This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.
Who could have predicted last seasons New Jersey Devils results? Not me. Just about everyone had them listed as a top five team in the NHL. This season is the expected redemption. I’m not sure how I’ll replace my ilya Vs the Rookies campaign if they come out swinging this season but I’m sure some other team will have a slow, painful public death and possibly it won’t be an attempt at Steve Jobs like martyrdom.
Entering last season you could have your choice of who to put here, Kovalchuk, Brodeur, Parise, Volchenkov it almost didn’t matter. This year Zach Parise has to provide the drive to turn the page on last season. It won’t be easy given the amount of turnover on the team and the lingering questions about the clubs future in the owners box, the goal crease and on the blueline but he’s the captain, the fan favoite and one of the few players free from the shame of last seasons dismal performence.
When you’re a sure first ballot hall of famer a bad season is a surprise, a massive disappointment, and unlikely to cost you your job, even if it turns into a second season. Even factoring in injuries, unfamiliar bodies on the blueline and the fatigue of having played in the Olympics the previous year the question of how much of Brodeur’s wilting last season was simply age. He enters this season at thirty-nine with 1132 regular season and 181 post season NHL games under his belt. For comparison Tim Thomas and Dwayne Roloson between them have 978 combined regular and post season games. If he comes back next season will depend on a lot of factors, and that’s another one of the questions surrounding the guy who has spent nearly 80,000 minutes between the pipes for the New Jersey Devils.