The brink of hockey season raises questions about how the New Jersey Devils will be able to perform with a change in lineup.
Despite losing Zach Parise, the Jersey team still has its 40-year-old three-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender in Martin Brodeur and all-stars Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk to keep the offense strong. With these pieces to the puzzle, the Devils should have no problem seeing the postseason once the 2012-2013 regular season is over.
The Devils will face struggles, especially without their former star left-winger. But with the re-signing of the fourth line and defensive contributors still on the roster, they will have no trouble competing.
The Devils finished 48-28-6 with 102 points last season. During the postseason, the Devils finished with ten wins, ten losses and three overtime losses. They defeated the Florida Panthers and two rival teams in the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers on their way to the final round against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings, who were one of the most dangerous teams in the playoffs, fought hard against the Devils. New Jersey lost in six games, but it was apparent that they were tough contenders who deserved the Stanley Cup run.
The New Jersey Devils have been a consistent team since their first Stanley Cup victory in 1995. Since then, they've won two more in 2000 and 2003, and have had their fair share of success as an NHL team. Under current President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello, the Devils have made the playoffs all but three times between 1988 and 2012. They have also had thirteen berths in a row between the years 1997 and 2010.
This season, the New Jersey Devils are going to try to show the doubters that Zach Parise isn't the vital piece to the puzzle. The Devils didn't win because of Parise, but because they knew how to use him on the ice. If the Devils can restructure their offense to fit without Parise, the team will be fine.
Brodeur will have to make sure to bring his A-game, especially since he's getting older. Some were shocked that he signed for another two years, and as a devoted Devils player since 1991, Brodeur will make sure that his last two years with the only franchise he's ever known is memorable.
The Devils must use their fourth line to score goals and play aggressively, and their offensive players must produce goals and put pressure on opposing teams. If the Devils played the way they played last year, there's no doubt that they will be a part of the 2012-2013 NHL postseason.