New Jersey Devils

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Power Rankings
Another club that experienced a season of progress and exceeded expectations, the Devils still have plenty of work to do. Injuries were a major factor in this team's decline after a strong start. New coach John Hynes seemed to get a lot out of what he had, though.
The Devils probably aren't going to be happy with how things ended up going this season, but there were plenty of positives. Cory Schneider remains an ace goalie and the emergence of Kyle Palmieri was a pleasant surprise.
Key injuries have hampered the Devils all season, not the least of which was Cory Schneider's. Still, this team has had some fight in it. Local boy Kyle Palmieri is on the verge of the first 30-goal season of his career.
The Devils have had some wild swings over the past week, but they've managed to pull off some nice wins along the way. Meanwhile, it appears veteran forward Mike Cammalleri will finally be shut down for the season. Getting him healthy next season could help a lot.
The Devils have seen the good and the bad with backup goalie Keith Kinkaid handling the primary net duties with Cory Schneider shelved. The day he was named one of the NHL's three stars of the week, he gave up six goals before being yanked against the Ducks.
An injury to Cory Schneider, costing him at least two weeks, is likely put a damper on the Devils' playoff hopes. Schneider has been their MVP all season. They have a truly brutal stretch ahead, including three straight against the California teams.
The New Jersey Devils didn't totally throw in the towel on the season, but leading scorer Lee Stempniak was traded away. Honestly, that's just good asset management from Ray Shero. They got two valuable draft picks out of a guy they signed on a tryout deal this summer.
The Devils remain within striking distance of the playoffs, but it appears that GM Ray Shero is going to take a more sensible approach at the deadline. They have a shot at the postseason, but sacrificing the long-term plan for short-term success hasn't worked well for Shero before. He's learned his lesson.
If you could describe this Devils team in one word, it would probably be this: survivors. They have been in so many close games this year and no team in the NHL has given up fewer goals per game. Meanwhile, no team has scored fewer goals per game. They're not flashy, but they're in a playoff spot right now.
The Devils have lost four of their last five games, but remain firmly in the playoff picture as they're one point out of the wild-card spot. One of the real bright spots lately has been rookie Joseph Blandisi who has 10 points over his last 11 games.
Preseason Power Rankings
The Devils got a pretty tough draw to start the season, going up against higher-scoring teams like Winnipeg and Washington. They also got a good glimpse of how far they have to go to get on the level of those two recent playoff teams.
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