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Brunner suits up for Devils practice

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 4:17 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Brunner suits up for Devils practice
On his first day at Devils practice, free agent forward Damien Brunner was thrown right into the mix. \r\n\r\n\"The legs were there, but the hands were a little bit stiff,\" Brunner said.\r\n\r\nThe 27-year-old was featured on the right wing of a line with Patrik Elias at center and Dainius Zubrus, and practiced the power play on a unit with Travis Zajac and prospect Reid Boucher.\r\n\r\nBrunner, who arrived Monday as a pro tryout, is getting a close look as a potential asset for the Devils\' offense. He\'s likely to be in the lineup on Thursday, when the Islanders visit for a preseason tilt at Prudential Center. \r\n



 
On his first day at Devils practice, free agent forward Damien Brunner was thrown right into the mix.

The 27-year-old was featured on the right side of a line with Patrik Elias at center and Dainius Zubrus, and practiced the power play on a unit with Travis Zajac and prospect Reid Boucher.

"The legs were there, but the hands were a little bit stiff," Brunner said.

Brunner, who arrived Monday on a pro tryout, is getting a close look as a potential asset for the Devils' offense. He's possible for Thursday, when the Devils continue the preseason schedule against the Islanders at Prudential Center.

After putting up 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 44 games with Detroit last season, then adding nine points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 14 playoff contests, the Zurich native still wants to show the Devils that he can contribute.

"That's where I have to make an impression: to create offense and make some good plays and try to shoot the puck as much as I can," he said. "We'll see how that goes eventually on Thursday."

If he signs, Brunner would join Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe, Rostislav Olesz and Michael Ryder among the club's new faces at forward.

"When change is made, it's always nice to be a part of a new group and bring some new energy in," he said. "Obviously, like I said [Monday], the Devils are a first-class organization. You already can feel it by only being here one day and I hope it all turns out well."

Head coach Peter DeBoer saw positive signs in Brunner's first day on ice and didn't rule him out for Thursday.

"Pretty savvy guy," DeBoer said. "He's got some skill, he's always moving. He's got a good stick. He looks like a good offensive player."

Could Brunner help bolster the power play?

"I don't think there's any mistaking what he is," said DeBoer. "He's here to bring speed and bring some offense and bring some creativity."

• Jagr, who has not skated since training camp opened last Thursday, could be closer to a return.

"He looks better and he's talking about skating here in the next 24 hours," DeBoer said.

• Clowe and Ryder have been together on a line for much of camp, but DeBoer said not to look too much into the forward combinations at camp thus far.

"It's too early to plug these guys into holes," he said. "There's heavy competition for roster spots and then depending on who makes it, then we'll fill in guys in their appropriate spots."

Tuesday's morning session:

Ryane Clowe - Travis Zajac - Michael Ryder
Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Rostislav Olesz - Andrei Loktionov -
Mattias Tedenby - Jacob Josefson - Stefan Matteau
Ryan Carter
- Stephen Gionta - Reid Boucher

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene
- Adam Larsson
Alexander Urbom
- Damon Severson
Eric Gelinas
- Jon Merrill

Martin Brodeur
Scott Wedgewood

PP units:

Clowe - Elias - Ryder
Gelinas - Zidlicky

Boucher - Zajac - Brunner
Greene - Larsson

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

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