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Larsson Watch

Adam Larsson finally got a chance to dress Thursday night after Mark Fayne sustained a minor upper-body injury Tuesday against Boston. After taking a game off, Fayne says he's good to go, but what will Pete DeBoer do about Larsson?

https://twitter.com/TGfireandice/status/297433102911938562

This decision would like be a lot easier if Larsson had played terribly last night -- except the young Swede did just the opposite according to DeBoer, further complicating matters.

Tags: Adam Larsson, Devils, Devs, Injury Report, Injury Update, Larsson Watch, MARK FAYNE, New Jersey Devils
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It'll be a big night for the future of the Devils(and for guys named Adam, too) on Thursday when Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson get their first crack at playing this season. Henrique's been sidelined for two months following hand surgery. He, like Larsson, began the lockout playing with Albany of the AHL before getting hurt during a game in November.

"I thought we did a great job as a group of everyone stepping up while he was out," coach Pete DeBoer said Thursday, "but hes a big part of our team obviously and you can start to slot people in the right spots when hes in the lineup."

While Henrique will likely eventually slot in on the second line between Patrik Elias and David Clarkson, he'll start Thursday's game on the fourth unit, skating with Krys Barch and former Albany teammate Matt Anderson. Don't expect that to stick though.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Adam Larsson, Devils, Devs, Larsson Watch, Larsson Wathc, Lineup Changes, lineup changes, New Jersey Devils
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For most of the first week of the season, Pete DeBoer stuck by the mantra of "As long as we win, the lineup will stay the same (for the most part)." Well, after a pair of losses, although both were after the end of regulation, it's fair to wonder if it's time to switch things up, particularly on the back end and maybe get everyone's favorite well-rested defenseman some playing time.

Right, Todd Cordell of The Hockey Guys?

https://twitter.com/ToddCordell/status/296468340472414208

Tags: Adam Larsson, Devils, Devs, Larsson Watch, New Jersey Devils
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There were a few Adam Larsson questions during yesterday's Pete DeBoer presser, although strangely no mention of "The Larsson Watch." Hmm. Strange. Anyway, I promise I didn't ask any of them, but I felt I would be remiss not to share them. DeBoer was asked if Larsson wasn't playing because of something he wasn't doing or because of the team's success without him. His answer was pretty straight forward:

We?ve given up 18 shots the first night, 24 last night. Won both games, given up one goal against. It?s tough to make lineup changes. At the same time, I thought Lars had a great training camp. I mean, he?s an NHL defenseman, so I understand his disappointment with not playing, but I think I said back in training camp, with the way our schedule is: everybody here?s ?gonna get a chance to play. Just a matter of when.
So should Larsson be in the AHL instead?

I think if he hadn?t already played 30-plus games down there you might sit and think maybe he should be playing. Obviously if this gets into an extended period ? which I don?t think it will ? that?s something you might have to revisit. He should be here. He deserves to be here and I?m sure he?ll get in soon.
I'll be very interested in the lines at practice today to see whether Larsson gets time with one of the other top six defensemen. Although, judging from DeBoer's words, I wouldn't count on it. The AHL/NHL point is a fair one and one we've stressed here. If he sits for a while, they're hurting his development and likely ticking him off in the process. DeBoer knows Larsson will bide his time, but he also knows a kid wit the motivation and work ethic to get top prospect status will eventually want to see the ice. The thing that worries me now is if Larsson sits for too long, will he put too much pressure on himself to deliver when he finally does get in the lineup? It won't be a permanent step back or anything like that, but it could be a situation where he forces the issue in his first couple games back in the lineup and DeBoer is forced to go back to the vets, which leaves Larsson back in no-man's land. These are tricky times, indeed.
Tags: Adam Larsson, Devils, Devs, Larsson Watch, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer
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As we touched on Monday night, the Adam Larsson story will be something debated among Devils fans all season. Larsson was scratched for his second straight game Tuesday and the Devils won 3-0. While you might expect Larsson, the No. 4 overall pick in 2011, to be upset about watching from the press box, he seemed OK with it ahead of Tuesday night's game, as long as the Devils win.

Via Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger:

"I don't think he'll change the lineup when we win games. I think that's a good thing, even when I'm (the guy) out," Larsson said. "As long as the team wins games the lineup should stay the same."

He hasn't been told when he might play.

Tags: Adam Larsson, Devils, Devs, Larsson Watch, New Jersey Devils
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Pete DeBoer expects to ice the same lineup Tuesday against the Flyers as he did in Saturday's win over the Islanders. That means defenseman Adam Larsson won't see the ice in either of the first two games of the season.

Via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:

When asked today when he planned to start working in the players who sat Saturday, DeBoer replied, ?We?re one game in. We played well. We won. I don?t know. I haven?t mapped that out particularly. I think how we play, whether we?re winning, is going to play a part in that and injuries are going to play a part in that.?
Larsson's playing time is going to be a big storyline this year. That's unavoidable when a No. 4 overall pick plays 65 games in his rookie season (at 19, no less) and then enters the next season out of the top six defensemen. No one's saying the kid lit up the world last year -- despite shamefully leading the entire back end in points at 18 -- but he was, at worst, a solid third-pairing defenseman who was learning the game. There's no question he still has to learn a lot of the subtleties that come with being a top-4 defenseman in the NHL and, honestly, he might not even be one of the six best defensemen on the roster right now. But he is the one with the most potential and that's why I worry about Pete DeBoer yanking him in and out of games all season. If you worry he regressed after the All-Star break last year (and he did) and his game hasn't recovered, then why not demote him the same way John Tortorella did with Michael Del Zotto? That worked wonders, didn't it?

Look, I understand DeBoer and Lou Lamoriello know more about hockey and developing players than I could ever hope to learn, but if there's one thing I've learned watching sports my entire life, it's that rarely does a young player get better by not playing. Larsson needs ice time, whether he gets it in New Jersey or in Albany isn't relevant at this point. Would it be that big of a deal to see him down until Lou deals an extra defenseman for some help up front? I don't think so.

Tags: Adam Larsson, Devils, Devs, Larsson Watch, lineup, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer
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