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03-23-2013, 12:18 PM
The Punisher
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From TG`s article:

Right wing Matt D’Agostini said he was “surprised, a little shocked” when he learned Friday that the St. Louis Blues had traded him to the Devils, though he knew being moved was a possibility with the April 3 trade deadline approaching.

“Always around this time you’re thinking about it and my situation, I guess, was kind of leading there, but I was shocked,” said D’Agostini, who will make his Devils’ debut tonight against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center. “Tough to say goodbye to the guys and the team, but at the same time very excited to be here and to be part of this organization.”

At the same time, however, D’Agostin,i, 26, welcomed the chance to go to a new team and get a chance to play regularly after getting limited opportunities with the Blues this season. He had just one goal and one assist in 16 games, playing only 11:52 per game, with the Blues this season

“I was open to it,” D’Agostini said of being traded. “In my situation I just wanted to play hockey so whatever that was I was willing to do that. It’s tough to leave the guys behind, but at the same time it’s a good move for me and I’m really excited to get a little bit of a fresh start here in New Jersey.”

“I’m looking at this as Game 1. Just go out there and establish my game early, just try to work hard and, hopefully, get some chances from that.”

Only two seasons ago, D’AGostini put up 21 goals and 25 assists in 82 games with the Blues. He missed 25 games season with a concussion last season, however, and was limited to just nine goals and nine assists in 55 games.

Then, after the lockout, he saw his role and playing time reduced further.

“We just had a lot of depth and a couple of bad stretches and then the next thing you know you get pushed out of the rotation,” he said. “I got my chances in St. Louis and I had a great time there. I really enjoyed my time there. This is just another chapter and I’m really excited to be here.”

D’Agostini also admitted there were times he was “a little disappointed” in his own play.

“Just inconsistency, I guess you could call it,” he said. “That led to (being) in and out of the lineup, I guess.”

Devils coach Pete DeBoer said he plans to use D’Agostini at right wing in a “top nine role”, but claimed he hadn’t decided upon his line combinations for tonight’s game yet., With D’Agostini joining the lineup, it appears Tom Kostopoulos will shift from right wing to the left side. Kostopoulos said he played the left side all of last season with Calgary and feels comfortable on either side.

Left wing Krys Barch will be a healthy scratch again along with defensemen Mark Fayne.

DeBoer coached against D’Agostini in junior when he played for Guelph under Devils assistant coach Dave Barr, so he’s familiar with how he plays.

“He was a very good player in Guelph,” DeBoer said. “Just watching him from afar, he’s scored in the NHL and in the American League. Inconsistently on the NHL level, but he has done it and we feel there’s that potential to do that again.”

D’Agostini said the key for him is “just skating with the puck.”

“I think I’m best when I’m using my speed and driving the (defensemen) deep and creating havoc on the forecheck and just getting our chances that way,” he said. “Just try to work hard, keep it simple for Game 1 and see what happens.”

After arriving in New Jersey about midnight Friday, D’Agostini had a video tutorial session with Barr this morning to review the Devils’ system. He said “it’s pretty similar” to the way the Blues play.

“They’re a forechecking kind of team, which is what St. Louis is,” D’Agostini said. “It’s trying to learn the systems and the changes that I have to embrace here. The main thing they want to see is just me going out there and playing my game. … They just want me to use my speed and they’re a forechecking team, so creating chaos and havoc down there on the forecheck and opening good chances that way with turnovers and whatnot.”

D’Agostini said he was impressed with the way the Devils played during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.

“The depth guys I think were really impressive. They stepped up in a big way,” he said. “Some guys with not a lot experience playing key roles in the playoffs and that’s good to see. All winning teams need that kind of depth, so hopefully I can just add to that.”

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