ZADS: Eastern Conference Preview- New Jersey Devils

by Chris Zadorozny (@Zads07)

In the third edition of 15 team Eastern Conference preview, SRD examines a team that has new ownership, but could struggle in the newly formed Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference. This could be the last year for goaltender Martin Brodeur as well. Say hello to the New Jersey Devils.

Devils Preview 2013

History

  • Third team in the franchise
  • Founded as a franchise to Kansas City in 1974 as the Kansas City Scouts
  • Moved to Denver and renamed the Colorado Rockies (not baseball) in 1976.
  • Moved to New Jersey and renamed the New Jersey Devils in 1982.
  • 3 Stanley Cups (1994-95, defeated the Red Wings in 4), (1999-2000), (2002-2003)
  • 5 Conference Championships (1994-1995, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2011-2012)
  • 9 Division Championships (1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2009-2010)

2013 stats: Top 5 players

Patrik Elias (14 G, 22 A, 36 PTS), Ilya Kovalchuk (11 G, 20 A, 31 PTS), David Clarkson (15 G, 9 A, 24 PTS), Travis Zajac (7 G, 13 A, 20 PTS), Marek Zidlicky (4 G, 15 A, 19 PTS)

2013 Team Rankings

28th in Goals/Game (2.29), 13th in Goals Against (2.54), 21st in Power Play (15.9%), 16th in Penalty Kill (81.1%)

Goaltending Situation

  • Martin Brodeur (29 GP, 13 W, 9 L, 7 OTL, .901 SV%, 2.22 GAA)
  • Corey Schneider (30 GP, 17 W, 9 L, 4 OTL, .927 SV%, 2.11 GAA)
    • Played with the Vancouver Canucks last 5 seasons
    • Was expected #1 for the Canucks this year, but was traded instead of Roberto Luongo

Brodeur is one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game. He certainly will be the starter this year, but that’s not to say that Schneider won’t get any games. Schneider has proved that he can be a top goaltender in this league, especially in the rough Vancouver market. Don’t be surprised to see Brodeur play the bulk of the games, and this be his last hurrah.

Offseason Moves

Additions: G Corey Schneider (Trade/Vancouver), F Ryan Clowe (Free Agent/New York Rangers), F Rostislav Olesz (Free Agent/Chicago), F Michael Ryder (Free Agent, Montreal), F Jaromir Jagr (Free Agent/Boston)

Losses: F David Clarkson (Free Agent/Toronto), F Matt D’Agostini (Free Agent/Pittsburgh), D Matt Corrente (Free Agent/Carolina), F Ilya Kovalchuk (Retired/Went to KHL), G Johan Hedberg (Buyout)

Games vs. Red Wings

  • Friday, December 6, 2013 @ New Jersey (7:00pm)
  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014 @ New Jersey (7:00pm)
  • Friday, March 7, 2014 vs. New Jersey (7:30pm)

The New Jersey Devils didn’t make the playoffs last year, and their lack of scoring was a big reason. They lost two big players this offseason in Kovalchuk and Clarkson, a combined 55 points this past season. The Devils replaced them with Jagr and Ryder, two older players nearing the end of their careers. The a good move this past season was bringing in Schneider who will replace Brodeur when he retires.

The Devils, who recently just came under new ownership, are really in desperate need of a scoring forward. Don’t be surprised if they sink farther down in the Eastern Conference and in the Metropolitan Division unless they can find a scoring touch.

To read the original post that appeared on Sports Radio Detroit on August 27, 2013, go to www.sportsradiodetroit.com

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