Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/16/13 at 07:20 PM ET
from Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork,
Preseason projections for the top teams in the Eastern Conference didn't deviate much from the usual suspects.
The physically imposing Boston Bruins boasted the size, skill and depth that allowed them to bruise their way to the Stanley Cup in 2011. The New York Rangers, coming off a conference-leading 109-point regular season, added coveted winger Rick Nash in the biggest blockbuster trade of the summer. And let's not forget the loaded Pittsburgh Penguins, who have two of the game's most potent scoring threats -- reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin and center Sidney Crosby -- and a burgeoning star James Neal coming off a 40-goal season.
Now, who also had the New Jersey Devils?
Granted, the team lost its face of the franchise when Zach Parise signed with his hometown Minnesota Wild in July, but still the team got no love from the pundits -- not even after the team's remarkable run to the Stanley Cup finals in June.
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