lone Shell fragment from that Line. And while the Devils have been scrambling the rest of their eggs ever since, those other two EGGs; Gionta and Gomez, are reunited in Montreal playing for a Canadians team one point behind Boston for the NorthEast Division lead.
Of the three, Patrick Elias was the only recipient of Big Lou's monetary endowments. The Devils are paying a huge price for that now.
The Ilya Kovalchuk signing is a gross over-compensation for bad decisions in the recent past forced upon Lou because of this virus we call a Salary Cap. Of course this is all in hindsight where vision is always 20/20. But if you're still interested in how badly Lou's checkbook got eaten by the Dog, look no farther than the Alexander Mogilny cap-mess Lou had to finagle.
With the rest of the movable parts of his bedeviled team, Lou needs to re-fit lines around Ilya Kovalchuk because he's never going anywhere due to his inane contract. Their Captain has been traded and if there's a taker out there, Patrick Elias should be the next to go. Go ahead and complete the dismantling of the most effective line the Devils have had since the three played together forming The EGG Line.
Because Lou went with the One Giant Egg system with Kovalchuk, he is forced to lugubriously lug that one Big Egg around now, instead of the much more effective system he had of having a whole bunch'a smaller, more hard boiled eggs in his basket.
Good Luck Lou. That Big Egg might get you some respect at Ripley's Believe It...or, at a Museum. But in the NHL Days Of CAP, it's only getting you in trouble.
If Lou doesn't jettison everything of worth now and re-fit this team around his new Prized Egg, he's going to continue to have one Big, incredibly bad Omelette on his plate that he and Kovalchuk will be left to eat alone at a table for two, at the Tartaros Cafe.
The Flyers lead the Devils 2-1 with 7:30 left in the third period in this Saturday afternoon game.
Bonn' Appetite Y'all