(Despite The Lockout, Crimespree Hockey will continue season previews.)
Review Of 2011-2012: 48-28-6, 102 points, 6th In Eastern Conference, Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to Los Angeles, 4-2.
Additions via free agency: Krys Barch
Additions via trade: None
Subtractions: Zach Parise, Petr Sykora, Alexei Ponikarovsky
The Devils took a big hit in their offensive production this offseason, losing Zach Parise to free agency, but they still have some big guns in their lineup. Ilya Kovalchuk tallied 37 goals and 46 assists last season, he will be relied upon to be the main scoring threat for New Jersey this season. Patrik Elias and David Clarkson will also be looked upon for goal scoring, especially on the powerplay. Adam Henrique will look to have another monster season this year, as will Dainius Zubrus, who had his best season in a New Jersey uniform, tallying 44 points. Travis Zajac, after a injury ravaged season, looks to return to former glory, while he might not get into the 60 point range again, 20-30 isn’t something to rule out. The Devils powerplay needs a boost, however, ranked 15th, would be nice to seem them be a little more effective on it this year.
New Jersey’s defense, more of the same, and that isn’t bad at all. THE best penalty kill in the regular season last year. It would be nice to see more than only 7 goals out of a entire D squad though. Anton Volchenkov will lead in the physical department again this year, last year, throwing 177 hits, while also blocking 125 shots, the most on the team in each category. Marek Zidlicky will start his first full season for New Jersey, will be interesting to see if he can get back to the 30-40 point range again, he hasn’t hit that for a couple seasons now. Andy Greene is another guy looking to improve his point total with a full season of work, looking to get back into the 30 point area. Adam Larsson is the big question mark, entering his 2nd full NHL season, can he match or double his output from last season? He should be the one who will bring the offense to the New Jersey defense this season.
He’s baaaaack! Martin Brodeur is back manning the pipes in New Jersey, after a strong playoff run, Brodeur is looking to make it back to The Stanley Cup final, but he has his work cut out for him. Will his age finally show? Or will he prove the critics all wrong once again? Never count Brodeur out. Backing up Marty is another familiar face, Johan Hedberg is back once again, putting up his strongest numbers in a few years, things are looking good for either goalie starting if the situation arises.
Prediction: 4th In Atlantic Division, 8th in Eastern Conference
New Jersey lost a good chunk of goal scoring with Parise, but they didn’t lose all of their firepower. Still capable of getting in the 90 point range on the season.
All eyes on Ilya this year, he will be expected to lead New Jersey in the goal scoring department this year. Will be interesting to see if he can surpass his 83 point mark from last season.