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.