2009 preview: New Jersey Devils

No matter what happens to the New Jersey Devils, they always seem to be one of the hottest teams going into the playoffs.

Slow start. No problem. Martin Brodeur goes down for months with an injury. No problem. The team struggle offensively. No problem.

So no matter where this team is around the Christmas break, expect them to make a push at the end of the season.

Story of the season:Will this team go back to dull boring hockey, and how will it impact the young offensive players? With new coach Jacques Lemaire back in the fold, many are speculating the team will go back to the dull hockey of old. How much that will stifle the progress of players such as Zach Parise remains to be seen.

Former Habs: Yann Denis, Danius Zubrus

Blog to follow: Pucks and Pithcforks

TV commercial break

Pool Picks:Travis Zajac. He broke through with 62 points last year. He will probably match that again this season. Stay away from:Brian Rolston. Sure, he had an off-year last year, but the Devils are expected to play more defensive-minded hockey. He’ll probably finish with 40 points.

Award nominees:Jay Pandolfo for the Selke

Expected Finish: Third in the Atlantic, sixth in the East

Cheerleader: This is one of the Devils Dancers

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