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NJD Notes 12.12: Lemaire on parity, Flyers

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Head coach Jacques Lemaire spoke to the media before Saturday's game against the Flyers. He will use the same lineup from Friday's loss to Florida.

Why are all teams so hard (to play against)?
"That’s a tough question. I guess every GM tries to improve their team. With the cap, I guess in a time, it would come to parity in the League. I think it’s here now more than ever."

How does that impact the job of the head coach?
"Us, it’s not that bad because we’re not playing. It’s the players that we demand a lot of every night to put the effort that is necessary to win. As soon as a team starts to win and be the focus in the league, then every team gets ready for your team and they want to beat you. They want to see how far they are to that top team."

You've lost to the Flyers twice. Is there extra incentive when a team has had your number?
"Definitely. Today it’s a huge game for us. They beat us twice. It seems they’re playing at their best against us. But on the other hand, I was just looking at our last game we played them and we played good, we just have to get the right shot at the right time. We’re getting some chances. The goaltender was good but as I say, we have to get the right shot at the right time and get people in front of the goalie. This is a trend in the league now that more and more players go in front of the net so they can screen the goalie and look for rebounds; look for tips. You look at our game last night, they scored two goals on tips. It makes a huge difference when you do go there."

The decision to start Martin Brodeur tonight?
"I think he feels good right now. I don’t think we overplayed him; we gave him enough time to rest. He’s ready for this game tonight. We’ll have the same lineup as last night."

Do you like the long December homestand?
"If we win most of the games, yes. If we don’t, no. I don’t like it. As I said, I can like it. You know, when you play two, three games at home, and then you go on the road and play two, three games, you’re moving in and out, and I think it’s a lot easier to focus to play and be sharp every night. Especially during Christmas, it’s tough when you’re home to keep the focus, but the guys, they’ve been good so far."

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