Despite winning three Stanley Cup Championships in a series of nine years, the New Jersey Devils prominent stature is fading.
New Jersey won titles in 1995, 2000, and 2003, but hasn't won in seven years, clearly, and hasn't advanced past the first round sice 2007, and hasn't made it to the conference finals since that cup-run of 2003.
Certainly, it is impressive that Jersey's Team has made the playoffs in the past 12 seasons, and they are usually thought of as one of the perennial teams across the National Hockey League, by opposing teams and fans.
Still, if this Devils team, which is touted to have the most offensive firepower of any previous teams--including all three championship teams.
It might be tough for anyone whose been a Jersey-faithful for a long time to second-guess a line like the one of Patrick Elias-Alexander Mogilny-Petr Sykora in 2003, but this newly-assembled -Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Ilya Kovalchuk just may do it.
Kovalchuk alone could challenge any line for the traditional defensive-first minded Devils in past years. Barring an injury, it wouldn't be too far off to picture "Kovy" netting ffty goals this year, and Parise should follow in suit rather nicely.
It wouldn't be right to forget Elias, who was that top scorer in '00, tallying 96 regular season points on the best defensive team in hockey.
Oh yeah, there's still this guy named Martin Brodeur in net, aged at 33.
The bottom line is this: the pieces in place for this years Devils team really couldn't be much better. They have arguably the most talent in the league, or at least conference. As a Devils fan, I can speak for the majority when I say we are sick of looking up in the conference standings.
Wouldn't it be nice to take off from day one and be looked at by everyone? For teams to shutter a little bit when they see they have to venture to the sold-out Prudential Center to take on one of the best teams in the history of the NHL?
Sure, it's a lot to ask for.
But too much to ask for? I think not.