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Devils Hellish season review

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 A look at the Devils 2018-19 season.


 PRESEASON OUTLOOK: The Devils were the surprise team last year with Hart winner Taylor Hall leading them to a surprising playoff appearance hopes were high that they would build off of it and go past the first round this season.


FINAL RECORD 31-41-10 dead last in their division.


HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON: They started the year 4-0 with impressive shutout wins against both the Stars and the Champion Capitals. After that....


LOW POINT OF THE SEASON Losing Taylor Hall for what was at first supposed to be a day to day then a week to week then finally shutting him down completely only appearing in 33 games. That and watching the Chinese water drill that was Cory Schneider going over a full calendar year without a single victory. Without Hall and with Schneider a husk of his former self the team fell fast and hard.


WHAT WENT RIGHT:  Palmieri led the team in scoring and had a fine year, Blake Coleman quietly established himself as a solid real deal power forward, Severson had a good solid year on the blueline and Nico Hischier had a good year. Zajac continues to age well. Earlier this month they won the Jack Hughes sweepstakes with the first pick in the draft for the second time in four years. they managed to turn assets Boyle, Johanssen and Kincaid into picks.


WHAT WENT WRONG LOTS of injuries, almost every key player missed time, Hall missed 49 games, Hischier missed 13, Palmieri 8. In total only 3 players appeared in 80 games for the Devils, a very low figure. Key kids Wood, Zacha, Bratt and Butcher all took massive steps backwards but a lot of that may be that too much was being asked of them, all are going to be huge question marks going forward. The net is a train wreck with the ghost of Cory Schneider and the unproven Blackwood expected to do the job.


FREE AGENTS they did a good job of moving UFA Johanssen, Kincaid and Boyle for picks. Drew Stafford will not be back, nobody even knew he was there, Kenny Agostino actually had a decent season and if he agrees to come back on the cheap may have finally turned a corner on his career.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: Will Taylor Hall be healthy and if so AND the infusion of Jack Hall is that enough to get this team turned around? They have 7 picks in the first three rounds, will they try to part with any to move up in the draft as they only have one first? Can they do anything with Schneider? Can they build a blueline? It is the most boring pedestrian average at best back end this side of Detroit. 


  Truth be told I dont see a lot of questions, they are only a year removed from a surprise playoff appearance but the vets are brittle and the kids are ordinary and the goaltending is wretched, throw Hughes in the mix and they still need a lot of help in a lot of areas.

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