Six long, long months have passed since the New Jersey Devils stepped onto the ice at Prudential Center. A lot has changed over summer. New coach, new players joining the squad, former players re-joining the squad, and a new captain.
October 8, 2011: Game One.
The New Jersey Devils will begin regular season play as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center in Newark. The Devils will hope to rid horrid thoughts of a dismal start of a season last year, only to become the best team in the NHL when it was too late. A season in which their new captain, Zach Parise, didn’t get much of a chance.
Parise was sidelined for most of the 2010-2011 season due to knee surgery, but after being resigned to a one-year deal in the offseason, and being named the ninth captain in New Jersey Devils history, Parise is ready to bounce back.
New faces joined the club out of training camp, including Eric Boulton, Brad Mills, Adam Henrique and the fourth overall draft pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Adam Larsson. Fans are excited to see what Larsson, who was called the most NHL ready out of any in the draft, has to offer. If pre-season was any indication, it’s going to be exciting to see Larsson and Kovalchuk sharing the points on the powerplay.
One of the biggest surprises going into this season is the return of Petr Sykora. Now wearing number 15 as opposed to his old 17, Sykora opened eyes and showed that he still has it. He re-gained chemistry with old linemate Patrik Elias, and have now formed what some are calling “A-Line 2.0″ with Zach Parise.
The first game of this season, the Devils will get a look at a new Flyers team. The Flyers shipped out sniper Jeff Carter and Captain Mike Richards in order to sign a number one goaltender. They signed Ilya Bryzgalov who showed he is the real deal as he stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Flyers victory over defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins, on Thursday night.
The big story for the Flyers is seeing if Jaromir Jagr was a good sign. So far, he seems to be creating chemistry with linemate Claude Giroux, even netting his 1,600th career NHL point in Thursday’s contest.
This will be a fun contest to watch these two energetic, fast-paced teams. The Devils need to get off to a great start and plan to do so behind Martin Brodeur who is making his 16th season opener appearance with the Devils.
We would love to hear what you think about the Devils going into this season. Leave a comment below telling us what you’re looking forward to most this season, who’s going to have a breakout year, or just your prediction for the game tonight.