Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NHL Four-cast: New Jersey Devils

1 - Why is this team worth watching? Did you enjoy Beijing? If so, then the second best diver in the world will be in the crease for the Devils. Fatso puts on a show every night, the overrated, classless ass. Other than Mmmmaaaarrrrttttyyy, the less-famous John Madden is really a defensive genius and Brian Gionta proves that members of the Lollipop Guild can make the NHL. And if those three are enough to convince you to watch these guys, then have fun with the other thousand or so Devil fans who sit in the empty Prudential Center. Hey, I never said these Four-casts weren't going to be unbiased - this is a Ranger blog after all.

2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Better. Bobby Holik is happy to be back in Jersey - I can't imagine why after a stint in Atlanta - and you can expect him to play happily and well. Holik, when used properly, is the best shut-down center in the league and that includes Madden, Draper and Datsyuk. Brian Rolston also is making a return to the Garden State and he adds a little offense.

3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? I said Rolston adds a little offense and that is it. Do not expect him to improve on his 59 points from last year, not in New Jersey. Zach Parise should be good for 70 points and Patrik Elias, aka Hepatitis B, should hit the 65 mark. If Gionta can find any chemistry with Rolston, then he could regain his 30 goal form. Jamie Langenbrunner showed signs of breaking out in coach Sutter's system so keep an eye on him. If you are in a deep league and PIM is one of many categories, then David Clarkson is worth picking up - 20 points, positive plus/minus and plenty of penalties as the only tough guy on the team. John Oduya should continue to improve across the board and get 30 points, plus 30 and 50 PIM. As for a dark horse, Noah Clarke played one NHL game and scored one goal and has a injury-filled-yet-solid AHL resume that had 230 points in 314 games.

4 - What are five ways that the Devils can sell-out the Prudential Center? 1 - Play the Rangers 41 times, 2 - Have Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen play during the intermissions, 3 - Slot machines since New Yorkers aren't willing to go all the way to AC, 4 - Free tickets for the mentally challenged, and 5- Cheap beer, E and bad techno music could bring da guidos in from da Shore.

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