Thread: Larry Brooks: Rangers/NHL Preview
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10-08-2010, 09:42 PM
  #75
haveandare
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchShamrock View Post
Top 9? Philly, Was, and prob Det are better. SJ, LA, TB, Van are at least on par with NJ. I don't see the fuss about their 3rd line. And that 2nd line is old as eco has pointed out. The game is so much faster now than it was 10 years ago. It's tough for older players throughout the course of the season to keep up, even with replacements available, which Jersey doesn't have yet. We saw it with Shannahan, Straka and Rucinsky. NJ is going to rely heavily on that top line. Powerplay too.
Bingo.

The Devils don't have an ungodly top 9 by any means. They have a really solid first line, no question about it. The second line would have been really awesome 3 or 4 years ago, but now its pretty much a question mark. Are 3 guys at that age going to be able to play 82 games? Who is going to fill in for them if/when they can't? Finally, they have a very, very average 3rd line. Clarkson's career high is 32 points and he's 26. Zubrus hasn't topped 40 points since 2006 - 2007 and Rolston is a 37 y/o who has put up beastly numbers in the past, but not since coming back to jersey. At that age I have to believe his best days are behind him. Points aren't everything, but I'm not sure they have the wheels to play the checking game anymore either. They're all "household names" if you know hockey more than the average person, but that doesn't mean that they're going to be a great line.

I'm very skeptical of the expectations that the Devils are getting this season. Too much faith is being put in players that are too old.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm not saying NYR are better off for this season than the Devils are. I'm just thinking about the Devils out loud, not comparing them to the Rangers in any way. NYR has its own slew of problems.

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