Sens not afraid of Brodeur

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 3:51 PM ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur's reputation as the NHL's top goalie doesn't worry the Senators. Not one bit.

The Senators have spent four days watching plenty of video ... and they're ready to face him in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-final against the New Jersey Devils tonight.

"Look, Brodeur is a good goalie, but we've got some offensive guys who can put the puck in the net," said Senators winger Dany Heatley.

"He's not perfect. He hasn't won every year. They've lost. It's not like we're thinking, 'Oh Geez, it's Marty Brodeur.' We respect him, but we just have to play our game."

The Senators haven't advanced past the second round of the NHL playoffs since they were KO'd by then-Devil Jeff Friesen's last-minute goal in Game 7 of the 2003 Eastern Conference final.

"Here we go again," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips as he headed for his locker stall.

This test is going to be a lot different than the Pittsburgh Penguins, likely much more intense.

"At the start of the playoffs, you know you're going to face good teams," said Heatley. "Now there's eight left, so it doesn't matter who it is, you now they're going to have a great goaltender.

"For us, we've got to keep doing the things that made us successful against Pittsburgh and build on them."

There'll be plenty of focus on goalie Ray Emery, who outplayed Martin Gerber to grab the Senators No. 1 goaltending job early in the season.

But there's an old saying: "You earn your money in the regular season and you make a name for yourself in the playoffs."

That's the challenge Emery has ahead for himself in this series. He is trying not to look at this matchup as Emery vs. Brodeur, but that hasn't stopped the media from asking questions.

A lot has been made of Emery's wrist this week after he was hit by a shot in practice Monday, but he went through drills yesterday, said he was fine and maintained he wasn't thinking about facing his childhood idol.

"At playoff time, every goalie is a high-calibre goalie," said Emery. "It's definitely special playing against (Brodeur), but I'm just focused on their team and what they do offensively.

"It's a team-oriented playoff experience.

"We've got a gameplan that we're trying to follow and I'm trying not to think about just facing (Brodeur).

"For a goalie to focus on the other goalie is kind of pointless. I've just got to worry about their top players and how I play."

Senators coach Bryan Murray is trying not to put any pressure on Emery, but knows beating Brodeur would mean a lot to Emery's career.

"(Brodeur) always lays out a challenge when you're the other goalie," said Murray. "(Brodeur's) record and his performance level has been so high, but when you're a young goalie coming in, you try to match that as far as an individual game is concerned. I would think that (Emery) is excited about that."


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