As of today I am looking north from my Monmouth County home thinking of what to expect starting on the 13th and a home opener on the 18th, and my return back home to The Prudential Center on the 25th this month.
What’s on my mind today?
For the time being I’m looking forward to Coach John Hynes and GM, Ray Shero to look at the roster heading into Clearwater, Florida vs. a shorthanded Panthers team with a team already 93 points behind.
That being said 93 points from last year is lost right now with Nicklas Bjugstad ruled out for 4 weeks via TheScore.ca and Jonathan Huberdeau out 3-4 months with a very bad leg injury.
During this time the Devils need to take advantage of The Panthers where that team has lost 46.5 points per 2 injured players. The next step is John Hynes has kept The Herb Brooks disciplinary action and has been working hard on reducing silly penalties.
What I expect to see that “fast, attacking, and supportive” uptempo game with players like Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, DSP, Kyle Palmieri, Damon Severson, John Moore, and even Zacha, and Speers to prove to us Devils fans and others that this team will be great to watch for many years to come.
Tampa Bay and Arizona? Tampa Bay is a household name with them as repeat playoff team.
I expect Kyle Quincey, Severson and defense corps to be on high alert and shutdown guys like Drouin, Stamkos from having to create a goal clinic early on. Sure a shutout of TB would be nice but I see a high scoring game and a close one.
Over the years the Arizona Coyotes have been accumulating talent from the drafts, and trades. One of those big transactions as an infusion was Anthony Duclair who was a great prospect who played with Connor McDavid for Hockey Canada to win gold over Russia.
Duclair was sent to Arizona with currently employed Devils defender John Moore. I see Max Domi and Anthony Duclair going to build a strong foundation in the West going forward. I’ll be at this matchup where I hope to see the Devils do their best to prevent Oliver Ekman-Larsson from setting up his team for a victory.
I expect Cory Schneider to be on guard and play his very best and believe in a deepened 4 line forwards where points need to be produced.
So far I see Taylor Hall not only scoring a lot of goals but I see him setting up guys like Henrique, and Pavel Zacha for clutch goals to give breathing room to Schneider in net.
This is about trusting the new offense and defense, and the ability to make chemistry work along with many variables throughout the year.
After all the offseason hype and actions I’m very bullish on how this season looks. Two seasons ago I was very bearish on how the team was old, slow, and lacked offensive experience, and little excitement.
For me as I look north to The Prudential Center I’m very thrilled to see the way the Devils front office has to provide. Providing a more offense laden lines that should roll 3-4 lines that produce.
Defense this year I see Damon Severson increasing his shots on net and getting back to being a young stud offensive-defenseman. Yohann Auvitu on the other hand is going to lead the charge not only with even strength opportunities but also with his Power Play creativity.
Andy Greene I expect to be a great leader with a new look defense and give guys like John Moore a bit more responsibility now that Captain Greene is getting older but still can provide good mix of offense and defense.
- As my favorite line from David Puddy said “GOTTA SUPPORT THE TEAM (The NJ Devils)!!!”