Credit to @DevilsTweetFeed for re-posting the image and bringing the source to my attention and @MikeVasagg for taking the picture.
Here is the picture one more time for reference:
While the picture depicts preseason battles that do not account for top Albany talent, it looks like the battle for the last defensive spot will be between Mark Fayne and Peter Harrold with Harrold apparently having the edge. While I would rather see Mark Fayne play, I wouldn’t be completely opposed to Peter Harrold holding down the 6th spot.
The lines look a lot how I had predicted before I believed that Bryce Salvador would be paired with Anton Volchenkov or Marek Zidlicky. While I often believe that wearing the “C” grants you an incentive, it ultimately does come down to who you are paired with anyway. I was initially shocked that the Captain of the New Jersey Devils would be listed as the 5th defenseman on the roster but the pairings do make a lot of sense.
The Devils need Zidlicky to produce on the PP and hopefully a better season from Anton Volchenkov can help him out as well.
In my opinion, I wouldn’t mind seeing the second line and the first switched. I believe that Andy Greene will have another good season. If Zidlicky and Volchenkov struggle early, I wouldn’t mind seeing Greene and Adam Larsson getting more time on the PP.
Then there’s the line of Krys Barch, Jacob Josefson, and Mattias Tedenby. This really caught me off guard when I first saw it. At first I wondered why Barch and Tedenby essentially switched positions. I’m sure they can adapt to the position but if it was a case of adapting positions, why not stay at your original position?
Then I realized something else. This probably isn’t the 4th line. As Dainius Zubrus will likely move to RW for much of the season, Tedenby playing at RW means that both Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier will both be sent to Albany. The different scenarios that can arise are very confusing and the possibilities could go on for days.
Also, Josefson playing on “Line 4″ would likely mean that Ryan Carter would be sent down when that move doesn’t make too much sense either.
I believe that those last three players prove that they are on the hot seat and could either face positional relocation or healthy scratch time. Tedenby is only one of 3 LW (4 if you include Patrik Elias) on the New Jersey roster and will most likely play in the 4 lines. I just wouldn’t expect it to be at RW.
Remember, these lines are premature and could greatly fluctuate by the start of the season. If Reid Boucher or Stefan Matteau impress they could start the season in New Jersey. Also, there are a lot of defensemen in Albany waiting to be called up to New Jersey’s roster.
Things could be very interesting in the preseason when it comes to position battles.