Will you look at that? Martin Brodeur returns and all of a sudden the Devils morph back into a contender. OK, sorry -- that was terrible.
This week: 15
Last week: 15
Reasoning: Two wins in a row help steady the ship but the loss of Ilya Kovalchuk will be mighty tough to overcome for a team that struggles to score as it is (24th in offense).
CBSThis week: 13
Last week: 16
Reasoning: This is going to be a tenuous couple of weeks without Ilya Kovalchuk. There are a few teams below them eyeing a playoff spot that are playing better. Hang on to your hats.
This week: 13
Last week: 19
Reasoning: They dropped a tough one to the Senators in a shootout on Monday night, but with Martin Brodeur back in net and seemingly healthy after his back problems, the Devils should be in good enough shape to slip into the playoffs. It's been a very tough year for them in many ways -- Ilya Kovalchuk will be lost for two-to-four weeks due to a shoulder injury -- but they are still in the playoff picture and hanging tough. I wouldn't want to play them in a postseason series, especially when Kovalchuk is back in business.
This week: 12
Last week: 15
Reasoning: Martin Brodeur has returned and all is well. The veteran goalie has won his two decisions (Carolina on Thursday and Florida on Saturday) in his first starts since missing a month with back issues.