At practice today, Peter DeBoer announced that Martin Brodeur will be starting tomorrow night against the Ottawa Senators.
Brodeur is coming off of a spectacular 33-save shutout against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He earned 1st star of the night for his spectacular showing.
In his 19th game, Brodeur improved to 9-8-2 with a 2.31 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.
The Devils had 16 forwards skating on the ice today and any fan could see that things are getting a little cramped on the ice with a lot of players returning. Well, it seemed that way for a moment. Cam Janssen was in a one-on-one situation against Anton Volchenkov and wiped out.
He was in a lot of pain but DeBoer believes Janssen will be available for Wednesday. Dainius Zubrus will also be available to play tomorrow night after jumping back on his line with Jaromir Jagr and Travis Zajac.
Mattias Tedenby, who filled in at Zubrus’ spot, practiced on the 5th line alternating with Ryane Clowe at left wing. Once Janssen left practice, Clowe moved up a line and Steve Bernier moved to RW.
The Devils also worked on their powerplay today. The first unit had Zajac, Patrik Elias, and Jagr up front with Andy Greene and Marek Zidlicky at the blue line.
The second unit had Damien Brunner, Adam Henrique, and Michael Ryder at forward and Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill working the points. Reid Boucher was rotated in every so often on the second unit. (TG)
While Stephen Gionta gave the coaches the “good-to-go” for tomorrow night, Ryane Clowe is still definitely out. He will be talking with the coaches about a timetable very shortly and personally wants to play by Christmas.
DeBoer didn’t guarantee that Gionta will play but did give him the honor of the only injured player that can “potentially” play.
Anyone worried about the possibility of Boucher being returned to Albany when players get healthy, DeBoer had this to say:
“Again, I’m not looking at the stat line with him. I like his defensive awareness. He’s much stronger on the puck and in the battles than he looks. I was shocked today (to see) he’s only (195) pounds. I keep watching the games back and he’s winning puck battles against bigger guys and you realize this kid is a strong kid. And, for me, he’s created opportunities for himself or other players every night he’s been in. So, if he continues to do that, he’s a hard guy to remove.” (via Tom Gulitti’s Fire and Ice Blog)
The Devils will face the Senators in a crucial game that could end up having playoff implications down the road. The Senators (14-15-16, 34 points) are just two points ahead of the Devils and sit in 3rd in the Wild Card race. The Devils sit at 6th.