NEWS

Clarkson excited to return tonight

Monday, 12.28.2009 / 3:03 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Clarkson excited to return tonight
After watching the Devils go 10-3 without him in the lineup, David Clarkson is pumped up to make his return tonight versus Atlanta. He was slotted on the right side of a trio with Rod Pelley and Andrew Peters in today’s morning skate, and said he hopes to go all out in his first game since Nov. 27.

“I don’t think I have an 'easy switch' in me,” Clarkson said. “I’m going to go out there and give it everything I have and see how it goes. But I feel ready. I’ve practiced with the team now a couple of times and was practicing by myself for a while, so we’ll see. Now it’s just up to them where they fit me in and whether they put me back to where I was; what the scenario is. I just have to do my job. I feel good and I’m sure tonight I’ll feel fine too. I don’t feel any discomfort or that anything’s slowing me down. If I felt slow, I wouldn’t play. I feel I’m ready to go.”

The 25-year-old is still working to overcome some of the lingering effects of the injury. Clarkson had amassed 15 points in 23 games before the bone above his right ankle was broken by a Zdeno Chara slapshot.

“You have little pains, like muscle stuff, but nothing too serious,” he said. “The bone has healed, so I just have to get back out there. It’s driving me crazy sitting on my couch. It’s better to be in here with the guys and playing than sitting there watching. It’s great to be back.”

Clarkson’s biggest impact could be on the Devils’ power play. Three of his seven goals have come on the man advantage, something Jacques Lemaire attributes to Clarkson’s presence around the net.

“He’s good around the net, to bring pucks at the goalie from the goal line; to get in front, look for rebounds,” said the Devils head coach. “He’s solid on his skates, has a long reach, and he’s got good moves.”

Clarkson said he watched plenty of games while on the shelf for the first time in his NHL career, and hopes to apply what he’s learned.

“As hard as it was, the team was winning, so you’re happy,” he said. “Every night, you’re like, ‘OK, we’re doing well.’ I think just as a competitor you never want to be sidelined. You never want to sit and watch your team. It’s just that edge that you have as a player. You just don’t accept (that you can’t play). I’ve never been hurt before, this is my first real injury where I’ve missed any amount of games.

"But I did definitely watch, and you pick up on things like guys that move their feet… things they do that make them stand out. You hope when you come back you remember some of those things and try to make yourself a better player.”



Lines at morning skate:
Parise - Zajac - Langenbrunner
Rolston - McAmmond - Elias
Pandolfo - Niedermayer - Zharkov
Peters - Pelley - Clarkson

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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