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Day 6 - Lemaire transcript

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils
There were no training camp cuts to announce Friday, but Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire spoke to the media after the veterans skated Friday morning :

Your team is not down to the number yet?

Jacques Lemaire: No, not yet. The reason is simple: we have three games coming up and we'll need probably all the guys here.

So there will be no cuts today then?


When you came in and started talking to guys at the start of camp, did you feel it was necessary to tell anybody, 'Don't listen to anything you have heard, or that you read, I'm not the person that I'm not the stereotype that people think.'"

I don't need to do this. I just don't need to do this. When I came in, what they see is what's there. What I tell them to do, it's common sense.

So they find out for themselves on the ice?

First day, we did some 'D' zone stuff. All the rest was offense. And we did more offense today than defense. But as I've said, if we're weak defensively, we'll work on defense.

Does it ever bother you that that's the reputation you have: the lockdown guy, the trap guy? Do people not recognize some other traits?

Well, you know when it bothers me? It bothers me when a person from the outside comes to me and talks about something that he just doesn't know. That bothers me. So he would say, as an example, 'You think this guy or that guy would be better in an offensive system?' Then I look at him, 'Poor guy. Go back to school.' We're all the same coaches now. We're all the same. Before, defense was not as important because of Edmonton (in the 80s). So everyone went offense, which is normal. Us, we believed that even in Montreal with all the Cups we had, we were talking about defense in the room. When Edmonton started to win everyone went offensive and forgot a little bit about defense. In our minds, we always believed that defense was a big key. That's what we taught to the other players: defense. There was an edge at that time, a lot of teams. But now, you have to play well defensively. You can't have 400 goals against and figure you're going to win.

What do you try to accomplish here with the week between preseason games?

I want to get settled on the wingers. Defensemen, I'm pretty much settled. Wingers, centers, start to work with lines, maybe try some lines, different lines.

When you say settled, you mean know who's probably going to be on the team?

Who will be on the team, exactly. But this I'll know only probably only after the three games. The more they play, the more I'll see them and what they can do.

So then is it fair to say that they're settled, but guys can still be out of the picture if they don't keep going?


Is your biggest question still center, then?

Yep. Now it is. Because of (Patrik) Elias. If Elias will be playing, I wouldn't have a problem. Because one of the four kids, they can play easy. 

Is there likely to be a kid that makes this team on defense?

Maybe, yes. Maybe.

It's hard to keep a kid and sit him, right?

Yes. He's got to be able to play, and by play I mean get ice time.

Are you a seven- or eight-defensemen guy?

Seven. It has to depend on what the team needs. If you have a power play guy, as an example, and you have another guy that is really good – he's good defensively – that's the time that it happens. Get a guy that is good defensively and you get the power play guy; you have to keep both. Some nights you play one, some nights you play the other one.

Is that what you have? Kind of?

Kind of. But again, you have to produce. I can't give all the secrets. I have to keep two for myself.

• The good news for Yann Danis is that his new Devils mask is finally ready. The bad news? It's been lost in the mail.

Danis had to play Wednesday's preseason opener wearing his old Islanders mask, but blacked out the logo with tape. He had expected to have his new one by gametime, but it never arrived at Prudential Center. Now he's trying to track it down.

"I was so excited on Friday," Danis said. "I had pictures. Now it's lost."

The mask artwork was created by Quebec-based Griffe Originals, which has painted Danis' masks since his time at Brown University. It's believed they shipped the mask back to the manufacturer when it was completed, rather than sending it to Danis.

"Now they don't know where it is," he said.

Danis has coped with a mask mix-up before. He began last preseason with the Islanders while wearing a mask that matched the red, white and blue of Montreal's AHL affiliate in Hamilton.

"I did the same thing, put some tape on top," he said.

For now, it's just watch and wait.

"As of yesterday, the update was, 'We don't know where the mask is,'" he said.

Morning recap
10:27a – In red: Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner; in gray: Brian Rolston-Dainius Zubrus-David Clarkson; in green: Jay Pandolfo-Rod Pelley-Niclas Bergfors; in light blue: Andrew Peters-Tim Sestito-Ilkka Pikkarainen; in blue: Vladimir Zharkov-Michael Swift-Brendan Shanahan.

On D: Johnny Oduya, Andy Greene, Mark Fraser, Bryce Salvador, Cory Murphy, Paul Martin, Colin White, Mike Mottau, Alexander Urbom, Jay Leach.

Goaltenders are Martin Brodeur, Yann Danis and Jeff Frazee.

10:09a – Morning session underway.
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