The New Jersey Devils will start their season tomorrow when they host the Philadelphia Flyers. Therefore, now is the perfect time to lay out all the predictions out there. Well, the ones I found at least.
Over the last month, I've had a theme of reviewing previews namely to get an handle on what others think about the New Jersey Devils. While I didn't review every preview out there, I think I've done enough to get a good understanding from other media types. The constant themes include:
- The Devils lost many players to free agency and didn't necessarily sign players to "replace" them, namely Brian Gionta.
- Jacques Lemaire coming to the Devils means it should be expected that the Devils will resort to ultra-defensive hockey, if not bringing the back the neutral zone trap entirely.
- Zach Parise is an excellent forward, but will he and the other forwards suffer on offense due to the arrival of Lemaire?
- The Devils' blueline is unheralded but fairly solid.
- David Clarkson is a good candidate as any to have a breakout season.
- Martin Brodeur is healthy, but he's older now. And he hasn't taken the Devils beyond the second round since the lockout (because that's all on Marty - not the rest of the team)
- The Devils will likely make the playoffs - though the feeling surrounding the team ranges from a postive to a negative outlook.
Thanks to preseason and hindsight we know that only some of these are really true. What follows is a roundup of these previews, their predictions, and a few others that I missed along the way. Something to compile all the prognostications so we can all look back at this in mid-April and see who got it right and who got it really wrong.
Reviewed Previews & Their Predictions (links go to review of preview, which has a link to the preview)
Views from My Seats: Atlantic Divsion Round Table - Carlos Figueiredo - 1st in the Atlantic
2009-10 The Hockey News Yearbook - Rich Chere & THN - 5th in the East (3rd in the Atlantic) THN's High: 2nd in the East; THN's Low: 8th in the East
The Sporting News 2009-10 Yearbook - Chuck Gormley & SN - 4th in the Atlantic
Puck Daddy's 2009-10 Devils Preview - Greg Wyshynski - In the preview itself he gave no actual prediction (boo), but Wyshynski and the other writers came up with their conference predictions and posted them on Wednesday (yay). So I'll use that. Wyshynski slots New Jersey finishing 3rd in the Atlantic and 6th in the East.
NHL Season Preview on Yahoo! Sports - NJ Devils Preview - Ross McKeon - 3rd in the Atlantic
NHL.com Devils Preview - Dave Lozo - No Prediction
ESPN.com Devils Preview - Scott Burnside - 4th in the Atlantic and missing the playoffs.
Puck Prospectus VUKOTA Projections: New Jersey Devils 11th Overall - Timo Seppa - 3rd in the Atlantic, 6th in the East, 11th Overall (so says VUKOTA)
TSN.ca 30 Teams in 30 Days #8 New Jersey Devils - TSN.ca Staff - 2nd in the Atlantic, 5th in the East, 8th Overall
2009-10 Season Preview: New Jersey Devils at In Lou We Trust - me - 2nd in the Atlantic, 4th in the East
Additional Predictions and Previews (links go to the original page of the preview/prediction)
Other Writers at Puck Daddy Predicting the Devils: Sean Leahy predicts the Devils to finish 3rd in the Atlantic, 5th in the East. Ryan Lambert predicts the Devils to finish 2nd in the Atlantic and 4th in the East. Dobber predicts the Devils to finish 3rd in the Atlantic and 7th in the East. Dimitry Chesnokov predicts the Devils to finish 4th in the Atlantic, 6th in the East.
James Mirtle's 2009-10 NHL Season Predictions - 3rd in the Atlantic, 6th in the East
2009-10 NHL Season Preview: New Jersey Devils - Bryan Thiel at Bleacher Report - 3rd in the Atlantic
New Jersey Devils 2009-10 Season Preview - Ezra at Illegal Curve - High: 2nd in the Atlantic, 4th in the East; Low: 4th in the Atlantic, 8th in the East
2009 NHL Predictions - Kevin Whalen at Pucks and Pitchforks - 3rd in the Atlantic, 5th in the East
The majority of these previews all think the Devils will finish 3rd in the Atlantic, behind Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. A few felt a little higher or a little lower, but with the lone exception of ESPN's Scott Burnside (and maybe the Sporting News preview), they all have the Devils making it into the postseason. So if they may seem down on the Devils, they are (mostly) not so down on the team that they don't think they'll crash out of the playoffs.
We shall see how the New Jersey Devils perform and we'll see who was right about what as we progress. Feel free to state your opinion about the opinion-staters for the Devils this season. Feel free to also offer your own prediction on 2009-10 Devils Regular Season Eve.