New Jersey Devils Season Preview History
NEW JERSEY DEVILS 2012-13 SEASON PREVIEW:
The New Jersey Devils shocked the NHL world and most casual hockey observers when they cruised to a 48-28-6 record in the regular season for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. After knocking off the Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Devils were in line for their fourth title before being defeated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals. Heading into the 2012-13 season, the Devils roster will hurt from the loss of one of its leading goal-scorers, Zach Parise, but many key veterans and talented young players could help the team prove that its playoff run was no fluke.
Offensively, the Devils will return much of its potent scoring attack from a year ago, and the team's first line will still offer plenty of firepower with Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac and Dainus Zubrus. Obviously, the Devils will have to rely on younger players to replace Parise's minutes from the 2011-12 season, but the squad has plenty of depth with savvy veterans like Patrik Elias and David Clarkson as well as Calder Trophy nominee Adam Henrique. The Devils also made sure to secure their potent fourth line of Stephen Gionta, Krys Barch and Ryan Carter, who combined for 21 points in 24 playoff games last year.
On defense, the Devils made sure to lock up stellar defenseman Bryce Salvador to a multi-year contract, who brings a steady presence to the team's power play and penalty killing minutes. The Devils are also hoping to see growth out of young players like Marek Zidlicky, who should see significant time along with Andy Greene and Henrik Tallinder. At goaltender, the ageless Martin Brodeur continues to produce at a high level and will return for his 21st year in the NHL. Goaltender Johan Hedberg also proved to be a reliable backup during the 2011-12 season and will return to keep Brodeur fresh throughout the season.
Looking ahead to the 2012-13 season schedule, the Devils will kick off their season on October 13 at home against another Eastern Conference contender, the Boston Bruins. Most fans will have their sights set on the Devils' February 9 matchup against the Los Angeles Kings to see if the team can get revenge for their Stanley Cup Finals loss. With a strong roster from top to bottom, the Devils have all the talent and the experience to make a deep playoff run and sustain their success in the coming years.
New Jersey Devils 2011-2012 Season:
During the 2010-11 season, the Devils were plagued by misfortune as players Bryce Salvador, Anton Volchenkov, and Brian Rolston were injured early on and captain Jamie Langenbrunner was traded to the Dallas Stars. Additionally, coach John MacLean was fired midseason due to the Devils' poor performance. The team managed to make a run for the playoffs towards the end of the season, but had suffered too many losses early on to qualify.
In preparation for the 2011-12 NHL season, the Devils hired Peter DeBoer as head coach and resigned star player Zach Parise, hoping to avoid too many early season losses. Their regular season schedule begins with a home game against archrivals the Philadelphia Flyers on October 8.
New Jersey Devils 2010-2011 NHL Preview:
Although they secured the second best record in the Eastern Conference last season, the New Jersey Devils were quickly eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. After an eventful offseason where they signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a blockbuster deal, the Devils will be looking to bounce back from their early exit and return to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The offense will certainly be focused around Kovalchuk when he is on the ice, but they have a relatively deep lineup that should offer him a significant amount of support. Left wing Zach Parise led the team in both goals and assists last season, with an impressive 38 scores and 44 assists. Travis Zajac and Jason Arnott are both talented forwards as well, and will bolster an already strong offensive unit.
The defensive squad may be a different story. Stalwarts such as Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya are gone, and have been replaced with Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov, who will be tasked with leading the back line. The Devils will once again have grizzled veteran Martin Brodeur in goal, but the aging netminder will be given a rest now and then by newcomer Johan Hedberg.
New Jersey Devils 2009-2010 NHL Preview:
New Jersey Devils fans should be excited about their team as they head into the 2009-2010 NHL season. The NJ Devils were one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference last year and lost a close 1st round series to the upstart Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 NHL playoffs. This season Devils stars Martin Brodeur and Zach Parise will be hoping to get New Jersey deep into the 2010 NHL playoffs and possibly make a run at the Stanley Cup Finals.