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Sutter satisfied at deadline, Havelid skates in practice

Wednesday, 03.04.2009 / 2:08 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Sutter satisfied at deadline, Havelid skates in practice
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newjerseydevils.com – Brent Sutter said he would follow the NHL’s deadline deals, but not because he expected any moves to be made in New Jersey.

The Devils head coach said Wednesday that he’s happy with his club’s make-up, especially after the addition of veteran defenseman Niclas Havelid.

“It’s certainly a big day, but it’s not something that I lost sleep over last night,” Sutter said. “I’m very comfortable with this group. It’s a very good group. Number one, they’re great guys, and number two, they’re a caring group that wants to succeed. They’ve put a lot of time and commitment into this to become a team.”

Havelid, the newest member of that team, skated Wednesday with Jay Leach, Mike Rupp and Kevin Weekes at AmeriHealth Pavilion. He was acquired Monday with minor-league forward Myles Stoesz from Atlanta in exchange for defenseman Anssi Salmela.

“We’re deep up front, and the one area that’s been discussed has been improved by getting Niclas,” Sutter said. “That’s just nice to have. We have depth in all three areas: in our forward situation, on the back end, and in goal. You never know from here to the end of the season what’s going to happen, that’s why it’s nice to have depth through the run. Where it takes us, who knows? But it’s nice to have.”

Havelid spoke to the media for the first time since arriving in New Jersey.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “It felt good coming here [Tuesday], and we’ll get two good days of practice here before we start back up on Saturday.”

Havelid, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, had two goals and 13 assists in 63 games with Atlanta. He was enthusiastic about his new home.

“If you look right now, it’s one of the top teams in the League,” Havelid said. “It’s a solid team defensively, and that’s where everything starts. If you’re going to win on a regular basis, that’s where it starts: you have to be good defensively. Hopefully, I can be a piece of the puzzle.”

Havelid joins a first-place Devils team that’s on the top of its game with just 18 left to play in the regular season. New Jersey extended its winning streak to four games with a 3-2 overtime win Tuesday at Toronto.

Johnny Oduya scored with 11.4 seconds left in the extra session as the Devils registered a season-high 52 shots on goal and remained undefeated since the return of Martin Brodeur. David Clarkson and Patrik Elias (PP) also scored.

The Devils (42-19-3) won for the 18th time in their last 22 games, and moved two points ahead of Washington for sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. They lead the Atlantic Division by nine points over Philadelphia.

Sutter’s Devils will be back in action Saturday at Long Island. Though the coach planned on tuning in to the afternoon’s trade coverage, he was already looking beyond Wednesday’s deadline.

“My job is to coach the individuals in the room, and whatever happens, happens,” Sutter said. “I trust the group we have here and that’s the group that I’m going to work with. If something changes that, then it changes. I, quite honestly, haven’t given any thought about anything else happening here.

"Right now, for me, I’m already thinking about [Thursday's] practice and Friday’s practice getting ready for Saturday with the guys we have.”

NJD NOTES
Havelid was Bobby Holik’s teammate for three seasons in Atlanta. “Bobby’s a good man, so it’s good to know him here. He knows the organization and he’s been here a long time. It’s good to have him here.”

D Jay Leach has been assigned to Lowell (AHL) for conditioning.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

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