TROY, NY — The last time Jeff Frazee played an American Hockey League game was Mar 3. He made 36 saves on 38 shots at Adirondack for his third consecutive victory and his fourth win in five starts.
Since then, Frazee has not seen game action for the Albany Devils, but that is okay by him. For the last two weeks, Frazee has been with the New Jersey Devils since being recalled on Mar. 6. His stint with New Jersey was highlighted by his NHL debut on Mar. 9 at Carolina. The fifth-year pro played 18:36 in relief.
“At the end of the second, I saw [Assistant coach Scott Stevens] go over to [Head Coach Pete DeBoer] and talk to him,” Frazee said. “So I kind of had a feeling I was going in and then [Goaltending Coach Chris Terreri] came in after the second and said I was going in. It kind of got the nerves going, but I tried to settle down and tell myself it’s still another hockey game.”
Frazee stopped all three shots he faced and was able to calm his nerves early in the period.
“They had a 2-on-1 and I kind of played it pretty well and the [defense] helped me out,” he said. “That kind of helped me settle down, but you’re never really comfortable until you see the first shot. You just start thinking and your mind wanders and you can’t let that happen.”
Frazee, who was drafted 38th overall during the 2005 NHL Draft, has appeared in 180 career AHL games, posting 72 wins with nine shutouts, a 2.69 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in all five categories.
This season, the Edina, MN native has played 21 games, going 7-9-4 with a 2.33 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage, which ranks ninth in the AHL.
“Our goaltending has been solid all year,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “[Jeff] hasn’t got the offensive support that maybe Keith [Kinkaid] has got, but he’s played solid. His numbers from a save percentage and saves standpoint are good, he just doesn’t have the wins. He had a real strong weekend, the weekend before he went up and, hopefully, he can come back and pick up where he left off.
The Devils are set for their second straight three-in-three road weekend. They travel to Binghamton Friday, Syracuse Saturday and Bridgeport Sunday. Despite not playing a complete game since being recalled, Frazee has been facing NHL shots in practice, while working with coach Terreri.
“He played well before he left and he’s been getting some good practice time up there working with Terreri as well,” Kowalsky said. “I would expect him to definitely get in this weekend. It’s been a while, but Keith was up for a bit too and you have to get him back in and get him into game action because, again, we have a busy schedule and we are going to need him.”
“I think it just starts in practice,” Frazee said. “You have to go out and have good practices and be at the top of your game. Then you have to go at it with the right mindset into the game, feeling you can stop everything and help your team win.”
The organization’s goaltending situation appears to be stable again. Martin Brodeur is slated to start at Carolina tonight and rookie Scott Wedgewood, who has filled the goaltending void left by Frazee’s recall, was reassigned to Trenton (ECHL) earlier in the day.