Well, the time is almost upon us my friends. It's almost time to kick off a new season of Devils hockey, and I go to say, I feel bad for all you out there that aren't Devils fans. That's 29 different fan bases, and only one that will be happy at the end of year. Nice odds losers. All you idiots with hope and expectations just patiently waiting for them to get crushed right before your eyes. Might be a couple months own the road, or it might be well into the postseason, but numerically speaking you are probably going to end up disappointed when the chances of your team raising Lord Stanley's Cup diminish into nothingness. That's a feeling I don't have to worry about. Team can't let me down if I don't expect anything out of them. All I want from this season is the Devils to play a more entertaining brand of hockey, and after last year, that's an absolute certainty. They may not win any more games, but this team will, without a doubt, be more enjoyable to watch. That, to me, would be considered a success for a team going through an obvious rebuilding stage. All you optimists out there thinking about division championships and playoff appearances and I get to treat every win like it's followed by a banner raising ceremony, so tell me, who is the real winner here?
All I really want to see out this team is growth. Growth from individual players and growth as a team. When the Devils compete again it won't be with this roster, but this year will go a long way in determining who will be on that roster. It will go a long way in determining just how good this young, talented stable of defenseman can be. It will go a long way in determining if the influx of youth and speed can actually provide some real, NHL caliber forwards. It will go a long way in determining the actual potential of rookies like Boucher and Matteau. It will go a long way in determining whether or not castoffs like Tlusty, O'Neill, Stempniak, and Kalinin can be contributors at the NHL level. It will go a long way in determining whether or not Josefson and Palmieri can be critical building blocks for the future. It will go a long way in determining whether Henrique can live up to his contract. It will go a long way in determining whether or not Zajac really is just a glorified third line center. There's a lot to learn and not a lot to expect, so hold on to your seat belts and say a prayer for Cory Schneider. The results likely won't be pretty, but they may very well be productive, and at this point all we can ask for is a new brand of suck. Wake up Devils fans, no matter how it turns out, hockey season is upon us...