As a Devils fan I notice that it seems that the same two questions get asked every year and it always seems to turn into the biggest stories going into the season. Will Marty play so many games and can the Devils actually score a respectable amount of goals?
Marty Brodeur – Playing a lot of games is something Marty does, something he usually does. The exception was last season when he got injured and was forced to miss a large amount of games. Every season prior to the 2008/2009 season, it seemed that Marty took on too many games and come playoff time he seemed tired and the cause of the Devils exit from the post-season. Last season, Marty only played 31 games because of his injury and the Devils STILL left the playoffs early, so what does that tell you? At this point, who cares how many games Marty Broduer decides to play in net. It’s really not worth asking him because it is an impossible question to answer. Injuries could happen, decisions made during the season could happen, who knows but it’s not worth bothering him with this question. Miikka Kiprusoff played 76 games last season, Turco 74 games, Backstrom 71 games and Lundqvist played 70 games and NO ONE has asked them is they plan to log so many minutes this season. Let it go, he plays what he plays. If its all 82 games and they still make the playoffs, then good for him.
Scoring – The media always seems to question NJ’s ability to score goals. Last season the Devils ended with a respectable 238 goals and finished 15th in the league in that category. Parise had a team high 45 goals, Elias had 31 and Langenbrunner had 29. Two other players also broke the 20 goal mark for the season. A few years back, Brian Gionta set the team record for number of goals scored in the regular season, a mark that Parise did not reach with his 45 goals last season. I do believe the goals will come again this season and it has been several years since the Devils played the defense first style of hockey. This team has a lot of talented scores and I would expect, unless injuries prevent it, that Parise scores 40+, Elias, Zajac and Langenbrunner put in at least 30 goals and I wouldn’t be surprised to see David Clarkson be a 20 goal scorer this season.