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Devils looking forward to road trip

NJD NOTES: Team's Minnesotans picking Twins to take Yanks in ALDS

Wednesday, 10.7.2009 / 5:15 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils looking forward to road trip
Clarkson's looking to hit the road.
After a disappointing start at home, the Devils are headed south for a three-game road trip that starts Thursday at Tampa Bay.

The two losses to division rivals are over and done with and Jersey's Team is focused on what comes next. Travel, they said, brings them closer together.

"We put those two games behind us, but I think when you get out on the road, you get a bit of team bonding," David Clarkson said after Wednesday's practice at AmeriHealth Pavilion. "You get on the plane together and have some fun. I think it's going to be good for us to get away. You get to know some of the young guys better. I think this is a good time for us to get away, go on the road, play as hard as we can and try to pick up six points."

Jacques Lemaire likes what he's seen from his squad this week, and said his team has continued to improve since dropping the home opener to Philadelphia last Saturday.
"Definitely," Lemaire said. "I think we'll play better and better. There's certain things we have to do more and better. It will come."

The Devils have been based at Prudential Center since start of training camp on Sept. 12 and played only two of their five exhibition games away from home. Escaping that routine will be like hitting the reset button.

"We've been here for a long time," Lemaire said. "The only places we went, we didn't go far: to Philly and the Islanders, then we played here. I think it's the right time; the right moment to go on and hit the road, build up our confidence and regroup."

Lemaire doesn't believe their 0-2-0 record reflects the Devils' overall play so far.

"There's nothing you can do, you have to get back winning and go from there," he said. "The situation we're in, the only thing we can do and control is how we play, the intensity we put into the game, and how sharp we'll be. That's all we control. I think we have to focus on this more than anything else. If you look at the score, you say, 'Hey, a lot of teams ahead, are we going to win?' This is all negative, and I don't see all that negativity as real, in a way, because the team's not playing that bad."

Martin Brodeur welcomes the change of scenery.

"It'll be nice," he said. "The boys have just been practicing hard and playing games, but nothing to try and jell a little bit. It'll be nice to be out together, not just for one day, but six days on the road."

Team activities on the road helps the veterans get to know some of the rookie additions.

"I think that's the beauty of it," Brodeur said. "Just hanging around at a rink that's not yours, everything is there. So you talk to each other a lot more: you're on the bus, you go to restaurants for team meals. We know each other, but we hadn't seen each other for a long time, all summer long. We have a lot of new faces, so definitely it's important."

Lemaire said there "might be" lineup changes for Thursday's game and had yet to decide if Brodeur would start all three games. After Tampa, the Devils visit Florida on Saturday and Washington on Monday. They return home to take on Atlanta next Friday, October 16, followed by Carolina on Saturday, October 17.

• The Devils announced Wednesday that Brendan Shanahan had cleared waivers.

• There was joy among the team's Minnesota natives following the Twins' 6-5, 12-inning win over the Detroit Tigers in Tuesday's play-in game at the Metrodome. The Twins were set to face the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

"Great game," Paul Martin said. "That was fun to watch, right there."

Minneapolis native Zach Parise watched the entire game from home. Jamie Langenbrunner, also from Minnesota, became playfully surly when Parise was asked about the Twins' chances against the Yankees.

"See, it's just the arrogance of even the media here," Langenbrunner said. "They've already written them off."

Parise chimed in: "Midwest people are a little more humble."

"Sorry we don't have five $20 million pitchers," Langenbrunner said, jokingly. "But we make do."

Martin stopped by Andy Greene's house to see the game, which lasted 4 1/2 hours. Greene, a Michigan native, was rooting for the Tigers.

"I didn't want to rub it in too much because he was pouting," Martin said. "Zach was texting him, so he was getting enough. I didn't want to make it too bad."  

Martin thinks the Twins have a shot against the heavily-favored Bronx Bombers.

"If they can get one of these games (in the Bronx)," he said. "They're resilient. I think they can do it. They don't have the arsenal that the Yankees have or the pitching. Doesn't look good for the Twins, but I have confidence in them."




1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47


L. Stempniak 56 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 54 19 18 14 37
K. Palmieri 56 20 16 3 36
T. Zajac 48 8 19 7 27
D. Schlemko 48 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 56 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 52 1 12 -1 13
J. Blandisi 17 4 7 -1 11
J. Josefson 45 3 8 -14 11
C. Schneider 25 16 6 .931 1.98
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52