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?
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.
Corey GriffinThe question of whether Fayne and Larsson are tied together is a fair one. If it were any other coach, I’d call Fayne’s injury a convenient excuse to finally play Larsson and end the “When will he play?” drama. Except with DeBoer, you get the sense he means what he says despite some occasional double-talk regarding line pairing suggestions from media members. DeBoer didn’t play Larsson because he didn’t think he was one of the best six defensemen on the current roster, but kept him here because he is “an NHL defenseman,” to use the coach’s words. Aside from that unfortunate deflection, Larsson certainly played that part last night pretty well. He didn’t look like he was forcing anything. He didn’t try to score a goal every time he had the puck. He played within himself and within the Devils’ system and maybe a couple of key plays, including a poke check during the second period that halted an 3-on-2 rush dead in its tracks.
If you ask me, put them both in. Give Zidlicky a night off maybe, or maybe rest Volchenkov. Keep Larsson with Greene and play Fayne in the vacant spot. If you rest Zidlicky after all his stupid penalties, why not give Larsson a shot on the point of the power play? It certainly can’t hurt — not with how passive and backwards the man advantage looked last night. I don’t think these two should be tied together because I think Fayne and Larsson should be in the lineup every night, but if you read this blog, you know that already.