The ESPN The Magazine 2010-11 preseason power rankings were released today, with the Devils beating out the Penguins for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
The rankings, powered by the VUKOTA projection system of Puck Prospectus, break down each team into eight categories, weighted by importance. The Devs score a little over 6 on the 10 point scale, good for third in the East. Most interestingly though, the only get a 5 (out of 10) in the scoring category, despite acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk this summer.
Division foe John Tavares was a little more wary of the new-look Devils. From the article:
"They've always been a hardworking team," [Tavares] says. "They're one of the few teams in the league that plays as a five-man unit. And now, in addition to being tough defensively, they're going to have a huge weapon that can score at any time."
It's an Insider article (though free for ESPN The Magazine subscribers), so I can't divulge too much, but it serves as a nice teaser for the rest of the day's reading.
The Post writes that Jason Arnott thinks the Devils were mad he didn't skate in Game 5 of the 2001 Stanley Cup finals after suffering a concussion, and wonders if it led to his departure from the team.
Larry Brooks writes that the NHLPA was responsible for saving the Devils a $3 million salary cap penalty after the Great Kovalchuk Compromise of 2010.
The Devils team site discusses the first goal scored by rookie Matt Taormina.
Tom Gulitti also adds more on tomorrow's lineup when the Devils face Philly.