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Lemaire sees much to tackle at practice

Monday, 01.3.2011 / 4:54 PM ET / 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 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 52 15 23 7 38
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
K. Palmieri 52 20 15 3 35
A. Henrique 50 16 16 14 32
T. Zajac 44 7 17 6 24
D. Schlemko 44 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 52 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 50 1 12 0 13
A. Greene 52 4 6 2 10
J. Moore 44 3 7 -1 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 15 5 .929 2.03
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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