Are We There Yet?

After a weekend of driving through the mountains of Cobleskill, you can imagine I had more than a fair amount of time to think about…well, absolutely anything.  Aside from the usual day dreams about Chinese takeout and when my next Dunkin’ Donuts rest-stop will be, my mind inevitably ended up on the ice.

Typically, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but with the off-season still flaunting its ugly style it can tend to get a little frustrating.  Well, I’d like to announce that I’m tired of waiting for something news-worthy to write about.  That being the case, I’ve decided I’d like to spill whatever has been on my mind as of late.

Sound good?  Too bad, here goes…

IS IT WORTH IT TO GET EXCITED?

Part of me says YES, and the other part of me thinks its counterpart has an addiction to sniffing glue.  You see, it’s easy as a fan to get wound up over signing a player of Brian Rolston’s caliber, but it’s not so easy (or enjoyable) to know that realistically Lou Lamoriello hasn’t done much to improve his squad other than sign Rolston & Holik.  Granted, some weeding was also done in the Black & Red garden, but the current selection of crops leaves me with a sinking feeling that the team still isn’t ready to compete.  Why do I feel that, you ask?  Look no further than the blue line.

With Paul Martin as your reigning #1, and Johnny Oduya as our token puck-mover, I just have a hard time feeling confident about our defensive corps.  Even guys like Halischuk and Corrente competing for a spot out of training camp, it’s going to take a lot more to keep the Devils from becoming a part of a few embarrassing highlight reels this season.

WILL LOU MAKE ANOTHER MOVE?

If I knew the answer to this question, I wouldn’t be typing to you from my ground level living room/bedroom.  Then again, when it comes to Lou, the highest of the hockey insiders still probably wouldn’t have a clue.  Would I like to see another move made?  Absolutely.  One involving a defen

seman?  You bet!  Again, reality donkey-punches me in the face and I’m forced back down to earth, knowing that another roster tweak isn’t likely.  Barring a few minor additions out of training camp,

it looks like the current Devils roster will be the one that takes the ice October 10th at The Rock.

HOW MUCH DOES MARTY HAVE LEFT?

It just wouldn’t be a legitimate pre-season breakdown without asking this question.  It seems th

at year in and year out, it rears its ugly head.  The funny thing is that every single year, the answer remains the same.  Marty is Marty. He will bring his usual lights-out game with him no matter what the situation is.  Kevin Weekes will play sparingly or when necessary, unless the team happens to be 39-1-1 at the All Star Break.

WILL THE OFFENSIVES WOES CONTINUE?

It depends.  Obviously, Brian Rolston could boost even the weakest offense.  Which is good, because I think the Devils are the proud(?) owners of that title.  The real question is: what kind of year will his support have?  Rolston has already proven what he can bring to the table, it’s the veteran Devils that worry me.  If anything, they’ve been consistantly inconsistant. 

Let’s take Patrik Elias for example.  Dude is either lights-out or a dud christmas light.  Gionta is no better, and Travis Zajac left much to be desired in his Sophomore campaign.  Perhaps the only reliable forward the Devils currently boast is Zach Parise.  Likewise with returning captain Jamie Langenbrunner.  John Maddens surprising 2007-2008 season was likely a one-shot-deal (that went high and wide…BA-ZING!!), and Dainius Zubrus will need to step it up in order to be effective in ’08-’09.

In all, Rolston is a great addition and I’m beyond excited to see how many times he will make my jaw drop.  The downside is that he won’t be able to do it by himself, and that’s where I start to worry.  The boys are going to have to either shape up or ship out in order for the team to be successful.

CAN BRENT SUTTER REALLY LEAD THIS TEAM?

I say yes.  Brent Sutter was under fire for a lot of the choices and decisions he made last season and although I was often the one tearing him a new one, I feel confident with him behind the bench.  I feel he, like his team, will have to change some things about his game to be successful but in the end is still a leader the Devils can feed off of and will learn much from.  If they’re not too stubborn to listen, that is.

*****

That’s all I got for now.  I’m sure there are tons more questions that fans like myself ask themselves every day about the team.  Got one?  Feel like sharing?  I’d love to hear them and voice my own opinion about whatever it is us Devils fans like to shoot the breeze about until the puck drops.

Keep it bookmarked at 2MA, the season is nearing and we’re just getting started!!