Sunday, May 17, 2009

Better the Devil You Know ...

The 2008-09 season was filled with adversity for the New Jersey Devils. Starting the season off well they lost All-star goaltender Martin Brodeur with a torn bicep muscle. All seemed to be lost until career backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen appeared on scene. The Devils maintained pace with the top teams in the Eastern Conference until Brodeur was ready to make his return.

With Brodeur back, the all-time win record by a goaltender was in sight. On March 17 2009 the Devils defeated the Blackhawks and Brodeur surpassed Patrick Roy as the NHL’s win leader by a goaltender. After that the wind in the Devils sails died. They finished the season on a losing skid and continued the lackluster performance in the playoffs.

Martin Brodeur – one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game. Draft him early and never trade him. He is aging but can still perform better than most goalies in the league.

Zach Parise – This young sniper is a breath of fresh air in the defensive style of the Swamp. He has shot up in all draft charts and in now a long term keeper.

Patrick Elias – Has once again emerged as a catalyst in Jersey. This streaky players has the ability to put up big points but is too streaky. He is a mid round pick at best now because of his age and disappearing factor.

Jamie Langenbrunner - The captain had a career year but can he keep this as a consistency? I doubt it, draft him accordingly in later rounds.

Travis Zajac – His best year to date, this youngster will continue to develop as long as he plays with Parise and New Jersey plays offensively. He should be considered a sleeper and can be stolen late.

Brian Gionta – Only 29, it seems like eons ago he had a 48 goal season. His value has fallen so has his draft ranking. Gionta is a UFA and should remain in New Jersey. Look for similar numbers next year.

Paul Martin – The strongest and most offensive Devil rearguard, had a decent season as New Jersey doesn’t get much help from their backend. Look elsewhere for help as you will be able to draft more offensive help on other teams.

David Clarkson – The resident tough guy, Clarkson has the ability to put up points and defend his teammates. A great depth pickup in roto leagues can be had late or on waivers.

These following players have limited fantasy value and should be looked at a depth players and waiver pickups: Danius Zubrus, Brendan Shanahan, Brian Rolston, Jonny Oduya and Scott Clemmensen.


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