New Jersey Devils
Since the 1994-95 season, the New Jersey Devils had built an “evil” empire.
Spearheaded by future Hall-of-Famers Martin Brodeur and Jamie Langenbrunner and highly paid superstar Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils were supposed to continue their dominant ways this season.
After an early exit in the first round of the playoffs last season, the demands from the fans were felt and Kovalchuk, who the team traded for in the middle of the last season, was retained to the tune of $100 million over the next 15 years.
Once again, expectations were reasonably high.
But the Devils fell beyond the cellar to start the season and entered hockey “hell” as the worst team in the league.
Even though they have started to win games as of late, the damage is done.
The team has fallen from its normal defensive glory and is in the bottom half of the league in penalty killing and goals allowed per game.
And their major splash in free agency?
Kovlachuk leads the disappointment train with a substandard 17 goals and 18 assists.
The offense is the worst in the league, scoring a paltry 2.1 goals a game.
All in all, after securing the second seed in the playoffs last season, the word “disappointing” can’t begin to describe the New Jersey Devils.
During last year’s NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks made a valiant stand against the Atlanta Hawks. Across the nation, people tweeted “FEAR THE DEER” in a way that is reserved for underdogs with a bright future.
Today, we fear no deer because they resemble what a buck would look like in headlights.
True, second year point guard Brandon Jennings has missed 20 games, but the 30 games he has played has shown little improvement.
Back-court partner John Salmons is shooting a horrific .380 from the field so far, dragging down an offensive that already leaned a bit too much on a point guard and an Australian center Andrew Bogut.
Bogut’s has been their only consistent player as the league’s leading blocker. Though his offense will never impress many, his consistency at rebounding and blocking has helped the Bucks anchor the fourth-best defense in the NBA.
Even with that great defense, the Bucks cannot shake the fact they are scoring the least amount of points in the NBA.
Now I wouldn’t be picking on an underperforming team for no good reason, this team does have potential.
If veterans such as Salmons, Drew Gooden and Corey Magette decided to show up and help their young point guard and center, we could get the “FEAR THE DEER” chant back.