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Devils Weekly: Niedermayer Honored, Elias Reaches Milestone, Parise Dominates

Devils retire Niedermayer's #27 (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Highlights of the Week:

  • Scott Niedermayer’s #27 was retired Friday night in a terrific ceremony that even brought back Mike “Doc” Emerick back to New Jersey.
  • Patrik Elias is now the all-time leading goal scorer in Devils history, with 378, passing John McLean. Someone day, whenever Patrik decides to hang up his skates, his number will join Niedermayer’s in the rafters.
  • Travis Zajac returned on Friday and as expected, he is playing on the third line alongside Tedenby and Clarkson.
  • The Devils acquired Kurtis Foster from Anaheim in exchange for Mark Frasor and Rod Pelley.
  • The Devils have won four straight and seven of their last eight.
  • They’ve climbed all the way to sixth in the Eastern Conference.
  • Adam Larsson’s blue-line to blue-line pass, right on Clarkson’s stick to tie the game at 3-3 right before the end of the second period against Montreal, was a thing of beauty.

The Top Line

In the four games, the top line has accumulated 20 points. They’ve scored 7 goals and dished out 13 assists. Of course, they’re mostly assisting each other’s goals. Perhaps a better indicator of just how dominant they’ve been, Henrique played to a +7 rating this week, Kovalchuk +3, and Parise +6. Parise’s influence on the line is very noticeable. His aggressive fore-checking is rubbing off on Henrique and he even has gotten Kovalchuk to adapt his game to a more cycling based attack. This line has been on fire and they’ve been taking over games.

Balance

The Devils have scored 19 goals in the 4 games this week. The top line pitched in 7 goals but they’ve gotten 12 more goals from the rest of the team. The Devils have 5 guys with double digit goal totals and 2 more with 8. They’re getting consistent offense from their second and third line and that’s making a big difference for the Devils.

Three Stars

Bryce Salvador

With Tallinder, Greene, and Volchenkov, all missing some action this week, Salvador has really stepped up as the anchor of the Devils defense. He’s not going to get maybe points, although he did have two points this week to double his total, but he’s as reliable as they come in the back.

Patrik Elias

He scored four goals this week to pass John McLean’s record for career goals as a Devil. The return of Zajac is really going to help Elias because the Devils can begin to manage his ice-time a little more. It can’t be easy playing 20+ minutes each night at 35.

Zach Parise

Sometimes assists totals can be deceiving, you get secondary assists for just touching the puck but Zach had three assists that were the epitome of a primary assist. Three times the Devils had a 2-on-1 break, twice shorthanded, and all three times he played inch-perfect passes, just outside of the crease where his teammate could do nothing but put the puck in the back of the net. By the way, he also had 3 goals and 2 other assists, giving him 5 total, last week.

About A Lee

I'm as happy as the Mets, Knicks, Lions, and Devils allow me to be.

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