Last year was a complete disaster for the Devils and now that it's the offseason I think it's a good time to look where we stand in our division and in our conference.
Let me get one thing clear, we will do better than last year this upcoming season, but that is really not saying much. Here's one reason why #9 is back, but can we make the playoffs? The answer of course is yes but we are far from contenders this coming year sadly.
Let's look at our division and see where we stand with each team.
Pittsburgh- If Crosby and Malkin are healthy this team is once again a contender. I wouldn't bet on us to win a playoff series against this team. This team is definitely favored to win the Atlantic Division this year and I don't think there is much more to talk about with this team.
New York Rangers- This team took a big gamble on Richards, but if it pays off they become more of a force but not a contender just yet. I hate to say this being a Die Hard Devils fan but they are finally moving in the right direction in terms of their team. Flashback ten years ago they were trying to buy a championship and now they are trying to win one the right way. I don't like our chances as much as I used to nowadays against this Ranger team, but until they get over the hump of actually winning something us Devils fans still won't take them seriously. In an unbiased opinion I still thin they are a couple years away from going far. Sorry if it felt like I was praising the Rangers but I really pity them, and almost feel bad for them. Just Kidding.
Philadelphia Flyers- What was going through this team's mind when they could have signed Tomas Vokoun fairly easily not have to waste their bank roll on Bryzgalov? Their moves are shocking to say the least to me, and I don't get their philosophy or what they are trying to do in Philly. So they want to get a younger team right, and then go out and make a complete facepalm signing of Jagr. I don't get it. Bryzgalov is wayyyyyyy overpaid and this team will suffer because of that one signing. I would take the Devils over the Flyers this if they met in the playoffs. But in the future if Brayden Schenn could step up, and Voracek too watch out. This flyers team down the road will be a good squad, but not this season.
New York Islanders- Again another team for the future, but the team's future might not even be in Long Island. If they sign Yashin though I will die of laughter. This team won't be a threat this year that I can assure you.
All in all I am sorta kinda optimistic for the Devils this upcoming year, the only thing I fear is Marty and Hedberg are not getting younger. I hate to say it but this should be Marty's last year in a Devils uniform and all I hope for is that he goes out on a high note.
Here's a list of teams I think in the east make the playoffs in no particular order
Notice NJD takes Philly's spot. I don't see any of the teams that missed it last year making it this year with the exception of Carolina and New Jersey. Sadly I think the Devils will end up being the 7th or 8th seed this year or worse possibly. All us fans can do is hope and stay true my fellow Devils fans, as the promised land is only a couple years away after a couple bad contracts of ours expire.