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 Blues vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks look to close out the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues in...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
Thumbnail Sharks vs. Blues Game 5 Pick Which team will take a key 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals tonight as the St. Louis Blueshost the San Jose Sharks...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins take care of home ice in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 4 Pick Can the San Jose Sharks stay tough at home and establish a commanding lead in the Western Conference Finals when they host the St. Louis Blues at...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks look to close out the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues in...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
Thumbnail Sharks vs. Blues Game 5 Pick Which team will take a key 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals tonight as the St. Louis Blueshost the San Jose Sharks...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins take care of home ice in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 4 Pick Can the San Jose Sharks stay tough at home and establish a commanding lead in the Western Conference Finals when they host the St. Louis Blues at...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Team Pages