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NJD Notebook: Holik mixes it up

Monday, 03.9.2009 / 5:12 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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NJD Notebook: Holik mixes it up
Holik tried a composite in Monday's practice, but won't be sticking with it.
newjerseydevils.com – The Devils were back on the ice Monday morning, and Bobby Holik decided to mix things up a bit.

Holik has used wooden sticks for most of his NHL career, but borrowed one of David Clarkson’s one-piece composites about midway through practice at AmeriHealth Pavilion.

“I don’t think he was too big a fan of it,” Clarkson said. “He came by me and said they were brutal.”

Holik, now in his 18th NHL season, has long preferred traditional stick models to the more high-tech varieties that are engineered to help add velocity to players’ shots.

“You look at practice, everybody’s got a bomb, a big shot, because it’s a little bit easier with (composite),” Holik said. “Same thing in baseball. Instead of playing good ball, everybody goes for the home run. You sacrifice other parts of the game.”

Picking up a composite didn’t hurt Holik’s nose for the net. He used it to bury a Brian Gionta rebound past Martin Brodeur.

“I could score with a broom a lot of times, too,” Holik said. “I’ve got his number.”

Clarkson said he used a wooden stick for part of his first season at Kitchener (OHL), then made the switch to composite halfway through the year. Once he made it to the NHL, he found the crisper passes tough to control with composites and debated going to a wooden blade.

“It’s a give and take,” Clarkson said. “If you use a wooden blade, there’s going to be things you don’t like. With a one-piece there’s going to be things you love or don’t love. You just have to find a happy medium where it’s, ‘OK this isn’t good for this, but I can shoot a cannon with it.’ Guys like the way they shoot with the one-piece.”

Clarkson noted that some NHL point men can still light up the speed gun using wooden sticks. Adrian Aucoin, whose Calgary Flames visit Prudential Center on Tuesday, is one of them. But Holik, the only Devil still using wooden sticks, hasn’t missed a beat with his low-tech twigs.

“I think it says something about the wood stick because guys are still letting the puck rip with it. Bobby’s got a cannon when he shoots,” Clarkson said. “He’ll let you know that.”


• An injured Calgary Flames squad has turned to some young call-ups during its season-high, seven-game road trip. That means Brett Sutter, son of Calgary general manager Darryl and nephew of Devils’ head coach Brent, could see action in Tuesday’s matchup.

Brett, 21, played in Calgary's 5-2 loss at Atlanta on Sunday and looks forward to possibly facing family.

“It’s always fun, a little friendly rivalry,” Brett Sutter said Monday after Flames practice. “I'm looking forward to it. Honestly, I haven’t played many games so it’s always exciting no matter what the situation is. Having had him as a coach in juniors, it’ll be that much more exciting for me."

Brent Sutter traded for Brett when he was 18, and coached him for two seasons at Red Deer (WHL).

“He’s a hard-working kid in the class of a grinder-type player with some skill,” Brent Sutter said. “He’s a competitor, he competes hard and plays hard. His hockey sense is pretty good.”

Selected with Calgary’s sixth pick, 179th overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, Brett tries to keep his game simple and consistent, using what he learned from his uncle and former coach. 

“He preaches a lot of hard work and discipline," said Brett, who has three appearances this season. "I learned a lot from him in those two years, and I’m sure he preaches the same kind of thing now (in New Jersey).”

Brett would be the second Sutter the Devils have faced this season. Brent’s son, Brandon, was chosen 11th overall by Carolina in 2007 and nearly scored against New Jersey in their meeting on Jan. 6. Brett believes that both he and his cousin bring a competitive edge to the rink.

“Brandon’s going to be a great player. He can skate, he can score, he’s going to be a two-way player," Brett said. "We’re a little different; he’s probably got a little more of an offensive upside than I do, but we both like to muck it up and play gritty so you can definitely compare us that way.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59