Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Get Pumped: Training Camp is Tomorrow

Tomorrow unofficially ends the off-season for the Devils with the beginning training camp. In the last week or so, I discussed what the Devils don't need to worry about and four issues the team needs to address: the offense in general, the roles of Sergei Brylin and David Clarkson, the fourth line, and the #4 spot on defense.

Today, I don't want to discuss any particular issue. I just want you to get pumped for preseason. Don't ask me why. It's a whole new team! A whole new arena (opening in late October)! A brand new coach! A brand new season is upon us! Hockey starts in less than a month! These are plenty of reasons to get pumped! Here are some other things to check out and possibly get pumped in the process:

From the Globe and Mail, Brent Sutter draws rave reviews for his style of coaching and his many successes at the major junior and international level. He was behind the bench for Team Canada in the Super Series against Russia, where Canada won with 7 wins and 1 tie. Impressive? Yes. A reason to get excited? You bet.

A guy by the name of Left Kinger has been making team preview videos for each NHL team via HFBoards. He has recently completed a short video about the New Jersey Devils which you can view via YouTube. The theme for this coming season is "The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same." As Devils fans, we want this to come true, as it would mean another division championship in the face of all critics and doubters who seem to think the Devils are going to be passed by Pittsburgh or that other team cross the Hudson River. The video is a collection of clips from last season, more than enough to get you pumped.

Speaking of Hockey's Future, they got two articles worth your interest. The first is the first half of their ranking of the top 50 prospects for this season. Devils prospect Nicklas Bergfors made the list at #34. While the staff of Hockey's Future understands Bergfors had a rough go of it last season, they still believe he is a future top 6 forward for New Jersey and they expect him to bounce back in his third year in the AHL. The second involves HF Devils writer Jared Ramsden. He has an article previewing the upcoming Devils training camp where he examines who is likely to make the team, who will have the chance to make a name for themselves, and who may be on the outside looking in. Good stuff and more to get pumped for.

In unfortunate news, 2 Man Advantage caught word that Jim Dowd will try out for next season - with the Philadelphia Flyers. At this point in his career, I can't begrudge him for agreeing to a tryout; but I can't say that I'm happy about the prospect of the New Jersey-born Dowd being on a rival team of the New Jersey Devils.

But let's get back to being pumped and while this doesn't have anything to do with training camp, it has everything to do with the Devils new home. The boards have just gone up at the Prudential Center; you can the view the pictures here or through the Devils' main website.

You want to get pumped for training camp in general, but don't have a clue about the other teams? That's OK, has you covered with daily NHL team previews. So far, six teams have been done and it won't be until September 20 that the Devils' preview will go live. Until then, just assume that the Devils will continue to be a premier team in the league - it's been a safe assumption for the most of the last 10 years anyhow.

Lastly, some new faces will be at the Devils training camp such as Tony Romano, Jari Viuhkola, Jason Smith (the goaltender, not the defenseman from the mid-1990s), and Zach Tarkir. Maybe they'll make an impact, maybe they won't, but they'll hopefully bring something new to the table. In that hope, one could conceivably get pumped for it.

Training camp begins tomorrow at the South Mountain Arena (a.k.a. the Codey Arena in South Mountain) in West Orange, NJ. Anyone who goes there or has some thoughts about camp, please let me know. Anything to get pumped and to get ready for the upcoming season.

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