Fraser ready when needed

Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 4:22 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Fraser ready when needed
Fraser injured his hand before this scrap with McCormick on Oct. 13.
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After a couple of solid practices, Mark Fraser’s ready to return to the lineup.

The Devils defenseman has missed the last 31 games with a broken hand.

“The last two days have been really good practice,” Fraser said Tuesday. “It’s exactly what I needed to get back. It was really the physicality challenge that I needed. I definitely got that in the last two days, and today I was bumping guys and I got bumped a couple times, and I feel that’s my final test.

“Whenever the team needs me, or whenever they want to call upon me, I feel confident that I’m now game-ready.”

The Devils are back in action Wednesday, when they host the Rangers.

Fraser couldn’t pinpoint how the break happened, but it didn’t occur during his fight with Cody McCormick at Buffalo. As it turns out, his right hand had been bothering him before that Oct. 13 meeting with the Sabres.

“That started actually in training camp,” Fraser said. “I blocked a shot in a (Sept. 28 preseason) game (against) Philly. It had been blown up for two weeks prior to the fight.”

The injury lingered following the Flyers game.

“I didn’t play for a week after that,” Fraser continued. “I played the last game at the Island. That entire week of practice, I was battling to grip the stick.”

Fraser said a first-period charge by Patrick Kaleta in that Buffalo game did more to aggravate the hand than the fight, which came later in the period.

“I just knew going into the game, if I’m going to fight, protect the outside of my hand,” he said. “You only punch with the outside of your hand anyway. I had just known ahead of time fights happen in my game, just to be careful if they do.”

Jacques Lemaire and the Devils are looking to snap a five-game losing streak. They have faced the Rangers twice, dropping decisions of 3-1 at the Garden on Oct. 24 and 3-0 at Prudential Center on Nov. 5.

The past history of the Battle of the Hudson is no concern of Lemaire’s heading into Wednesday’s meeting at the Rock.

“We’ve got to start to play good, nevermind the rivalry,” he said. “There’s no rivalry right now. Two different teams. We’ve got to start to play good, start to compete, go from there.”

Lemaire, who took over for John MacLean on Dec. 23, was pleased with his first two days of full practices.

“Yeah,” he said. “I wish I had five.” 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51