For the last couple of days, and continuing for the next few days, I have been and will be looking at each team in the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders. The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season. The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch. Feel free to brows back to see previous teams, and look for more teams in the coming days.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Chutes: Martin Brodeur- You know you are getting up there when you make the announcement to draft your own son. Brodeur now has a more than capable partner in the crease in the recently acquired Schneider, so his workload will definitely be reduced as the transition takes place. While some would argue that one of the greatest of all time is still a top level goalie, truth is his best days are well behind him and the 2012 run to the finals was a remarkable last gasp.
Ladders: Cory Schneider – No longer with Roberto Luongo either in hes way or looking over his shoulder, Schneider can muddle through this season in taking over from Brodeur, and will become the true #1 at some point while Brodeur rides off into the sunset.