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Zubie#8

The East is the Key

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Looking at the moves that were so made so far this offseason it can be said that the already weak East has gotten even weaker. Boston is up against the cap and lost Iginla, the Rangers lost a couple good possession players and Stralman, they will have a hard time putting a run together unless Hank does it for them, the Penguins lost a sniper and their defense and goaltending are questionable, they also have to adjust to a new coach. Then there are teams like the Canadiens, Islanders, Hurricanes, Leafs, Flyers, and Capitals; they do not pose a huge threat. The only two teams that have improved significantly are the Lightning and yes, the New Jersey Devils. With the absence of Brodeur they will have a stronger and more dependable keeper with Schnieder taking the reigns. With most of the core players returning the system should allow this team to be top 5 in possession and shots against once again. The offense has improved with additions of Cammalleri and Havlat. The only wild cards are the health of this roster, the shootout and the teams 5 on 5 shooting percentage. If both of those can get close to league average the Devils will easily make the postseason, and anything can happen after that in this weak conference.

Call me optimistic but I see great things for this team next season. Why? It is because of the East.

Edited by Zubie#8

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...The only wild cards are the shootout and the teams 5 on 5 shooting percentage. If both of those can get close to league average...

I will believe it when I see it. Nearly every statistic in the world pointed to us being a playoff team last year, except shootouts and goals scored. I am an optimistic kind of guy, and even I am not optimistic that we will be league average in these two areas until I see it with my own eyes.

But I agree the conference-and especially the division-is weak. I can see almost any possible combination of final standings in the metro.

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I expect to make the playoffs. No fvcking bullsh!t.

 

Amen brother.

 

If everyone stays healthy, and the new additions do their jobs..this team should be a 5th+ seed.  Call me crazy, but with Cory playing 60+ games..I'm extremely confident.  Just hope Jagr hasn't slowed down.

 

 

-----

 

But yeah definitely, the East sucks.  Devils can take advantage of it if they play like they're capable of...AND WIN A SHOOTOUT DAMNIT

Edited by Devilsfan118

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The East is going to have major shifts this year.  At least that's what I'm predicting.

I expect Pittsburgh to falter at some point during the season.  They lost Jokinen, Niskanen, and really Boston will still be okay, but the window for them is starting to close because I just don't think Chara is going to remain dominant in the next coming years, and maybe they have some answers in their system in Bartkowski, Krug, and Hamilton. 

I think Columbus is a playoff team this year.  They can ice a young, fast top line (Jenner/Calvert/Foglino-Johansen-Aktinson), then a second line of Hartnell-Dubinsky-Horton.  That possibility is just scary and I would not want to be on the ice when(and if) those three are.  Defense isn't terrible, you have Jack Johnson, who isn't as bad as people make him out to be, Wisniewski and Murray and Tyutin as a top 4.

I think the Islanders got better in the off-season, maybe the defense is good enough to get them back into the playoffs.  You have Grabovski and Kulemin, with Tavares and Okposo, plus young talent that should be developing. 

Philly.  I just don't know.  I can't even try to predict where they will end up, hopefully struggling, but I think they will be solid.  Ottawa and Buffalo are essentially still rebuilding. 

Toronto sucks.  Carolina, maybe, but I think they will suck too.  Florida if some players really step it up.  Montreal should be okay, but I don't expect a repeat.  I see Detroit struggling this season unless they have a great youth movement, they just need to have forward depth because it's only a matter of time until Datsyuk AND Zetterberg miss games.  Not sure about Washington, probably the same deal as Philly, could struggle at times, MAYBE for playoffs. 

As for the Devils.  I think this is going to be a good year for us.  We have young options with Boucher, Matteau, and Josefson(I guess) trying to take spots in the forward corps.  We have a growing, developing young defense corps with more youth on the way (Severson and Helgeson(maybe)).  If we don't make playoffs or aren't one of the better teams in the East with the tools that Lou has given DeBoer, then you anti-DeBoer guys will have some firepower to throw around.  We know our goaltending situation is solid with Schneider and as long as Clemmerkaid doesn't totally blow chunks whenever they are between the pipes, I'm confident in this team. 

Edited by RizzMB30

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I do think we will make the playoffs this year especially if everyone stays healthy..however everyone was saying the same thing last year and Ryder and brunnwr turned out to be bums so im not getting my hopes up too high.

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I feel it will be much like this year, a bubble team that wins 1, loses 2, wins 2, loses 1 where we'll find ourselves in March saying that a 5-game win streak, or a 5-game losing streak will decide if we are in the playoffs.

 

Fingers crossed for something better than that...

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thats first months schedule looks very winnable; need to hit the ice full stride.

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If everyone plays like they should. Means 20 goals plus from Ryder, Jagr, Elias, and Henrique, goaltending doing what it should, defense playing like it should, and getting something out of those who had down years like Brunner and Zubrus and this team should easily make the playoffs. Now the question is will they.

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Because of the injury question(s) it's absolutely imperative this team gets off to a good start.  No ****ing around like 2010 or last year.

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I do think we will make the playoffs this year especially if everyone stays healthy..however everyone was saying the same thing last year and Ryder and brunnwr turned out to be bums so im not getting my hopes up too high.

I think 90% of hockey analysts and 75% of devils fans said we'd miss the postseason last yead, bro

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I think 90% of hockey analysts and 75% of devils fans said we'd miss the postseason last yead, bro

This. From what I recall, the feeling around here was they'd be right on the bubble.

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Fighting for a playoff spot and then falling just short was the concensus, from what I remember

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I think 90% of hockey analysts and 75% of devils fans said we'd miss the postseason last yead, bro

Every fvcking analyst and their mother says that we will miss the playoffs EVERY YEAR.  I think even in 2012 we weren't really considered contenders with the line up that we were icing at the time, which was Stanley Cup caliber. 

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The crappy condition of the Eastern teams, by and large, has given us 2-3 year window to do a pseudo-rebuild. I mean, look at our defense and how young it will be by 2015-2016. If the East wasn't such hot garbage last year, most years we would've been a bottom dweller with the record we had. I agree with everyone saying we should make the playoffs this year. A few teams have dipped in terms of strength and skill and the Devils have gotten better.

Edited by DJ Eco

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I forgot to mention the Blue Jackets and Wings. The Jackets will be looking very strong next year but the Red Wings will be just ok. Should be a very interesting season.

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The scariest team in our division is imo the blue jackets. They play a devilesque brand of hockey but actually have finishing talent.

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I forgot to mention the Blue Jackets and Wings. The Jackets will be looking very strong next year but the Red Wings will be just ok. Should be a very interesting season.

dont ever sleep on the wings dude. they were better than us last year and played a large portion of the season without Datsyuk and Zetterberg

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The scariest team in our division is imo the blue jackets. They play a devilesque brand of hockey but actually have finishing talent.

 

Yup, as far as matchups go, they were the scariest team in our division THIS year. We had more decisive records/games against Rangers, Penguins, Isles throughout this past season than the Blue Jackets. They're tough and play a good team game and will look a lot better one year in.

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I expect to make the playoffs. No fvcking bullsh!t.

 

Tri will probably swoop in to tell me (in great detail) why I'm wrong, but I can see this team finishing with anywhere from 83 to about 95 points...if I have to pick a number today, I'll go with 90.  There's just so many ifs with this group.  But Schneider should at least see to it that this team finishes above NHL-.500.  That's the one thing I feel safe in saying.

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Tri will probably swoop in to tell me (in great detail) why I'm wrong, but I can see this team finishing with anywhere from 83 to about 95 points...if I have to pick a number today, I'll go with 90.  There's just so many ifs with this group.  But Schneider should at least see to it that this team finishes above NHL-.500.  That's the one thing I feel safe in saying.

 

I think this teams is 10-20 goals better than last year, a better goaltender, and the PP should be improved. We won't go oh for shootout so I see 95 points and the playoffs.

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the main problem with NJ is having too many "guys who play the game the right way" who does everything good but can't capitalize on chances. So we always endup having all kind of stats going our way as if we should be great but the puck doesnt go in.

 

I mean it's somehow better than having bunch of snipers who can't play a system. the base is there we just need to get the puck rolling in our favour in term of goals a little more. Scoring is our only problem. We're good defensively, good goaltending, we possess the puck but we can't score

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the main problem with NJ is having too many "guys who play the game the right way" who does everything good but can't capitalize on chances. So we always endup having all kind of stats going our way as if we should be great but the puck doesnt go in.

 

I mean it's somehow better than having bunch of snipers who can't play a system. the base is there we just need to get the puck rolling in our favour in term of goals a little more. Scoring is our only problem. We're good defensively, good goaltending, we possess the puck but we can't score

So is the key to how you'll feel about the up coming season. Is the lack of finish because of luck or is it the skill of not finishing?

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In my opinion, here are the tiers in the East:

 

Tier 1:

Boston

 

Tier 2:

TB

Pittsburgh

 

Tier 3:

Montreal

CBJ

NJ

NYR

NYI

DET

 

Tier 4:

PHI

WSH

TOR

OTT

 

Tier 5:

FLA

CAR

 

Tier 6:

BUF

 

I think the first two tiers are very safe bets to make it, but I could honestly see any team from tiers 3 and 4 getting into the playoffs.  13 teams fighting for five spots seems about right, but I definitely think NJ is among the best of tiers 3 and 4.

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I think this teams is 10-20 goals better than last year, a better goaltender, and the PP should be improved. We won't go oh for shootout so I see 95 points and the playoffs.

 

It's unrealistic to think that the powerplay will be significantly better than it was last year, considering that it was actually in the top ten if I recall correctly.  The additions could very be a wash as Jagr and Elias are both another year older and weren't exactly spring chickens last year.

 

What very well might end up being the bane of this year's team's existence is what everyone has been clamoring for, that the young defensemen get their chance.  I'm not that worried about Merrill, but we really don't know what to expect from Larsson or from Gelinas' overall game. 

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