News and notes

By John Maillard

·Rookie forward Mike Jefferson refused an assignment to Albany last week after preseason, and was immediately suspended.

·In a shocker, former Boston College goalie Scott Clemmensen beat out Albany River Rats netminders J.F. Damphousse and Frederic Henry to win the backup role for New Jersey. Clemmensen was terrific during the preseason, stopping a Petr Nedved penalty shot and just simply outplaying Damphousse and Henry, who looked very vulnerable in their starts and relief appearances. Clemmensen and Brodeur should be a nice tandem between the pipes.

·Anyone else notice how much better Sascha Goc looks on the ice this year? He seems much more poised, and his confidence is high. Amazing what a taste of the NHL can do for you.

·Kudos to Josef Boumedienne for scoring his first NHL goal over the weekend. Although he’s not going to make the roster on a permanent basis as long as Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski are healthy, Boumedienne filled in very admirably and looks promising.