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NEWS

Lemaire sees much to tackle at practice

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 4:54 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Lemaire sees much to tackle at practice
Fraser returns Tuesday.
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Five games into his third stint as Devils head coach, Jacques Lemaire can already see that his team has made some improvements.

For one thing, they’re scoring more. With Saturday’s 6-3 loss in Carolina, the Devils have notched at least three goals in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 10-12.

They're also outshooting opponents. Despite losing 3-1 to the Rangers last Wednesday, they fired 44 shots to the Rangers' 26. 

Still, Lemaire believes there’s plenty yet to do.

“I’ve got my football suit” Lemaire said after practice Monday. “I’ve got a lot of things to tackle. A lot.”

Goals against would be one. The Devils rank 27th with 122 goals allowed and have the League’s worst goal differential (-54). None of this is lost on Lemaire, who tailors practices to what he sees in game situations.

“We look at the game, talk about different things,” he explained. “Then as I go on the ice there, I know what we need. Now we’ve got to find drills to practice what we need. And sometimes to get drills, I’ll look at tapes. Then I’ll make some drills, write it down.”

Lemaire will mix up the practice if the drill execution isn’t up to par.
 
“(The players) make me change because there’s no life,” he said. “I’m missing what I want so I have to do something else and try to get them going. And if it doesn’t work, I try and talk to them so there’s some momentum, excitement. But we need a lot of stuff.”

Lemaire wrapped up Monday’s skate by having a long talk with his squad on the ice.

“It’s to do certain things,” he said. “We need everyone to chip in. We need to be sharp in practice so we can bring that to games. It’s a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff.”

The winningest coach in Devils’ history recognizes they're in a “deep hole.” He hopes there’s nowhere to go but up.

“That’s exactly where we were,” he said. “We’re starting to climb now, but that’s why we need everyone to chip in to get out of it.”

— Mark Fraser was recalled from his conditioning assignment in Albany (AHL), and will be back in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 13. He had surgery in October to repair a broken hand.

He registered one assist in three games with the Devils’ top minor league affiliate.

"Being down there just a little while, although you enjoy it, you’re having fun, you’re playing again, it just reminds you how much more you want to come back and what an impact you want to have when you do come back," Fraser said. "I don’t want to make a comeback and just fall right into things. I don’t want things to continue the way they’ve been going. I want to try to do anything I can do to help the team turn things around.”

What does he hope to bring?

"Playing tough, playing sold defensively,” he said. “There’s been times where we’ve had trouble in front of our net for no particular reason, but we need to have some grit back, and want teams to fear us again. That’s something I’m definitely going to help try to contribute to.”

Mark Fayne was assigned to Albany. He tallied two goals and an assist in 17 games with New Jersey, including two points in his last three.

“(Fraser) played last year, he knows what to expect,” Lemaire said. “He’s got more experience than Fayne.”

— Brian Rolston could play Tuesday. He participated in two practices with the team since clearing re-entry waivers on Thursday.

“Probably,” Lemaire said of Rolston's return.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 33 17 8 8 93 82 42
6 TOR 33 19 11 3 114 98 41
7 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
8 NYR 30 16 10 4 92 81 36
9 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
10 BOS 33 16 14 3 82 85 35
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
13 PHI 32 12 14 6 88 96 30
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 33 13 18 2 63 105 28
16 CAR 32 9 19 4 68 91 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 28 9 11 0 20
J. Jagr 34 5 15 -11 20
M. Zidlicky 35 4 13 -5 17
M. Cammalleri 23 11 4 0 15
M. Ryder 33 4 10 -1 14
P. Elias 29 4 9 -16 13
D. Severson 32 4 8 -4 12
E. Gelinas 28 4 6 2 10
A. Greene 35 0 9 -3 9
T. Zajac 27 4 4 -6 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 1 1 2 .939 1.75
C. Schneider 11 16 3 .915 2.57