The "New" New Jersey Devils: Do They Have What It Takes?

Brett BodnerContributor IOctober 13, 2008

Although it is still very early in the season, I have to say that I love the way the New Jersey Devils are playing.


Sure the scores in both those games were 2-1 and were very close, but you have to look deeper than the score to see the improvements that the Devils have made.


In their first game last Friday night the Devils squared off against the New York Islanders, and in my opinion, they looked like a completely different team. I got the feeling when watching it, that this year could be something special.


The Devils came out confident and did something I haven’t seen in years from them—they came out shooting and appeared to be focused on trying to score goals rather than playing the game with a defensive mind set.


A perfect example of this can be seen on their power play. Last year, the Devils were terrible on the power play and it was hard to watch at times. This year, they are taking a more aggressive approach by firing lots of shots at the net.


This new method appears to be working—they are generating many more scoring chances and on opening night, Zach Parise scored a goal on the power play.


Not only is their new offense a great thing to see, but as usual the Devils's defense appears to be coming together. Saturday night against Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsuburgh, the Devils held the powerful offense to a mere 15 shots.


At the end of the game, the Devils had tallied 49 shots, which is also something Devil fans are not used to.


Zach Parise and Patrik Elias have had two great games so far, as they are the only two Devils to have scored in the first two games. You can expect great things from these two this year, as long as they keep playing they way they are capable of.


I believe the rest of the Devils offense will step up soon. It’s only a matter of time before Brian Rolston, Brian Gionta, John Madden, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Travis Zajac light up the lamp.


As for goal tending, Marty Brodeur was on the top of his game versus the Islanders and the Penguins. It appears that Marty is proving many wrong by not losing a step.


He has made many beautiful saves, including a great stop on Kyle Okposo’s penalty shot, Friday night. He really only let in one quality goal this year, as the Islanders scored their only goal against the Devils on a shot that reflected off Paul Martin’s skate.


The only thing that New Jersey Devils really need to change is the amount of penalties they get. Sure, the referees are having a great time calling penalties this year, but the Devils can try not to take as many.


It’s an exciting time right now for Devil fans everywhere. It’s very early still, but you got to love what has occurred in the first two games.


The Devils have a big test tonight, as they face off against the New York Rangers. Last year, the Devils struggled against the Rangers and they got eliminated by them in the playoffs. Tonight is a chance for redemption for the New Jersey Devils, and a chance to show everyone that this team is for real.


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