I’m not going to go into detail, but I just wanted to post this quickly.
There have been rumblings from fans about the new system of play Brent Sutter has initiated. The persistent fore-check and attack methods are a stark contrast to their mentality of defense and discipline. Some fans are unhappy with this type of play because it doesn’t seem to be working – or at least that’s what it may appear as with 3 wins and 5 losses.
The reason this is being posted is to point out the flaw in this logic. The new method of play is a convenient scapegoat but the truth is the Devils were having the same defensive and goaltender problems last year as well.
Sutter’s changes are just what the Devils need in order to stay competitive in the new NHL, especially when they get around to playing West Coast teams. Although no official stat can be produced to prove this, the Devils have spent a great deal of time in the offensive zone for most of their games. In fact they have only spent more time in airplanes getting from venue to venue.
Give Brent Sutter some slack. This is new life being fed in to the Devils and is just what they needed. Their Defense and goaltending needs to shape up as well. They have still yet to truly recover from the loss of their top three defenseman: Scott Stevens, Scott Neidermayer, and Ken Daneyko.
Look at what Brent Sutter was able to do in a month to get them playing offensively. Things need to be tweaked – obviously two shutouts so far doesn’t help to prove my point – but the fact remains that they have been getting great offensive chances, most of which is thanks to their excellent fore-check and ability to move past their opponents defenseman.
Thursday night at the Garden watch for this. They have more puck possession in the offensive zone so far this season then they did during the entire last half of last season.