NEWS

Elias looking forward to third All-Star trip

2011 All-Star Game set for Sunday, Jan. 30 in Carolina

Wednesday, 01.12.2011 / 4:23 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Elias looking forward to third All-Star trip
Elias gets a shot on Jose Theodore at the 2002 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
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After a nine-year wait, Patrik Elias is going back to the NHL All-Star Game.

The Devils’ leading scorer was one of 36 additional players named to the 2011 All-Star rosters on Tuesday.

He has a team-high 30 points, and leads the team in assists (21) and power-play goals (5). Two of his nine tallies have been game-winners.

In what has been a challenging season for the Devils, his selection to the All-Star festivities is something Elias can smile about.

“No question,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s been a very hard season result-wise. It’s something nice that people still recognize the way we work or the way I work. It feels good. You go through rough times, and all you can do is your best.”

Elias had two assists and an empty-netter in Sunday’s 6-3 win over Tampa Bay. It snapped a four-game losing streak for the Devils (11-29-2), who will look to end an 11-game road slide when they visit the Lightning on Friday.

He’s been lauded by head coach Jacques Lemaire for his play this year, but Elias would prefer that this All-Star appearance were occurring under better circumstances.

“You want to go when the team is doing well or you’re in the top 10 in points,” he said. “On the other hand, there were years that I thought maybe I could have gone and you don’t go.”

Two such seasons stand out. The first is 2000-01, when Elias finished with a career-high 40 goals and franchise-record 96 points. The Devils sent three representatives to Colorado that year: Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens.

The other is 2003-04, when Elias collected 38 goals and 81 points, and Brodeur, Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski were tapped for the 2004 game in Minnesota.

Brian Rolston, a former All-Star (2007), found Elias’ honor to be well-deserved this year.

“I’ve played with him for two, three games now,” Rolston said. “It’s fun to play with him. Patrik’s a guy that makes his linemates better, plain and simple. Last year when I played with him, I was really productive. It took a few games, but we got a few on the board last game. There’s not many players as good as him that I’ve seen in my career, how he makes other guys on his line better, and just thinks the game really well. He’s got the skills to do it, and there’s not many that are as good as him.”

Dainius Zubrus, the right wing on Elias' line, scored Sunday off a set-up from Rolston, who had two assists. Zubrus, too, had high praise for No. 26.

“He’s a smart guy that almost every possession tries to make a play, tries to make something,” Zubrus said. “When it’s not there, he simplifies it.” 

This will be the third All-Star trip for Elias, who debuted in 2000. He contributed two assists in the World Team’s 9-4 win over North America at Air Canada Centre, and picked up a helper in the World’s 8-5 win at Staples Center in 2002.

“I was in great cities,” Elias said. “I was in Toronto and L.A., and it was amazing, both of them. The whole event, the whole experience was great. You’re in your prime, kind of, in your 20s. You just enjoy it. I had a great time especially seeing a lot of the older guys, to be a part of the game with them. Now I’m the older guy. I don’t know everybody who’s going, but it seems like I’ll be one of the oldest there.”

Among the oldest, perhaps, but Elias, 34, can take comfort in knowing he won’t be the most senior participant in Carolina. That title goes to the ageless Nicklas Lidstrom, who at 40 is set to take part in his 11th All-Star Game.

Fans voted in the first six players for this year’s game, which takes place on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. The balloting was topped by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Kris Letang, Duncan Keith and Marc-Andre Fleury.

A new wrinkle has been added in 2011. The NHL has replaced the conference versus conference system with the All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, to be televised live on VERSUS at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28. A coin toss between the two captains will decide the first pick, and the selections will alternate until each team has three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards.

Elias has one wish for his appearance at the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend.

“Hopefully I won’t be picked as the last guy,” he joked. “Otherwise, I’m looking forward to it.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 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