Gelinas returns to the lineup vs. Columbus
First NHL game for rookie d-man since Jan. 30
Eric Gelinas said his game should look a little different following his most recent stint in Albany (AHL).
The rookie defenseman put up two assists in five February games with the Devils' top minor-league affiliate, but the assignment was less about numbers and more about tightening up on the defensive end.
He returns to the lineup Thursday, when the Devils host Columbus at 7 p.m. for their first game since the Olympic break.
"I think the biggest thing is being responsible and being smart, picking my spots to go on the offense and not trying to do too much," Gelinas said. "What I do best is put the puck on net and try to create some offense that way, so I'll try to help the team that way."
Coach Peter DeBoer hopes to see Gelinas return to his early season form. Gelinas' 13 points on the power play are a team high, and second only to Boston's Torey Krug among rookie blueliners.
"I think like all young defensemen, he drifted a little bit in parts of his game," DeBoer said. "I think he recognized that went down to Albany (AHL). All the reports out of there were that he fixed some of those things. I anticipate, I'm hoping we'll see the same guy we saw the first 15, 20 games he played up here where he had a great combination of offense and was very reliable defensively."
Said Gelinas, "I went back to basics. I'm a simple player and I have to be simple here, too. I can't get out of my game and try to do something I'm not able to do. I'm really going to try to stay simple here."