Originally posted on Puck Daddy  |  Last updated 10/3/11
There's no guaranteeing that the New Jersey Devils will return to the playoffs this year. They still have a roster of oddly-fitting parts, one that's now short a true No. 1 center until 2012 with Travis Zajac's injury, playing in front of a legendary netminder who like Sgt. Murtaugh before him is getting too old for this [expletive]. But to see the Devils with 18 points after two months of the season, for the second straight season, would be surprising. After all, Pete DeBoer is an NHL coach while John MacLean was impersonating one. So that's an advantage right there. If they are terrible in the first two months of the season, then chances are they're not going to be invited to the playoff cotillion. The Toronto Maple Leafs are were in the same situation last year: Terrible start, roared back into contention thanks to James Reimer and then fell short. As Dion Phaneuf told Sportsnet: "The other thing is every game is so important. The reason we didn't make the playoffs last year - the
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