NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Reaching the Stanley Cup finals hasn't made the New Jersey Devils one of the favorites to win the NHL title in this lockout-shortened season.
Far from it.
Despite returning Ilya Kovalchuk, Martin Brodeur and almost everyone from the club that came within two games of winning its fourth Cup, the Devils have a lot of doubters heading into the 48-game regular season.
A big part of the concern is the loss of former captain Zach Parise. A 31-goal scorer last year, he returned home by signing with Minnesota as a free agent.
Not only did general manager Lou Lamoriello lose a face of the franchise, he also decided not to re-sign veteran Petr Sykora, a 21-goal scorer, and faces the prospect of starting without second-year center Adam Henrique (16 goals), who is sidelined with a thumb injury.
Indeed, the Devils have a mountain to climb in the tough Eastern Conference if they are to repeat last season's success.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Penguins vs. Capitals Game 1 Pick Will the Washington Capitalsavoid another slow start to a series when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins...
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Senators Game 1 Pick Will the Ottawa Senators open their Eastern Conference semifinal with a win when they host the New York Rangers in Game 1 tonight at...
Thumbnail Oilers vs. Ducks Game 1 Pick Will the Anaheim Ducksstay perfect in the NHL Playoffswhen they host the Edmonton Oilers...
Thumbnail Wild vs. Blues Game 1 Pick The second round of the NHL Playoffs begin today when the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their series...
Thumbnail Updated Stanley Cup Odds The Stanley Cup Playoffs are down to their final eight teams. Here is an updated look at the odds to claim the Cup as we enter the...

NHL Team Pages