njdtv MyDevils Account
DEVILS TV

For starters, Devils seek early jump

Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 7:40 PM / News
By Eric Marin
X
Share with your Friends


For starters, Devils seek early jump
Parise and Devils looking to get out of gate quickly in 2011-12.
(New Jersey Devils)
share
email
Last season, a 9-25-2 start put the Devils so far out of the playoff hunt that they couldn't recover. It's no wonder then that on the first day of training camp, many stressed the importance of a strong start to 2011-12.

"It’s huge," said Patrik Elias. "Right from the get-go, the first games, they’re very important. You've got to get confidence into the locker room. The guys need to get confidence as a group, as individuals. We know from what happened last year that we had that at the beginning, then we lost a few games and all of a sudden it snowballed."

By the time the wins finally did pile up last year, it was too late.

"We didn’t get any luck on our side and just started to panic, squeezing our sticks," Elias said. "All of a sudden, we turned back and we had 40 games behind us that we couldn’t turnaround. It is important to trust each other, get on the same page, system-wise, with the new coach."

A 31-goal campaign from Ilya Kovalchuk was a bright spot, but left the Devils short of where they wanted to be.

"We still didn’t achieve our goal," Kovalchuk said. "That was a good run and that was way more fun than the first half, that’s for sure. We don’t want to put ourselves in that hole again. We have to start really good."

Will it be hard for this group to put that behind them? Elias doesn't think so. Jacques Lemaire righted the ship in January, and the hope is that new coach Peter DeBoer's uptempo system will keep wind in the Devils' sails. 

"Gotta let it go," said Elias. "Every year is different. We have a lot of new faces around. It’s a fresh start for everyone. The system will be changed in little ways, so we have to adjust to that, every one of us. If you don’t win the first couple of games, you can’t panic. It’s a long season and obviously you do want to start off well."

Elias summarized DeBoer's message: "In the past, maybe we were too passive positioning-wise playing a little too much. He wants to change that, he wants to be aggressive, obviously [force turnovers] as much as possible in the right places on the ice."

If the Devils can put it all together early, their goal of the postseason will stay within reach.

"We need to get back there, get ourselves back in the top eight in the East," Zach Parise said. "You have to start somewhere. We’ve definitely got the ability to do it, we’ve got a good team, we’ve got good players. We’ll try our best."

Parise is one of the Devils poised for a successful campaign. He's looking to bounce back after knee surgery cost him most of 2010-11. He returned to play one game on April 2 before the decision was made to shut him down for the year.

Parise doesn't expect the time away to slow him down.

"I personally felt a little rusty today, but I’m sure everybody did out there just from the long layoff," he said. "The way I’m approaching it, it’s not much different than any other summer or from any other of these players. They’ve been done since April also. I don’t think it’s going to be much different from what I missed compared to what these guys missed. They haven’t played hockey in a long time, either. I don’t think I’m going to be behind them or anything."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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

CONNECT WITH US

          
(c) New Jersey Devils 2014 - All Rights Reserved
newjerseydevils.com is the official web site of the New Jersey Devils, a member team of the National Hockey League ("NHL"). NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 New Jersey Devils and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Advertise With Us | Contact Us | Terms of UseEmploymentNHL.com Terms of Use |  Site Map