New Jersey Devils Practice: Bernier Returns, Elias Misses

In the second to last practice until the New Jersey Devils resume their season following the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Steve Bernier returned after missing yesterday’s practice due to “personal” reasons while Patrik Elias did not attend due to his wife giving birth to their second child.

Bernier jumped back onto the right side of the last line. Jacob Josefson jumped into where Elias was, centering the second line.

Andrei Loktionov took Elias’ spot on the first powerplay unit in practice today.

Full line combos courtesy of Tom Gulitti:

Forwards: Dainius Zubrus-Travis Zajac-Jaromir Jagr; Adam Henrique-Jacob Josefson-Damien Brunner; Ryane Clowe-Andrei Loktionov-Michael Ryder; Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Steve Bernier.

 

Defensemen: Andy Greene-Mark Fayne; Bryce Salvador-Marek Zidlicky; Anton Volcnenkov-Peter Harrold; Eric Gelinas-Jon Merrill.

 

Goaltenders: Cory Schneider, Martin Brodeur.

 

With Elias not here, Andrei Loktionov took his spot up front on the first power-play unit with Jaromir Jagr and Travis Zajac. Brunner and Marek Zidlicky were the point men again on the first unit.

 

The second unit had Ryane Clowe, Henrique and Michael Ryder up front with defensemen Andy Greene and Eric Gelinas on the points. Rookie defenseman Jon Merrill also rotated in with the point men on the second unit.

Jan 12, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas (22) shoots against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Devils 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Reaction: Peter DeBoer’s words of keeping together Henrique, Clowe, and Ryder seem to be highly unlikely going into tomorrow’s game. DeBoer has rolled with these lines all week now and shuffling them back together would really be a foolish thing to do.

If he really wanted to keep them together, he would’ve had them practice together at a time where they haven’t had a lot of time together in recent days with the Olympic break.

Tomorrow’s lines will give us a better look at what DeBoer will throw out there.

It is likely Josefson naturally will be tomorrow’s scratch at forward and one would assume that Jon Merrill and Eric Gelinas would be the scratches on defense. The Devils could also dress 7 D tomorrow and scratch another forward.

The Devils will face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan Division matchup at the Prudential Center tomorrow night.

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Tags: New Jersey Devils Patrik Elias Steve Bernier

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