8. october 2011 / WHAT PATRIK ELIAS FANS CAN WATCH FOR IN 2011/2012
A new coach (Peter DoBeur), a new captain (Zach Parise), young faces looking to prove themselves (Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson, Adam Larsson, Nick Palmieri), the return of a former Devil fan favorite in storybook fashion (Petr Sykora), an injury to a top line center (Travis Zajac), and the bitter aftertaste of a playoff-less 2010/2011 campaign leave the Devils with many question marks heading into the new season. Assistant Captain Patrik Elias, who led last year's squad with 62 points (21 goals/41 assists), is looking to help answer some of these lingering questions and lead this young group back to territory he is familiar with: the playoffs. Here are some things Patrik's fans can look forward to this year:
In the middle
Patrik will be moving back to center, filling the shoes of Travis Zajac who is recovering from an Achilles tendon tear. No stranger to the position, Patrik has said before that he enjoys the responsibility the position entails and has no problem moving over from wing. He will see a lot of time alongside Zach Parise who is returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for much of last season. Peter DoBeur noticed their chemistry early in training camp and has been keeping the two together.
Another A-Liner Returns
It is hard for Devil fans to forget the chemistry of the legendary A-Line that was instrumental in the team's 2000 Stanley Cup Championship run. Patrik, Jason Arnott and Petr Sykora became one of the most electric lines ever to play the game. Excitement grew last season when the Devils reacquired Center Jason Arnott, however his return was short lived. Sykora's second chance to play as a Devil wasn't as easy. He was invited to training camp this year as a long shot, but battled his way onto the team by putting the puck in the net during team scrimmages and preseason games. Sykora will start the season on a line with Patrik and Zach Parise.
Patrik has some more records to break and we may very well see some of them happen sooner than later. He is currently 13 regular season goals away from breaking former Devil John MacLean's record which stands at 347. He is also two behind MacLean's team power-play goal record of 92. He remains one overtime game-winner away from the NHL record and in 39 games he will be the third Devil ever to reach 1,000 games played. EliasPatrik.com/en will be here every step of the way to capture history being made.