Entries with the tag: Brian Rolston
This is what teams in the NHL are currently finding out when taking on the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils’ may be one of the league’s worst teams record-wise but lately, they have found their game. The team is currently on an imressive 8-1-1 streak and is making life tough for their opponents.
Many hockey pundits and Devils’ fans alike are wondering why they are playing this way now when they should have been doing it all along. In my opinion, here are the reasons why the Devils have gotten their game together:
It was obvious that the Devils’ struggled under first year coach John MacLean. Sure, Lou Lamoriello hurt him with cap space issues due to the Illya Kovalchuk deal and there were also several key injuries (Zach Parise). No matter which way you look at it though, MacLean could not get the team to succeed under him.
In steps Jacques Lemaire to replace MacLean and things changed for the better for the Devils. The team is back to playing a smart defensive system and Lemaire is getting the most out of his players. Sure, he probably will not be able to get the team into the playoffs but he will certainly have his club playing competitive hockey up until the beginning of April.
From Tom Gulitti from Fire & Ice:
What about Lemaire’s style fits you well?
“I don’t think it’s necessarily his style that fits me. I just think that he gave me responsibility. Last year, I didn’t feel like I was given much responibility. At the beginning of the season, it started off great, but after my injury I didn’t feel like I was put into positions to succeed. And I’m just looking forward to that. You know? To have that opportunity. I believe that’s why I was brought here in the first place. I’m just excited about it. I’m excited about being with Jacques and (assistant coach) Mario (Tremblay), guys that I spent probably the majority of my career playing for.”
Do you expect to get a chance to play on the first line?
“You know, here’s the deal. We talked about this at the beginning of last year when I was supposed to come in and be the first-line center. The fact of the matter is Travis…I believe that Zach is one of the best players in the league. Those guys (Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Jamie Langenbrunner) are our first line. They were our first line last year. I don’t know how Jacques is going to do it. A lot of times he’d split guys up to make sure everybody was going. Not that I’m saying that’s going to happen, but I believe that was our first line. I’m just going to try to contribute the way I have in the past. I want to get back to 30 goals and I want to contribute to the team. That’s the most important thing to me right now. Not scoring 30, but I need to get back to that. For us to be successful, I believe I have to get back there and I think I will.”
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