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Tedenby earning early praise

Tuesday, 11.23.2010 / 4:25 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Tedenby earning early praise
Tedenby was all smiles after Monday's win.
Patrik Elias calls him “Speedy Gonzalez” or “The Energizer Bunny.” Head coach John MacLean said he’s been a “sparkplug.”

With five points in his first six games, rookie Mattias Tedenby has the Devils talking. In Monday’s 5-0 win over Washington, he used his breakaway speed to draw his first NHL penalty shot, then finessed his third goal of the season past netminder Braden Holtby.

Not a bad way to start a career.

“He’s confident when he has the puck,” MacLean said. “He enjoys playing. It’s a learning process with him as far as the overall game. I like his energy right now. He’s done a really good job.”

Since being recalled from Albany (AHL) on Nov. 8, Tedenby’s contributions have been hard to overlook. He has meshed well with the team’s veterans, injecting new potency into his line with Elias and Jason Arnott.

On Monday, he assisted on Elias’ first power-play tally of the season, and finished a plus-3 after Arnott notched his team-leading seventh and eighth goals. The trio combined for four goals and two assists as the Devils (6-13-2) won their second straight at home.

What Tedenby lacks in size (he’s listed at 5-10), he more than makes up for in quickness. The Devils’ 2008 first-rounder has brought so much get-up-and-go that his linemates work at reining him in.

“‘You have to sometimes slow down. Sometimes you can go,'" Tedenby said, recounting some of the advice he's received. "You have to read the game a little more. But it’s pretty typical for young guys, I guess."

But isn’t speed a good thing?

“Yeah, sometimes,” said Elias, who leads the Devils with 14 points.

“Sometimes you have to slow down a little bit,” Arnott said. “Sometimes you have to control the play a little bit instead of just going a mile a minute.”

Understand, it’s not about holding him back. It’s about helping him put all that talent to good use.

“It is, because you have to try and make it work as a line and as a unit,” Arnott said. “We know that’s his strength – his speed – but there’s a time to use it. Sometimes you have to let him know when it’s time to slow it down. You want to build up good chemistry. He’s open to listen and that’s all you can ask for.”

Though the pro game isn’t new to the Vetlanda, Sweden, native, the North American game is. Before this year, he spent two-plus seasons with HV 71 of the Swedish Elite League.

From the coach’s perspective, Tedenby’s making great progress.

“For him [the differences are] playing in the smaller rink, not getting lost out there, not cruising all over the rink,” MacLean said. “You still have to play positional hockey. He’s been conscious of that. Sometimes it gets away. He’s a good kid, he’s willing to learn, and you work with it. You can’t teach the things that he has, so you don’t want to take that away from him either.”

MacLean agreed Tedenby might gain by taking his foot off the gas pedal just a bit.

“It’s funny to say, but one of the things for young guys that’s hard to learn is sometimes less is more,” MacLean said. “You don’t want them to slow down too much. You want them to press the puck and pressure when he can. As I said, he’ll learn. He’s exciting at times.”

Tedenby’s in good hands with Elias and Arnott. Elias broke into the NHL as a 20-year-old, Arnott at 19. Together, they're an easy-going group that's firing on all cylinders right now.

“He’s a little more mature than when I came (to the NHL), although I weighed probably as much as he weighs now back then,” Elias recalled. “I was 167, what’s he now?”

Elias yelled across the Devils’ practice locker room to ask Tedenby, who was being interviewed by a reporter.

“I don’t know,” Tedenby answered.

“Well you just weighed in today.”

“I don’t remember.”

“How much?”

“Don’t tell the media,” Tedenby finally said, showing he has as much knack for one-liners as one-timers.

Tedenby is the first Devils rookie to score on a penalty shot since Rocky Trottier did it on Dec. 17, 1984. That was also the first successful penalty shot in team history.




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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