Devils' power play reason for concern

Every team has weaknesses and every team has points they’ve focused
on to improve. As the playoffs draw near, coaches will start harping on
the smallest details as they work to improve their team. With the Devils
just 2-3-0 in their last five games, coach Jacques Lemaire is not happy
with the power play.

“Teams protect certains things on the penalty kill and they give you
other plays you can deal with,” Lemaire said. “You have to take what
they’re giving you and try to use it to your advantage. What we’ve been
doing is trying to do is make the plays thyat are not there.

“As an example, if you get a guy in the slot and they have a guy
protecting this and you still want to send it there, it will be hard to
have success. So, if this guy is protected, someody else is open and
that’s where you have to go.”

“I think they recognize it, but they still look for other plays,”
Lemaire said. “When you do have success it comes natural to find the
right play, the man who is open and to use what they give you to your
advantage. If you’re not scoring and not making these passes, you’re
pressing. You don’t see all the other plays you can make. It has to come

It’s too bad that Martin Brodeur can’t help out on the power play,
right? Truth be told, it’s not the power play that’s contributed to the Devils’ success this season. They rank in the top 10 in the NHL in even strength goal differential, and have been middle of the road on the power play all season.

I thought this quote from Patrick Elias was amusing.

“I watch tapes after each game. We had a couple of good shots on the
power play last game.”

Ah, well, a couple of good shots are better than nothing, I guess.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.