In today’s roundup of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: Do the Devils need a great start to this season?…Hockey Prospectus look at Washington’s two Alexanders…A wrap-up of a season preview of the Blackhawks…A look at the Dallas Stars as preseason draws to a close…Notable free agents of the future…Hockey cats!

IN LOU WE TRUST: John Fischer takes an in-depth examination of previous starts of the Devils back to 1995-96 – the last time prior to 2011 they missed the playoffs, and determines they don’t necessarily need a great start to this season, but neither should they tread water.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out Fischer’s work, it’s certainly worthwhile. I also agree with him that the Devils will have a better start to this season compared to last.

JAPER’S RINK: offers up a “sneak peak” of the new hockey stats book “Hockey Prospectus” by revealing what they report on the Capitals two Alexanders, Ovechkin and Semin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Very interesting. “Sabermetrics” – the advanced study of player statistics – is gaining in popularity, especially among those who participate in fantasy hockey. I haven’t read Hockey Prospectus yet, but it certainly seems to be getting positive reviews from those who have.

SECOND CITY HOCKEY: “SamFels” wraps up a season preview of the Blackhawks with some “quick hits”, such as, “Is Patrick Kane going to be in “F**k You!” mode all season”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite that “salty” title to that particular category, this is an entertaining look at what we might expect from the Blackhawks this season

DEFENDING BIG D: Brad Gardner on the state of the Dallas Stars as preseason winds down and the regular season approaches.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have had a good preseason (5-1 record as of this writing), and while preseason play shouldn’t be taken too seriously as an indicator of what the season might hold, it’s at least something for Stars fans who’ve been disheartened by the team’s performance in recent years to seize upon as a glimmer of optimism for the upcoming season.

JEWELS FROM THE CROWN: “Quisp” lists the notable Kings free agents from 2012 to 2020, along with the more notable ones around the league.

HOUSES OF THE HOCKEY: presents “Hockey Cats (Playoff Edition)”. Just some fun with photo-shopping cat pics into photos of scenes from last season’s playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They should’ve had one of Zdeno Chara hoisting a big kitty instead of the Stanley Cup.