Devils-Islanders postgame quotes (10.01.10)

Here are some of the postgame quotes after last night’s 4-3 win by the Devils over the Islanders:

Travis Zajac:

Talking about the game…

“It was an all right game; we played pretty well for most of the game — except for a couple of spurts there at the end. But overall we played hard, we did some things and we’ll try to be better tomorrow.”

There’s a bunch of new faces on the team, how has everyone blended together so far?

“Pretty good; I feel like it’s a good group of guys, a lot of veteran leaders who the kids can learn from.”

Are you considered one of those ‘veteran’ guys now, entering your 5th NHL season?

“Yeah I guess so, I’ve been here long enough and I know how everything’s done, what’s expected; so I think I can be a leader on and off the ice.”

How do you like your line so far with Zach (Parise) and Ilya (Kovalchuk)?

“It’s been good. I think we can still get better in some areas; we still have one more (preseason) game here to keep building chemistry. I think we’ve done pretty well so far, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

What’s the best thing that happened to you this summer?

“I don’t know; nothing really special happened. I relaxed and played a lot of golf.”

I thought for sure you would say bringing no. 17 back to the Devils…

“Yeah, that was great. Anytime you get a linemate like that, especially on my line, it helps. I’m glad he’s back here (with us).”

Jason Arnott:

The Kovalchuk line gets a lot of talk, but how important is it to get secondary scoring from your line?

“Well it’s going to be important. They’re going to be checked pretty hard during the year; if we can support them and put up points, give us some more offense – it will ease some pressure off of them no question. When you have two lines that can score goals and help each other out, it makes it a lot easier.”

Can you describe what happened on the give-and-go that resulted in Patrik’s goal?

“It was a turnover along the wall and Patty got it, I knew we had a 2-on-1. I knew he was going to pass it to me and I figured he’d be open back door, so we just kind of played tic-tac-toe with each other and he put it in (the net).”

When you guys score a goal like that does it remind you of the old days?

“Yeah (laughs) we were joking about it on the bench and some other guys were joking too; bringing us back to the 2000, 2001 stuff. It was good; it felt good to make those plays in that type of situation. It helps our confidence — no question.”

Martin Brodeur:

Talking about the team’s situation with the salary cap…

“For the chemistry of the team, the health of the team; we haven’t seen it, but now we’re down to it. I don’t think we’ve seen in this locker room, how tough it is for certain guys…yet. But we will. Now it’s coming down. You’re dealing with people’s lives, you can delay it (by placing someone on IR), but at the end of the day we have a problem and we have to get rid of some salary. I trust that Lou (Lamoriello) will make the decision that he needs to do for the better of the team — like he always does. I don’t think he does anything that wouldn’t be healthy for our hockey club; so I trust that he’ll do the right thing. The right thing, he knows what it is, I can’t tell him and I can’t tell you guys either because I don’t know what it is; I’m not involved (laughs) hopefully. He would have to ask (me).”

Did the first goal go off of somebody?

“No, whenever the guy got out of the pile he just chipped it past me; he didn’t even know it was in. He fell in the corner after the shot, turned around and his eyes were huge.”

The second (Matt) Moulson goal was right off of a draw…

“Yeah that was a good shot there. He turned around falling down and just whacked it. That was a goal scorer’s goal right there — there’s not too many guys that can do that.”

The Waiting is Over…

After 65 days of being held hostage….yes 65…. the Ilya Kovalchuk saga is over. The NHL finally approved Kovalchuk’s 15 year, $100 million dollar deal with the New Jersey Devils and the rest of the hockey world can now move on with their lives. Personally, I was finally able to wear my ‘Kovalchuk 17’ t-shirt that I purchased after he signed the first contract that was rejected by the league and then rejected again by an independent arbitrator.

So what’s next for the Devils? Kovy’s deal puts them about $3 million over the salary cap limit with only 21 of 23 players on their roster, meaning they will have to shed at least two contracts (perhaps Bryce Salvador and Dainius Zubrus) and sign some other players to small money contracts to fill out the roster. By the way, has anyone else noticed that on the Devils official website that Jay Pandolfo is no longer listed on the team’s roster? Other candidates to be moved include Colin White and Brian Rolston, but both have no-trade clauses in their contracts and both are undesirable to other teams as of this moment. If Salvador is moved, I would expect them to bring defenseman Mike Mottau back on a one-year, cheapie deal. If Zubrus is shipped out, expect the team to add some depth by signing a solid veteran such as Richard Park, Brendan Morrison or Jeff Halpern.

With the players they have under contract now, assuming Salvador & or Zubrus are moved, here is what the opening night lineup could look like:

Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner
Ilya Kovalchuk-Jason Arnott-David Clarkson
Patrik Elias-Brian Rolston-Vladimir Zharkov
Pierre-Luc Leblond-Richard Park-Mattias Tedenby

Anton Volchenkov-Andy Greene
Henrik Tallinder-Anssi Salmela
Colin White-Mark Fraser

Martin Brodeur-Johan Hedberg

spares: Mike Mottau?, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito

Who are the teams left that can afford to add a contract like Salvador ($2.9 million) or Zubrus ($3.4 million) this late in the summer?
The Islanders, Thrashers, Blues, Hurricanes, Coyotes, Panthers, Lightning, Stars, Ducks, Predators & Kings all have $9 million or more in cap space.
Time will tell how GM Lou Lamoriello is going to shape and mold his 2010-11 roster and all we can do is sit back and wait; this time it won’t be 65 days because training camp starts for New Jersey on September 17, but they don’t have to be under the salary cap until October 8.

How do you feel now that the second best goal-scorer in the NHL will be a Devil for the next 15 seasons?

Devils-Islanders Postgame Quotes [04.10.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes from the Devils 7-1 win over the Islanders:

Travis Zajac:
A big win to secure the division title…

“It was a really big win for us; we’re trying to get ready for the playoffs here. To get scoring from all the lines, and the power play, it’s good for us going into the playoffs on a high note.”

You had four assists tonight; did you feel particularly well out there?

“I don’t think I should’ve had four, I think Zach (Parise) should’ve had the first one, so I don’t know if I had that. But, like I said, I just want to be playing my best hockey going into the playoffs. I think that’s the focus for all of us right now, make sure our game is sound both offensively and defensively; and if we do that, we’re going to make a run here in the playoffs.”

Dainius Zubrus:

You scored the first goal which got the scoring barrage started tonight…

“You think so? I don’t know; the guys were ready, we knew what’s at stake. We want to finish on top and more than anything you want to play well going into the playoffs. The guys were fired up (tonight) and played well.”

Do you feel like the team is where it needs to be heading into the playoffs?

“Well yeah, we’ve been playing much better; I don’t think you can judge by one game. If you look at the last week or so, even the last game in Florida we had over 40 shots on net, but their goalie played pretty well. I think we’re getting better and today was a good step towards the playoffs.”

You clinched the division, how important is tomorrow’s game with Buffalo?

“Well like I said, it’s important to go in (to the playoffs) playing well. We’re playing one of the top teams in the conference; it’s one of those games where you can measure yourself a little bit again. I think the second or third seed in the East will be at stake, so we want to finish as high as possible and play as well as we can.”

Dean McAmmond:

Talking about his goal…

“It was a good play by Rollie and (Rod) Pelley coming out of our end; I kind of got the loose puck, Rollie got up on their d-man. I just grabbed the puck and their d-man was flat-footed, I just got on an angle, tried to go five-hole and it went to the outside of the net, handcuffed the goalie and the shot went off the net and the back of his knee. Sometimes they go in that way.”

Do you feel the team is playing the way they need to play heading into the playoffs?

“Yeah, we’ve had some better games. You look at the game in Florida, where they worked hard, they skated hard and we just kind of relaxed there; and this could’ve been one of those game tonight if we just relaxed, we would’ve kept them in it. We focused on playing hard — once we got two or three (goals) on them, they knew it was over; I think they let off a bit too.”

What does winning the division mean to you?

“I think it’s a great deal for us, a good accomplishment. We’ve had a stop-and-go type of year where we’ve been going hard and slowly losing it, then getting back on it again. It’s nice to win some games going into the playoffs.”

Martin Brodeur:

Talking about losing the shutout…

“Games like that its going to happen, especially when you give them a power play. Five-on-five I don’t think they would’ve got anything on us; we made a little mistake and the guy hit the puck out of mid-air on the goal line there, so it is what it is.”

Do you guys not realize how hard it is to win the division?

“Well we do, we do (smiles). I think we’ve grown to expect success here and we understand how hard it is. Trust me, we go through ups and downs, you guys see it – but we live it every day; with our organization, our coaches, our GM — they want us to play well every single day. For us the accomplishment means a lot, but they expect us to do it; and we expect ourselves to do it. But we understand how hard it is, it’s not like we dominated our division, only one team – Pittsburgh. The other ones, the Rangers wasn’t that good, Philly we were awful and these guys we were 4-2 I think.”

What do you like about this team?

“I think how good we were earlier in the season helped to set ourselves up for what would happen to us today. It’s been a little more rocky, but I think making the big trade to get Kovy in our lineup, I think in the playoffs we’ll be a different team than maybe past years because of a guy like that. His presence will give Zach a little more room and other players to do different things just because we have a weapon like Kovy there that they do have to respect because he’s a pretty talented player that’s going to change games around sometimes.”

Significant game tomorrow vs. Buffalo?

“Yeah it is; it gives us the opportunity to be at home for at least two rounds if we win. It would’ve been better if they had lost tonight (laughs) to Ottawa, but hey that’s why we play 82 games. If we lose it’s not the end of the world, but it could be something nice to have.”

You’re about to win the Jennings trophy, any significance to you at all?

“I haven’t looked at the numbers, where we’re at, but for us we care about the way we play defensively even though we have a different — that’s what I like we’re more geared towards offense, compared to other years — and we’re still able to dominate in our own zone; in a league that’s more geared towards scoring goals. It’s nice to finish on top, that’s for sure.”

All you have to do is not give up eight or nine goals tomorrow…

“(knocks on the wood column in his locker) You never know my friend, it’s nice. It’s fun for some players who’ve never won one. You go into a building and look up at the banners and you’re like ‘I was a part of this, this, this’ it’s fun. I’ve been here a long time, other guys for them it’s their first one and more to come.”

Ilya Kovalchuk:

Is it a different feeling now then when you made the playoffs with Atlanta?

“Yeah a little bit, I only went once and we lose all four games, but that was a great season and great atmosphere for the playoff games. I remember that and I’m still looking for my first win, hopefully it will be really soon.”

Devils-Penguins Postgame Quotes [03.12.10]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after the Devils 3-1 win over the Penguins on Friday night:

Patrik Elias:

Talking about the first goal of the game…

“We had a good forecheck going and Kovy got the puck, he tried to feed me in the slot and it went all the way to our D. We talked about before the game if there’s no shot straight on net, try to bang it off the boards and it just worked out there. We had a little bit of luck on our side.”

Any explanation why you guys are 5-0 against Pittsburgh this season?

“Just that we are ready to play (them); they’re a good hockey club. They get chances, I thought Marty played great tonight, it’s just the way we play against them — you cant just sit back otherwise they’re going to burn you because they have so much talent over there.”

So they bring out the best in you guys?

“Yeah and we don’t just hesitate or wait for what they’re going to do, if we do that there’s not too many nights we’re going to beat them. We have to be ready to go (when we play them); we have to bring the game to them.”

How do you continue this good play tomorrow night against the Islanders?

“We had two good games in a row, we know what it took and we just have to play the same way.”

Martin Brodeur:

Was it hard to stay focused after so many missed opportunities in the second period (5-minute PP, penalty shot)?

“It is hard and you have to respect the guys, what they did, they stayed with it. A lot of things happen in a hockey game, sometimes you react emotionally and differently; today even though it didn’t go well for us on the power play and the penalty shot, we had a lot of chances to take over the game and we just let it hang. Usually when you do that against good teams – you pay the price. But our guys were confident and we knew they played last night, and we needed to play a solid third period; and we got two goals.”

You only gave up one goal tonight; did Sidney Crosby trick you on that shot?

“He wasn’t really looking at me, I know he likes that quick shot — it’s hard to kind of read him when he’s not looking at you at all. He hit it perfectly, I wanted to stand my ground there and he put it right over my stick; it doesn’t look that good, but it’s a pretty good shot.”

Your team has played well against Pittsburgh in all five games this year, why is that?

“I think we have a lot of respect for them, we know if we don’t play well we’re going to have a big problem. I think they bring the best out of us and you’re playing scared a bit with that respect that you have for them. We really took it to them, we had a great second period where we gained a lot of momentum — I think we tired them pretty good in the second even though we didn’t do anything great with some of the stuff we missed.”

Evgeni Malkin had a breakaway early in the third period; did he hit the outside of the net there?

“Yeah, he fanned on it. He got me going further and I think the puck just rolled off his stick and hit the side of the net.”

Ilya Kovalchuk:

What has stood out to you about Jamie Langenbrunner as a leader after 11 games here?

“That’s the reason why he’s captain, he’s a very experienced guy, and he’s won two Cups and knows what it takes to win. Not just him, he’s a great leader, but the leadership group here is unbelievable — Marty, Jamie, Zach (Parise), (Rob) Niedermayer, you can go on and on with names; the most important thing is those guys know how to win and it’s very exciting to play with them.”

What did you see on the penalty shot? Obviously you didn’t get the result you wanted, but did you get the shot you wanted?

“Yeah I got a penalty shot before, a couple of years ago when I was a young pup. So I scored on that move and I tried to go low glove, but he outplayed me. It’s still frustrating but the good thing is that we found a way to win.”

Did you feel better after you scored in the third period?

“You know you just try to work hard, don’t stop, don’t give up; you’re going to finally get some breaks, so this one felt good.”

Andy Greene:

On the first goal your shot went wide, was that planned?

“Yeah, they were blocking the lane pretty well and obviously being the home team we know how the boards are; I actually got a better hop off the boards then I expected, it came straight out and Patty did the rest there.”

You also scored the game-winner, talk me through that one…

“It was almost the exact same opportunity I had in the first period where I hit the crossbar, the elbow basically; I was just trying to put it in the same spot — I knew I had a good lane there. I just put everything I could into the shot and luckily it went in.”

Pittsburgh only had one goal tonight and you’re 5-0 against them this year, what has been the secret to success?

“I think we match-up well against them and we obviously know they’re a great team and we always come ready to play against them. I think we really try to focus on our defensive play because we know how good they are offensively, so that’s one of the things we really did well tonight.”

Jacques Lemaire:

There are big games and bigger games, how big was this to you?

“Well, especially in the standings and the team we played; it’s good, it’s a confidence builder. We have been working on having a little more intensity and the last two games it showed that our intensity level is higher than it has been the last few weeks.”

How about Andy Greene’s game?

“Very good, he played a lot…again. Well, we had guys that were in the penalty box so we had to maybe overplay him a little bit. His game is as it’s been all year — very solid and moves the puck well in the D-zone; and he scored a goal (smiles).”

Devils-Islanders Postgame Quotes [11.28.09]

Here are some of the postgame quotes after Saturday’s 6-1 Devils win over the Islanders:

Mike Mottau:

Describe your goal that started the offensive explosion today…

“The face-off was won to the boards and I just went down the wall, (once I got the puck) I tried to center it, it got blocked. Then I went around the net and tried to center it again, and I got a lucky bounce.”

Did you sense that the momentum shifted after that goal?

“Yeah, we came out flat in the first, the Islanders were pushing the pace, getting a good forecheck. We didn’t help (ourselves) by having all of the turnovers, but we settled down in between periods and came back in the second strong.”

What does it say about this team that you continue to win with all of the injuries?

“I think it shows the organizational philosophy, the system that’s put in place – that we can plug in (younger) guys and work as five-man units all over the ice, while still having success.”

Does that help make the transition of getting used to a new teammate easier, the fact that you have had success so far with the young players called up from Lowell?

“Yeah absolutely, because down in Lowell they’re doing the same things, so when they come in (here) nothing is a big surprise. When these young guys get a chance, due to injury, it’s a good thing in a way too; they get some experience and help out the team.”

Zach Parise:

You mentioned the team didn’t have a great start, was anything said during the first intermission?

“No, nothing really needed to be said; they came out really aggressive and maybe we weren’t ready for that. They played a good game in the beginning, but nothing needed to be said – we knew we weren’t playing very well.”

Talk about the play that you scored your goal on…

“I tipped one of Greenie’s shots and the rebound was there – I think I took about four shots at it until it finally went in.”

You got knocked down after you scored, did it matter?

“At that point you don’t really care anymore.”

Vladimir Zharkov:

You almost got a point, how close was it?

“Yeah, I’ll get more chances to score; not today, maybe next game. It was a good play, Dean (McAmmond), I like playing with him he’s a good player.”

You played with your linemates (McAmmond and Matt Halischuk) in Lowell too, did that make today easier?

“Well, it’s the same tactics, and coach wants us to work together here. He helps me and tells me to play like I played in Lowell. Short shifts and work hard.”

Jamie Langenbrunner:

What was said during the timeout before the two-man advantage?

“Oh we were just figuring out who was going to go on the ice there. We haven’t had a 5-on-3 in a while, we practiced it a couple of weeks ago; we weren’t sure who was going on (the ice) there and where.”

What was your point to the official on the disallowed goal?

“My point is there’s not a whistle and a goal’s scored, so why did that play stop. If he’s not 100% sure, he can point, as to say it’s a goal, but play can continue. There should be a whistle there. The play should go on if he’s not a hundred percent certain.”

You’ve played with Patrik for a long time now, how close is he to 100%?

“I don’t think he’s there yet, I think he’s making strides though. I don’t think he feels completely comfortable yet; though today he told me coming into the game that he felt as good as he has (this season), and that’s a good sign, but it takes a little while. When you miss training camp and you miss those first few games, it tales a while to get back up to the flow; I think he’s getting closer and that’s huge for us.”

How nice is it as the captain of the team that when guys go down with injuries the young players step in and the team continues to be successful?

“It feels good. It gives us the feeling that when things happen that aren’t good, we can find a way through it. We’ve done a good job so far – but I’d like to see some guys come back, that’d be nice too. It’s great to see these young guys, it seems like when someone goes down they come in and fill that role (for us). Tonight I thought Matt Halischuk played his best game in the NHL and I think he saw the opportunity with Clarkie going down that he’s going to get a chance to play more minutes and he elevated his game.”

When a guy comes up from Lowell is there anything you say to them as the captain of the team?

“I think all of us try to make them feel comfortable, we know they’re coming here because they can play and I think today Zharky played a heck of a game for his first NHL game, he had some great chances; everybody who’s come in has really been up to the task. All we can do is try and make them feel comfortable, make them feel like they’re part of it right away.”

When you first came into the NHL who was that player for you?

“Yeah, Joe Nieuwendyk was the one for me that really took me under his wing, made me feel comfortable, part of the team. There’s that and there’s also the whole team helping to make you feel like part of the team.”

Patrik Elias:

You and Brian Rolston seem to really be on the same page now…

“You have to play a few games with guys to know where they like to be; you have to communicate, you have to talk to each other and let each other know what you want to do out there. Build up chemistry or whatever you call it, comfort, that you know what each other’s going to do out there. Rollie is more of a shooter, so you have to try and get him open and create space for him and his great shot, he’s got an unbelievable shot. I think the last few games we’re playing pretty good together.”

How is it different from last year when he was at center and you were at wing, does it change a lot now that it’s reversed?

“This year he’s healthier obviously too. It’s tough to, I can speak from experience, when you start the season with injuries and you’re down, it’s not just the conditioning, it’s the hockey sense and everything. You miss that, so for him I think it’s good that he’s playing right away. Hopefully we can keep it going, he’s getting more shots every game and he needs to get those; Rollie’s a more up and down (the ice) guy, because he’s got the unbelievable shot, and I like to carry the puck, control it a little bit. Playing center is fine for me.”

Patty can you get thirty goals if you keep playing like this?

“Maybe in two years (smiling).”

How are you feeling after back-to-back games?

I have good days, bad days. Today I felt good, yesterday I felt that I just had to work through it; I didn’t feel good at all. I just, my own feeling, was that it was my worst game in the last few years. But it didn’t seem that way when I looked at it, but I just felt like it. I was a little rundown, I didn’t feel good at all, I played a lot of minutes yesterday and also the team that we played, the Bruins play really tight, they don’t give you much. It’s going to happen; you’re going to be up and down, good games, bad games. I just have to work through it.”

Martin Brodeur:

Down at the other end of the ice with so many weird bounces, were you thinking about that at all?

“Well, I think when you play against a team and they started to get a little lucky – I think we dominated in the second and we hit a lot of posts, the puck wasn’t going in, we got a goal taken away also. We had to bear down and that’s what we did early in the third we were solid; we kept playing our game plan exactly what we wanted to do. We showed we can play a different type of game, because we out played them, but one shot could’ve been the difference. They had a power play that we killed off extremely good all afternoon long, so it was good.”

The way the team came back after the first period, what’s the key ingredient with your team with so many guys out?

“I think its all about intensity. I think early in the game we weren’t intense and they took advantage of us. They got the best of us. Jacques kind of just touched on it again; he said ‘just be intense’. Get to the puck and be quick, do everything quick – when we do that we’re a good skating team, with so many young guys we have to use their young legs. Hally played a tremendous game and Zharky did real well in his first game also, so it was good.”

Jacques Lemaire:

What changed after the first period was it because of the penalty kill?

“I think that was part of it, the first part of the game we, I think our intensity wasn’t there. We turned the puck over many times; this is a team that capitalizes on every turnover. They have two great lines, as good as anyone in the league. You give them the puck, you turn the puck over (against them) and you’ll pay the price for it. We were fortunate that they didn’t score more than what they did in the first. But I think the penalty kill, that’s exactly what I told them after the first in the room — I said we played 5-on-5, we don’t have intensity and we played 4-on-5 and we were better. We’re getting chances, and I said I’d like to know the reason. Right away a couple of guys said, ‘we were more intense’; well can we bring that in the game 5-on-5? Then the second, we had a great second period, a lot of chances, its always scary when you get a lot of chances and you don’t score. We were wondering what would be the outcome; but we kept getting chances and in the third the goals came easier. We sent pucks at the net and for some reason we got the right bounces and we scored goals like that.”

How about your secondary scoring? You wanted to get Rolston and Elias going…

“They did the job tonight for sure. I think they’re on top of their game now, they’re playing good hockey and they play with confidence and they enjoy the game – you can tell when you talk to them. They feel better than they did at the start (of the season). And you look at the kids; you look at Dean, McAmmond, Zharkov and Halischuk – that was our best line in the first period. They played well through the whole game and all you could ask more would be to score some goals.”

How was Zharkov in his first NHL game?

“He was very good, solid skater, good with the puck. He’s good, he sees the ice well; he’s going to play. He’s going to be a player.”

Do Elias and Rolston have something special?

“Well Rollie’s shooting the puck with confidence, Patrik is starting to get in shape slowly, he’s skating more and if he’s skating more; you know he’s a guy that has good hands.”

How about his shot?

“I don’t know about the third goal, if their goalie didn’t see it, but he’s got a quick release that sometimes fools the goalies. Hopefully he can keep playing the same way.”

Elias Explosion Leads Devils Past Isles

Here is the link to my recap of the Devils-Islanders game from Saturday afternoon:

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Patrik Elias (NJ)– 2 goals (3), 2 assists (7)

#2 – Brian Rolston  (NJ) – 2 goals (8), 2 assists (5)

#3 – Martin Brodeur (NJ) – 22 saves, win (15-6-1)

Tonight’s line combos/d-pairings:

New Jersey:


NY Islanders:


Devils-Isles Postgame Quotes [11.06.09]

Here is some of the postgame quotes after Friday’s 2–1 Devils win vs. the Islanders:

Dainius Zubrus:

Thoughts on the game…

“Pretty good, the power play clicked again. We had more chances, and early in the game too. Our start was not the greatest again, but other than that I thought we played pretty well.”

Two wins in a row at home after a 1-4 start, what’s different?

“It was in our heads more than anything else; I think its more how we played at home. People keep asking the same question (about the record at home), but we just have to play better. The last two games I thought we did. On the road, I don’t want to say we play simple but, we don’t do too many fancy things and everybody’s going. I think we did the same thing the last couple of games – where everybody’s involved and everybody’s moving. With a lot of guys out, it’s not easy, especially on the blue line; but the guys are moving well and making good plays.”

With the injuries and coach’s decision to jumble the line combinations so often, is it easier or harder to adjust to new linemates constantly?

“Honestly, I don’t think I have to change my game that much. We have some young faces here too so, for myself, I have to stay back (defensively) at times, but other than that not really. You play with good players and try to create (offense) but you have to be smart at all times as well. Its 15 games in and I think Jacques is doing a great job keeping everybody in the game and keeping the lines moving and keeping guys involved. Especially now the way the schedule is, we have a lot of three games in four nights; hopefully we keep winning.”

How do you stay unbeaten on the road tomorrow in Ottawa?

“The same thing (we’ve been doing). We won here now we have to go on the road, and have a better start. But nothing changes; we just want to play the same way. Guys are missing, but other guys are stepping up getting more minutes, but they’re playing well. Obviously on the road we don’t have to change much.”

Patrik Elias:

How did you feel out there tonight?

“Not too bad. It was an up-and-down game for me, physically. I felt all the things that I expected for my first game in five months.”

Any chance you play tomorrow night?

“We’ll make the decision tomorrow morning.”

Yann Danis:

Do you think the team feels they can rely on you now that you have two starts and only allowed two goals?

“I hope so, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ve said all along that whenever I get a chance to play, I want to make sure that I play well. I want the guys to feel confident with whoever is in net. But a big part of that is the guys played real well in front of me in both games and made my job a lot easier.”

Are you surprised the Islanders didn’t try to distract you more, with talk or whatever?

“I don’t think they’re that type of guys. Like I said, I heard my name here and there, but nothing mean. I don’t think they’re that type of team (that would trash talk to me).”

Does it feel good to beat you’re former team?

“Yeah, obviously it adds a little something. Obviously I want to win against whoever I play, but to beat your former team, it makes it a little special.”

What did you see, or not see, during the scramble around you at the end of the game?

“I had no idea the puck was behind me like that on the goal line; I thought I still had it against the post. I had no idea how close it came (to going in), I saw it on the replay afterwards (on the jumbotron). Good play by our D there (to sweep the puck away), I don’t know who it was, but it was a good play.”

Jacques Lemaire:

Yann Danis tonight…

“He’s steady. If you look at him, it’s easy to believe in him. He’s always well positioned, there’s a lot of pucks that hit him; that’s why it’s easy to believe in him.”

Nice to see Cory Murphy come through with a goal…

“Yeah, that was nice. He didn’t play a lot in the first (period), but after that we used him a little more and it was nice – that shot on the power play.”

You’ve won two straight at home and three of the last four, are the home woes over?

“Hopefully; we got two at home, but I’d still like to see more goals here – that’s what I’m looking for now. We don’t give a lot, which is good, now we have to get some more goals. I’d love to get four goals, get a game that’s not a one-goal game.”

Why’d you change the lines again after the first period?

“Nothing was going. Nothing was going well.”

Was it nice to see Brian Rolston score again?

“Yeah, Rollie played well; he was probably our best forward. He played really well tonight – not only his goal but he won battles and he won a lot of pucks; he made some plays. He played against the top line on the other side. He was good.”

Doug Weight:

Close game, but you came up short…

“Yeah, special teams, we won four in a row and we were kicking it in gear – in all aspects of the game; the last couple of losses, specialty teams could have sure made a difference for us. The power plays, we had a 5-on-3 early, we had three or four (in the game) and we didn’t bury our chances. It’s a tough building to play in, a good team, when they have the lead they clamp down. But it was a good game, we had good opportunities, ultimately we fell short and we’re disappointed.”

Your former teammate played pretty good tonight…

“He did. Yann’s a good guy. I’m sure he was pumped – anytime you play your old team; we knew we were going to get a strong game from him. We had to get some pucks in the net and he answered the bell.”

He mentioned hearing his name on the ice tonight, your response?

“I just said ‘hey’ to him in warm-ups…he was staring at us and I asked him if he was trying to intimidate us. Yann’s a good kid and when the game starts you bear down and you try to win the game.”

Frans Nielsen:
Talk about your goal…

(Sean) Bergenheim and (Jon) Sim got the loose puck off the wall and I was open in front. Bergenheim’s pass went through the legs of the d-man, and then I think my shot went through Danis’ arm.”

You missed some time at the start of the season, how do you feel?

“Good, the last five or six games have been good. I can’t complain.”

Your thoughts on Yann Danis’ game tonight?

“He played great. I think he saw the puck most of the time though; we didn’t get in there and create much traffic in front of him. He was solid.”

Elias Returns, Devils Squeak Past Isles

Here is the link to my recap of Friday’s Devils-Islanders game:

Dan’s Three Stars of the Game:

#1 – Yann Danis (NJ) – 23 saves, win (2-0-0)

#2 – Brian Rolston (NJ) – pp/gw goal (4)

#3 – Martin Biron (NYI) – 29 saves, loss (1-5-2)

Tonight’s line combos/d-pairings:

New Jersey:


NY Islanders:


What You Need to Know…

Here is the link to my latest ‘What You Need to Know’ on NYCSN:

This week’s highlights:
St. Louis steals the show in Sweden, the Islanders Sharks and Ducks pick a captain, and Maxim Afinogenov finds a new home…

Devils Win Preseason Opener vs. Rangers 3-2

The New Jersey Devils just topped the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout in their preseason opener at the Prudential Center. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the Devils first game since losing a stunning Game 7 last year to Carolina.

David Clarkson — Scored two PP goals and is well on his way to becoming this team’s version of Randy McKay. He is poised to score between 20-25 goals this season if he sees an increase in ice-time.

Yann Danis — Played a great game in his Devils’ debut, despite blowing the two-goal lead. Both goals were a result of questionable defensive plays and in the shootout he was very good, stopping five of the six Rangers’ shooters — only surrendering Matt Gilroy’s goal in round three.

Zach Parise — From the drop of the opening puck, Parise was very noticeable every time he was on the ice. He showed me that despite having a remarkable season in 2008-09, he is still hungry to be even better.

The power play — They scored twice with the man advantage and that’s a big deal in Devil-land. There weren’t too many games last season that they scored more than one PP goal in.

Dainius Zubrus — Once again looked slow and failed to do much of anything offensively. He really needs to step up with Patrik Elias being sidelined for the next 3-6 weeks after groin surgery.

Brian Rolston — Same as above, will have to score more in Elias’ absence. He doesn’t look as lethargic as Zubrus on the ice, but the results are the same as far as producing points goes.

Blowing a two-goal lead — After last postseason, the Devils should be very protective with any type of lead, so it was a little disheartening to see them blow a two-goal lead in the 3rd period. Thankfully Danis was sharp in the shootout and Parise and Travis Zajac were able to score on Rangers goalie Chad Johnson (no not Chad Ochocinco!!).

New Jersey is off for a week until their next preseason game on Wednesday in Long Island against the Islanders.