It’s the beginning of the New Year—and for Devils fans some, it didn’t come a day too soon. We’ve all seen the obligatory “Best of” and “Year in Review” articles. But that stuff all focuses on last year. Forget last year. It’s done and over. And if you’re anything like me, you’re happy that God-forsaken year is in the rearview mirror.
So with the whole “looking forward” thing in mind, there are a ton of things we’re looking forward to in 2011. In fact, each and every team (and their fans) has something to look forward to. With that in mind, here are 30 things I can’t wait for in 2011.
Anaheim Ducks: I can’t wait to see Cam Fowler continue to stick it to every single team who passed on him at the beginning of the 2010 NHL Draft.
Atlanta Thrashers: I can’t wait to see Tobias Enstrom score 60 points while most hockey fans don’t even know who he is.
Boston Bruins: I can’t wait to see how small Tim Thomas’s goals against average is at the end of the season. And while we’re at it, how high his save percentage is.
Buffalo Sabres: I can’t wait for Tyler Myers to remember that he is Tyler Myers. Same goes for Ryan Miller.
Carolina Hurricanes: I can’t wait to see what Jeff Skinner is capable of once he learns more and more about playing in the NHL.
Columbus Blue Jackets: I can’t wait to see how long it takes for the Blue Jackets’ problems to be blamed on Scott Arniel. Just like they were blamed on Ken Hitchcock last year.
Calgary Flames: I can’t wait to see how Jay Feaster attacks a team that is up against the salary cap and doesn’t have a ton of young talent waiting in the wings.
Chicago Blackhawks: I can’t wait to see this team continue to grow together while they try to equal last year’s depth and chemistry.
Colorado Avalanche: I can’t wait to see how many more goals the young Avs can score this year.
Dallas Stars: I can’t wait for someone to buy this damn team so people can start focusing on the great product they have on the ice.
Detroit Red Wings: I can’t want to see how many more years the Wings can prove the “they’re too old” crowd wrong.
Edmonton Oilers: I can’t wait to see Hall, Eberle, and Paajarvi grow into NHL stars. (Close second: I can’t wait to see an entire year of Linus Omark shootout moves.)
Florida Panthers: I can’t wait to see which of the Panthers’ great prospects make the jump to the NHL next season—and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do when they’re there.
Los Angeles Kings: I can’t wait to see if they learned their lesson in the playoffs last year against the Canucks.
Minnesota Wild: I can’t wait until Mikko Koivu gets his due for all of the things he does for his team that don’t show up in the boxscore.
Montreal Canadiens: I can’t wait for the Habs to lose at some point in the playoffs and lay blame equally on Carey Price and the Anglophone Canadian media.
New Jersey Devils: I can’t wait to see what happens with Zach Parise’s future and how they’ll fit him under the cap for years to come.
Nashville Predators: I can’t wait to see them make the playoffs, yet again, even though few media outlets acknowledge their existence.
New York Islanders: I can’t wait to see Charles Wang sell the team.
New York Rangers: I can’t wait to see Henrik Lundqvist play all 82 games before dropping dead from exhaustion.
Ottawa Senators: I can’t wait to see the Sens play next year. Because this year isn’t doing much for me.
Philadelphia Flyers: I can’t wait for Claude Giroux to get the credit that he deserves as one of the best players in the NHL.
Phoenix Coyotes: I can’t wait to see Oliver Ekman-Larsson turn into the defenseman that he has the potential to be.
Pittsburgh Penguins: I can’t wait until the NHL announces that they’ll be in the 2012 Winter Classic.
San Jose Sharks: Just like last year, I can’t wait to see how they deal with all of their pressure in the playoffs this year.
St Louis Blues: I can’t wait to see TJ Oshie playing again.
Tampa Bay Lightning: I can’t wait to see if anyone ever figures out that Steven Stamkos really likes to take one-timers on his off-wing.
Toronto Maple Leafs: I can’t wait to see Brian Burke’s face at the 2011 NHL Draft.
Vancouver Canucks: I can’t wait for the moment that people realize Roberto Luongo isn’t quite as great as people think he is.
Washington Capitals: See San Jose Sharks.