Okay, you're probably not going to care about this. The only time you people would ever like seeing the words "New Jersey Devils" in a sentence is if they 1) defeat the Habs 2) Defeat the SNES or 3) Defeat any team ahead of the Leafs in the standings. You guys could give less about Jason Arnott, as the Leafs never play the Predators, and Arnott hasn't played in the eastern conference since 2001. Yet aside from the Maple Leafs, those two things are probably my two favourite Non-Leafs related hockey things: My favourite player and my favourite other team. You all aren't fond of them. Why you ask? For Jason Arnott, it's pretty simple: You could care less about Arnott. I secretly hope Arnott will be a Leaf before he retires. But the Devils? You all hate them... wait I found a few reasons...
The Neutral Zone Trap
You all hate it. It's the reason you think the New Jersey Devils are boring. For those who don't understand the trap, it's explained here in this quote from John Fischer, the head blogger at SBN's Devils Blog, In Lou We Trust.
Well the traditional 1-2-2 throws one forechecker up to force the opposition to make a pass into the zone. The other two forwards are in the middle of the neutral zone, reacting after the pass to put pressure on the target of the pass. The two defensemen are up on the blueline, sliding along to “trap” the player
But the reason you hate the trap the most- The success the New Jersey Devils had gained from it. In the last 15 years, Only Detroit has more Stanley Cups than the Devils. Considering that Toronto is the center of the universe, many of you would be like "Okay, why doesn't the cup come here? Why does it have to go to some
Hell Hole Town that doesn't deserve the cup" (For the record, I can't judge New Jersey because i've never been there). The Leafs have never been a trap team, and they didn't get to the Cup Finals in the Last 15 years.
Also, I'd like to give a few words about Jacques Lemaire and his constant association with the Neutral Zone Trap. This year he actually hasn't employed the trap at all. Supporting evidence can be found here, where John Fischer talks about the Early success of the New Jersey Devils. And the one quote here that I highlight is not from John, but Chris Pronger
I thought it was great when Vs. interviewed both Pronger (in the 1st) and John Stevens (in the 2nd) and both of them pointed out that the Devils were playing very offensively and we’re trying to speed the game up and put the Flyers on their heals. Actually when the interviewer asked Pronger about how the Devils "sit back" he replied – "not on the tapes Ive seen."
Well at least the Flyers have caught on…
Also, i'd like to add in the fact that the Devils are stacked with Defensively reliable forwards. Zach Parise and Travis Zajac have been two of the best defensive forwards this season. Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias are all known for being two-way players, and they've also got their checking line forwards Jay Pandolfo and Rob Niedermayer. With that in mind, are they still trapping?
If there's one thing Leafs fans remember Janssen for, it's knocking out Tomas Kaberle. Everyone can agree that's all he's known for. So complete obscurity is his real punishment for that. I was never fond of Janssen myself.
Why? What has Niedermayer ever done to the Leafs? Two goals and 14 assists in 31 career games against the Leafs (and part of several playoff games). Actually he would've been a Leaf, though the pick that turned out to be Niedermayer was traded to the Devils in exchange for Tom Kurvers (1967ers or Chemmy or someone explained what went wrong in that season), which was salt in the wounds to Leafs fans after Niedermayer turned out to be one of the best defensemen in our generation. Then again, it was completely unexpected. The Leafs traded that pick expecting it was going to be a late 1st rounder with the way the team went. You have no reason to hate Scott Niedermayer
Probably you hate him more recently because of the rash of mediocre goaltending the Leafs have had. Raycroft and Toskala have had their five-holes parked in front of the Net. Brodeur is the greatest goalie of all time, and the Leafs have had two of the worst goalies in the recent years. So it's more jealousy than hatred,as the Leafs went from having guys like Felix Potvin and Curtis Joseph to... Five hole and no glove hand while the Devils have had the same guy in net since 1993.
Why do i bring up Arnott again? Because the thing he's most known for is scoring the cup winning goal in overtime. Though that was more Elias' playmaking ability, Arnott's goal did something the Leafs never did in around 42 years: Win a cup. You may hate me for bringing this up, but for me that was probably one of my favourite New Jersey Devils moments because my favourite player scored the cup winning goal.
Your problems with the Devils
If you wanna give me reasons why YOU hate the Devils, feel free to tell me. Because I wanna hear why you hate them.