I think the Devils have the second best defense in the division and maybe in the conference. Last year they were a mediocre defensive team but in the regular season Brodeur was able to make up for it. In the playoffs the defense was terrible and brodeur wore down from playing 78 games in the regular season. But this year should be different. They added a very good back up goalie so they can limit brodeurs workload to about 70 games at most. Then he will be a lot stronger in the playoffs. If they can keep him to 65 that would be best. They can still win the division with him playing 65 or at least get the 4 seed. It is more important to have him fresh in the playoffs. On defense they also got stronger defensively but lost some offense with the loss of paul martin. They also two shutdown defensman in Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder who will finally give them a top shutdown pair which they have lacked since stevens, rafalski and neidermayer. Anton Volchenkov is one of the elite shutdown defensman who is a great shot blocker and is adapt at clearing the clear and has an excellent physical presence. Henrik Tallinder is also very strong against top scorers and has a lot of size and skating ability. On the second pair they have vastly Andy Greene who has a very good two way game and puck moving ability. He can play in all situations and is very good on the power play because of his passing ability and he can also score some goals. He can also play against top six scorers for 20 plus minutes per night. The fourth defensman will likely be colin white who is solid defensively but is on the decline. He is solid defensively and has good size but does not produce offensively and makes 3.5 million per year so he could be traded. Then they would turn to one of the young players. If they could find a way to add another defensman which will be tough like Kaberle or hopefully Brent burns they could be as good as philly. The flyers are right now a little better then the devils defensively because of Pronger and solid depth if Mezarjos performs the way he use to. If he does not they will also have some questions because Coburn is incosistent but performed in the playoffs and Carle is also inconsistent defensively. The penguins also improved defensively with the additions of Paul Martin and Zybnek Michalek. They also lost Gonchar which will hurt offensively and the power play a lot. They will count on paul Martin to replace him as the power play quarterback. He is not a natural power play quarterback but has solid offensive skills. He is a very good passer and puck mover. He is also solid defensively but not spectacular. Michalek is a very good shutdown defensman like Volchenkov. He will likely be paired with Brooks Orpik as their top shutdown pair which is very good. They are close to Volchenkov and Tallinder and Pronger and Carle. On their second pair they will have Martin and Chris letang which is a solid second pair with good all around ability. After the Devils, Penguins and Flyers the Rangers lack a shutdown defensman to go with Mark Staal and lack depth while the islanders lack a strong defense. The rest of the conference is not as strong as the Devils, Penguins and Flyers defensively. In the west the Blackhawks kept their whole defense together and still have the best blueline in the NHL. Then detroit is also very strong with Rafalski and others. The devils have a top five blueline and the best goaltending which will kept them as an elite defensive team. They are just behind the Flyers and blackhawks but not by much.