Home > Devils At The Break > Devils At The Break: Elias Returns To All-Star Form

Devils At The Break: Elias Returns To All-Star Form

Patrik Elias played in his third All Star game yesterday, scoring a goal in the loss. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This will be a regular feature during the Devils’ five game All-Star break. In this feature, we’ll look at overall team news, discuss individual player performances, and give expectations for the second half of the season. You can find all these articles under the “Devils At The Break” category located on the sidebar.

It’s been a rough few years for Patrik Elias.

The franchise leader in points, Elias hasn’t been the healthiest skater the past few seasons. Various injuries sidelined the left-winger, but last season was particularly troubling. He missed several games with after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia. Then, as he was beginning to contribute to the team, he sustained a concussion and missed several other games.

Heading into the season, expectations were high for the entire offense. Teamed with Jason Arnott, fans and analysts figured Elias would record better numbers.

But no one envisioned this.

At the All-Star break, Elias is the Devils’ best scorer. His 37 points leads the team, and he’s second with 13 goals. He leads the team in game-winning goals (4), and his powerplay production (seven points) also tops the team. But it’s not only his offense that’s improved.

Elias became the unquestioned leader of the team this season. A former captain, Elias never shied away from tough questions. He provided the media with honest answers and called out teammates for subpar play. Even without wearing the “C”, there was never a question about who led the Devils. With Jamie Langenbrunner traded, I argued the team should appoint Elias captain.

Without the puck, Elias still poses a threat to opposing teams. He’s become one of the main “quarterbacks” on the Devils’ powerplay, controlling all the play along the side boards. While its stalled lately, he’s helped improve the powerplay. He remains one of the best penalty killers on the roster as well.

Everything about Elias’ game improved this season. With the puck, he’s creating more opportunities to score. It’s a skill that’s been lacking for the past few seasons. With the increase in shots, Elias is creating more opportunities to score. And, unlike several of his teammates, his shots are finding the back of the net.

Elias took a backseat to other big names on the Devils’ roster during training camp. But as the season progressed, he rose to the top. This might not be Elias’ best statistical season, but he’s proven he’s finally healthy and ready to return to form.

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