Devils' Patrick Elias moving to left wing, could Parise or Kovalchuk move to the right?

patrickelias1.jpgIf you thought that things were going to stop being interesting in New Jersey once Ilya Kovalchuk’s situation was squared away, you’ve got another thing coming. Rich Chere finds out from Devils coach John MacLean that one prominent Devil will be switching his position and seemingly making the left wing a bit crowded this year.

But as the Devils’ new head coach prepared to take part in the team’s annual alumni golf classic today at Upper Montclair Country Club, MacLean did say he considers Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias all left wingers.

If that is the case, one of those very talented players would be a third-liner.

“We’ll see what positions we’re going to put everybody in,” MacLean said. “I think Patty’s going to be a left winger, though.”

Will they be on three different lines?

“Could be,” MacLean said. “I’m not going to tell you one way or the other what I’m going to do right now. You can guess all you want. I’m not going to tell you what my lines are going to be. Patrik is going to be a left winger.”

That sounded definitive enough.

Perhaps there’s more to this and either Zach Parise or Ilya Kovalchuk could slide over to the right wing side to make room for Elias to play the left wing. If shot-handedness is a concern for anyone, Kovalchuk is a right-handed shot so perhaps a move to the right side could work there.

After all, it’s training camp and that’s the time to try new things out. Being loaded up along the left wing side could be a great way to bring scoring balance to three lines. Of course, none of this takes into account any possible moves the Devils might have forthcoming to get under the salary cap. In other words, we’ll wait and see what happens next before breaking things down like scientists.

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    Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

    As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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    The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

    You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

    Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

    Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

    This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

    Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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    The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

    Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

    You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

    This GIF might just say it all, really:

    Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

    Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

    The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

    Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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    Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

    Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

    Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

    Want it in GIF form? OK then:

    Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

    Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
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    Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

    That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

    After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Wow.

    It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

    Some background

    Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

    “He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

    “I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

    Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?