The New Jersey Devils move into a new division this season. The Metropolitan Division is stacked with big names and good teams. The Devils are being predicted to have a down season after big losses in the past two offseasons, but Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello says that the goal for the season has not changed; the end game for this season is to win the Stanley Cup.
The Devils looked very good in the preseason. In four games, Cory Schneider has allowed one goal. That kind of performance will make any fan excited. The team went 4-2 in their six games, five against divisional opponents. Even with a down year, the Devils still played well against their own division. They had a winning record against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they swept the Philadelphia Flyers, they tied the season series with the New York Islanders, and they were beaten by the New York Rangers three out of four times. If they can continue to have a 55-60 percent winning percentage inside the division then it will be a successful season.
The Devils’ start to the season is rough when they have to take a five game Canadian road trip starting with the third game of the season. They will most likely be 3-3-1 after that trip, with many fans up in arms about their beloved team. After October, they will be 5-6-1.
The biggest matchup of the second month is the Los Angeles Kings returning to New Jersey for the first time since they met in the Stanley Cup Finals. November will be one of the best months when they have a 10-4-1 record at the end of it. They will post big wins against the Flyers, Wild and Kings in the month.
December starts off with three games against the new Atlantic Division. They play two against the Minnesota Wild and then one against the Detroit Red Wings. They will start the month 1-2 but come back to end the month 7-5-2. At the end of 2013, the Devils will see themselves 22-15-4.
February is a short month in the NHL as they play take a break for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. With only four games, three being at home, the Devils will add another 3-1 record onto a bounce back season.
A big win against the Wild will help the Devils salvage a month that doesn’t go as planned. The team will end the month with a record of 7-7-1.
The Devils will end the year with seven games in April. They end the season against the Boston Bruins, who have owned the Devils over the last couple of years. Their overtime win against the Devils to end the season will make them 3-3-1 on the month.
For the year, the Devils will be 44-32-6. That will be good enough for a playoff spot in a competitive division. This will end up being a bounce back year for a team that needs it after missing the playoffs in two of the last three years.