After a long offseason, hockey fans are ready for what this year will have in store for them.
It has been a rough stretch for the Devils as they have continued their playoff drought that started in the 2012-13 season. Last season, they barely finished above .500, boasting a 38-36-8 record. They finished seventh in the Metropolitan Division.
Last season, they had the lowest goal-scoring total. On the bright side, the team had the ninth-best defense throughout the league as they only let up 208 goals all season.
Another positive for New Jersey is their young defensive core that is developing quickly. They will start their season against the Florida Panthers on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The Rangers are in a relatively different boat than the Devils. They finished third in the Metropolitan Division and clinched their sixth straight playoff berth. Unfortunately, they were dominated by their divisional foe, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the first round of the playoffs and lost the series 4-1. With intentions on having a stronger playoff push, the Rangers decided to make some key transactions for this upcoming season, including trading star defender Keith Yandle to the Florida Panthers for a fourth and sixth-round pick. New York also traded away center Derick Brassard and a seventh-round draft pick for Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad and a second-round pick. After the trades, the Rangers signed left wing Jimmy Vesey on Aug. 19th. The Rangers should also be able to build off of their postseason berth last season as they ranked seventh in offense and 14th in defense throughout the league. Their first game is at home against the New York Islanders on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Speaking of the Islanders, they are also coming off a playoff berth, their second straight. They lost in the second round to the Tampa Bay Lightning and only won one game in the series. There are many aspects to remain positive about for the Islanders, including holding the 10th-best offense in the league last season. They scored 232 goals offensively, leading them to a 45-27-10 record. Their defense also fared well, ranking 13th in the league while letting up 216 goals. They’ll be looking to build off their postseason success last year and get more wins within their division.
It’s been over 10 years since any of these teams have won as Stanley Cup, the Devils winning in 2003, but anything is capable of happening in the NHL.