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2014-15 NHL season preview: Metropolitan Division
NHL
2014-15 NHL season preview: Metropolitan Division
Eli Bernstein
Thursday October 2nd, 2014

MORE METRO PREVIEWS: Rangers | Penguins | Flyers | Capitals | Islanders | Blue Jackets | Hurricanes

COACH: Peter DeBoer

2013-14 RECORD: 35-29-18, 88 points (sixth in Metropolitan, missed playoffs)

VITAL SIGNS: 2.4 goals per game (27th), 2.4 goals-against per game (6th); 19.5 power play pct. (9th); 86.4 penalty kill pct. (1st); shootout record: 0-13 (30th)

NOTABLE ARRIVALS: F Mike Cammalleri, F Martin Havlat, G Scott Clemmensen

NOTABLE DEPARTURES: D Anton Volchenkov, D Mark Fayne

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART

Forwards

Mike Cammalleri - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Martin Havlat - Dainius Zubrus - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe - Stephen Gionta - Tuomo Ruutu

Defensemen

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Jon Merrill - Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas - Bryce Salvador

Goalies

Cory Schneider
Keith Kinkaid

NHL
Best case scenarios for Eastern Conference teams

OUTLOOK: The Devils netted a paltry 2.4 goals per game in 2013-14, a stat that coach Peter DeBoer hopes veteran wings Mike Cammalleri and Martin Havlat will help remedy as New Jersey tries to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years. But Havlat hasn’t played 50 games in a season since 2010-11, and though he's a reliable presence, Cammalleri might not be worth his $25 million price tag. Good thing the seemingly ageless Jaromir Jagr will be there to provide a spark on offense again. He, Cammalleri and Travis Zajac should give New Jersey a top line that can go out and produce on any given night. Now that Martin Brodeur is gone maybe Cory Schneider can turn his full concentration to stopping shots. A stalwart defensive unit led by captain Bryce Salvador should boost Schneider’s chances at continuing his solid form (1.97 GAA, .921 save percentage last season). You can’t win games without scoring, though, and the defensively-minded Devils might find it hard to keep up with their most high-powered divisional foes.

• Devils defense gets infusion of youth

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jaromir Jagr

The emphasis is on “watch.” You probably won’t have many more chances to see Jagr in all of his butt-out, puck-protecting glory, and even though he’s 42 those hands remain as smooth as ever. Repeating last year’s 67-point performance might be tough, but it's not impossible.

PREDICTION: 83 points (fifth in Metropolitan)

• Three Devils who need to step it up this season

• ATLANTIC PREVIEWS: Canadiens | Bruins | Sabres | Panthers | Maple Leafs | Red Wings | Lightning | Senators

• CENTRAL PREVIEWS: Wild | Stars | Blackhawks | Avalanche | Jets | Predators | Blues

• PACIFIC PREVIEWS: Canucks | Sharks | Coyotes | Flames | Ducks | Oilers | Kings

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