2005–06 New Jersey Devils season

2005–06 New Jersey Devils Season

2005–06 New Jersey Devils season

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The 2005–06 New Jersey Devils season was the team's 24th in the National Hockey League since the franchise moved to New Jersey. It was the team's first season back after the NHL canceled the previous season, due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout. The Devils rallied from a poor first half of the season to win the Atlantic Division title on the last day of the season. For the first time, the Devils defeated the New York Rangers in a playoff series, sweeping their rivals in their opening-round matchup.

Season overview

Many of the Devils' players had played in other leagues while the National Hockey League was inactive due to the lockout. Most notably was Patrik Elias, who missed the first 39 games of the season due to catching Hepatitis A while playing for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League. With many new rule changes for the 2005-06 season, the Devils had to change their style of play. Martin Brodeur, one of the best puck-handling goalies, could no longer use this to his advantage as before, since restrictions were placed on where goalies could handle the puck. The Devils also lost long-time captain Scott Stevens and his physically punishing style of play to retirement, as well as another longtime defenseman Scott Niedermayer to free agency.

In July 2005, the team announced that head coach Pat Burns would not return for the season after being diagnosed with cancer for the second time in little more than a year....
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