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Day Two - Afternoon session

Monday, 09.14.2009 / 1:06 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Day Two - Afternoon session
Brian Rolston sneaks to the front of the net on goalie Gerald Coleman.
After Travis Zajac centered Zach Parise and Brendan Shanahan in the day's first session at AmeriHealth Pavilion, Dainius Zubrus hit the ice in the second session with Brian Rolston on his left and Jamie Langenbrunner on his right.

Together, Parise, Zajac and Langenbrunner each reached offensive career highs last season as the Devils' top line, but Rolston, who spent three years with Lemaire in Minnesota, said the Devils' head coach could be looking for balance.

Rolston has said he's hoping to get back to the 30-goal mark after an ankle injury forced him to miss 18 games last season, limiting him to 15 goals and 17 assists.

"I think it'll be an experimental thing for Jacques, but Jacques has always been a guy that tried to make the lines as even as possible to get a threat from every line," Rolston said. "Maybe that's what he's trying to do here. We had one line that carried us last year, and I'm sure that line will be together at times; sometimes they may not, to get other guys going."

Of course, Lemaire is likely to try even more combinations before training camp wraps up. The Devils' preseason opener is Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

"I think you're going to see a lot of different stuff," Zubrus said. "That's what camp is for. There's a lot of young kids, there's a lot of different things going on."

Zubrus skated between Patrick Davis and Niclas Bergfors on Sunday.

"First of all, you want to be out there moving a lot, there has to be a good pace," he said. "It's always fun when passes connect and plays that you're trying to develop work and things like that. Yesterday I was with two young kids and they were good, too. That's what camp is for. The purpose is just to get the pace going. It's too early to talk about chemistry."

Zubrus was upbeat about the first two days of on-ice sessions with Lemaire.

"There's more creativity and movement, for a forward anyway," he said. "There's more hockey sense involved and more recognizing what's wrong, what's right. There's a structure to everything, but there's still a part where you have to recognize plays. There's a lot more movement, especially in the neutral zone, offensively too. We're doing some things that will work – a lot of it is developed on speed."

The quick pace has been a constant theme at camp to this point. Scrimmages have included high-intensity play and body contact, while one-on-one puck possession drills have left skaters visibly fatigued.

"It's about getting back in game shape," Rolston said. "You go out there, you work hard and get yourself prepared for your first exhibition game. What I like to do is just keep working as hard as I can and get back into game shape, where I need to be. That's what's most important: getting your timing on things like passing and shooting, all those things."

Rolston's time with Lemaire means he's already more familiar than most with the Lemaire's system, but he trusts that the club's veterans will adapt to it in time.

"It's the same system I played in Minnesota, for sure," he said. "Obviously, I'm playing left wing and that's a lot more comfortable for me, so a lot of things are working in my favor right now. It just makes it more of a pleasure for me to come to the rink. I'm excited about a new season and a fresh start – I think we all are."

• Rolston has started wearing a visor and will keep it on for the regular season.

"My kids and my wife have been asking me for a long time to be wearing a shield," he said. "I never did, obviously, for certain reasons, then I came into camp and saw a guy like Shanny wearing one. It's a different day and age in this game, everybody wears a shield for the most part, there's a few guys in the League that don't. Getting later in my career, also, I think it's just a smart thing to do.

It took him a few days to get adjusted.

"Now I'm used it," he said. "It makes you a little braver in certain situations, I have to say that."

Afternoon session
2:24 p.m. – Group breaks up to work on the same one-on-one drill that ended the morning's session.

2:22 p.m. – Yann Danis out of the net for white in an empty-net simulation during the scrimmage.

2:04 p.m. – Coleman replaces McKenna in net for white.

1:57 p.m. – Michael Swift centering Nathan Perkovich and Adam Henrique for black. On defense for white: Colin White-Mike Mottau, Jay Leach-Cory Murphy.

1:50 p.m. – Niclas Bergfors (black) skating on the right side of a line with Rod Pelley at center and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond at left. Mike McKenna in net for white, Gerald Coleman goaltending for black, alternating with Yann Danis.

1:29 p.m. – Ice being resurfaced for the afternoon scrimmage. Interesting new look with line of Dainius Zubrus, wearing black, centering Brian Rolston at left and Jamie Langenbrunner on the right side.

1:07 p.m. – Today's afternoon scrimmage is underway.




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


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
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51


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