The New Jersey Devils are a team of intrigue in this 2013 season. The past eight months have been a wild ride for the club and its fans. From putting together an unexpected run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals to losing the face of the franchise Zach Parise in free agency to a lockout that almost killed a second season in nine years, there is much to consider as we start anew here in late January. It goes for all teams when I say we don't know exactly what to expect, but especially so in New Jersey.
In the NHL, a team's schedule typically does not matter much. It's not like football where there is debate over the difficulty of opponents or timeliness of the bye. Over 82 games, it is more about staying healthy and approaching every game with the same intensity. But in this shortened, 48-game schedule, we look for any way to measure a team. Every game and every matchup is magnified.
So let's look at five games that could define the Devils' 2013 season.