NEWS

Rolston gets look on line with Kovy, Zajac

Tuesday, 03.23.2010 / 2:40 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
X
Share with your Friends


Rolston gets look on line with Kovy, Zajac
Rolston looking to come through on offense for Devils.
The Devils have scored once in their last two games, and have gone six outings without connecting on the power play. Jacques Lemaire is hoping to change his team’s fortunes on offense, and was set to try Brian Rolston on the right side of Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac against Columbus on Tuesday.

Lemaire coached Rolston in Minnesota, where he posted three straight seasons with 30-or-more goals. Besides getting the team’s offense flowing once again, Lemaire would also like to get Rolston reignited over the final 11 games of the regular season.

“There’s all kinds of messages in that move,” Lemaire said. “That’s where he should play, so we give him a chance to play there and then we’ll see. It’s up to him to take advantage of it and do the best he can.”

Rolston has 18 goals and 14 assists this season, but has been held off the scoresheet in his last five appearances.

“I don’t really have a ton of say about it,” Rolston said about the move. “I thought our line was playing well together, and I think (Lemaire's) just trying to find ways of getting some offense. We haven’t been scoring much lately, maybe he’s just switching things around a little bit. Maybe that’ll make that other line click, and maybe this line will click as well. I think that’s what’s important.”

Rolston skated the right side with Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias at center in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to St. Louis. He recorded four shots in the game and didn't feel the change was about helping his confidence. He had previously been on a trio with Rob Niedermayer and David Clarkson.

“I felt our line was playing well with Nieder and Clarky, so it’s not a matter of getting a confidence boost from that,” he said. “I just want to play consistent and start producing a little more.”

Rolston is second to Zach Parise (301) with 210 shots on the season. His big slapshot combined with Kovalchuk’s playmaking could prove to be a lethal combo. Kovalchuk has 248 shots this season, including 69 in 16 games with New Jersey.

“Kovy sees everybody on the ice,” said Lemaire. “When you don’t expect the puck, he’s going to send it to you because you’re open. You could be close, you could be far, but he sees you.”

Zajac agreed.

“He’s a great passer,” Zajac said. “I didn’t know that until he came here, actually. Just watching him in practice, watching him in games, he can find seams through guys' sticks and skates. He makes plays that I wouldn’t, and you have to expect the puck from him because sometimes it’s a tough pass, but he somehow finds ways to make it.”

Zajac’s role at center will be setting up two of the most feared shooters in the Devils’ lineup.

“They’re both players that are good with the puck, have great vision,” he said. “I think it’s my job on the line to try and get them the puck and make sure they get some quality opportunities.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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