The New Jersey Devils have a very strong group of defensemen. At least eight players under contract are capable of playing defense at the NHL level, and a few are capable of being stars. The main problem is inconsistency.
Fans can probably assume that Andy Greene and Marek Zidlicky will remain the Devils' top two offensive defenders. They can probably also assume that Anton Volchenkov and Bryce Salvador will remain the shut-down defensemen.
But what about Adam Larsson or Henrik Tallinder? Each of them has played under ten games, with Tallinder becoming a healthy scratch in recent games. Larsson has looked good as his replacement, but as a young sophomore, his play will likely remain inconsistent.
Mark Fayne has played in 11 games, but his unimpressive numbers could mean a scratch for him at any time. And Peter Harrold has only dressed for one game, but he showed what kind of play he's capable of in last season's playoff run.
Right now, it's just a bit confusing. The real doubts will come if any Devils start seriously under-performing. The last thing the Devils need is a situation where multiple D-men don't know if they'll even be dressed for that night's game, and all it would take is a couple slumping skaters for that to happen.
Ideally, at some point soon, a regular defensive squad will emerge as reliable and capable. So far, that has not yet happened.