February 2, 2010
Leafs won't face Brodeur
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
TORONTO -- When Scott Clemmensen was with the New Jersey Devils, he had a trademark response when asked what it was like being the backup to workhorse goalie Martin Brodeur.
ďItís like Groundhog Day over and over again,Ē Clemmensen would chuckle, referring to Brodeurís penchant of playing almost every game.
Today, after all, is Groundhog Day. Of all the days you would figure Brodeur would be starting, this is it.
But heís not.
Instead, Yann Danis, Brodeurís current backup, will get the call when the Devils visit the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre Tuesday.
To be fair, Brodeur could use the time off. Prior to tonightís contest, he had appeared in 40 consecutive games, including 33 consecutive starts.
The Devils' decision not to start Brodeur means fans won't get to see a goaltending rematch of the 2003 Stanley Cup final between the Devils and J-S Giguereís Anaheim Ducks. Giguere ended up winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, but it was Brodeur who led his team to the Stanley Cup.
As for this season, you have to go all the way back to the Nov. 7 tilt against the Islanders to find the previous contest in which Brodeur did not play a single minute.
Brodeur, a native of Montreal, has always loved to play in Canadian cities. With the Olympics less than two weeks away, however, perhaps Devils coach Jacques Lemaire, an assistant with Team Canada, does not want to burn out the NHLís all-time winningest goalie.
ďI could use the rest,Ē Brodeur said after the Devils pre-game morning skate. ďI havenít had much of a chance to do that.Ē
Danis is looking forward to the rare opportunity to start.
ďItís definitely been a while,Ē Danis said. ďIím excited. I obviously want to play and it will be nice to get back out there tonight and, hopefully, get a win.Ē
Danis has made four relief appearances since his last start. Over those four games, he played five periods and allowed only two goals on 47 shots. His last appearance was a week ago in Ottawa, when he stopped all six shots he faced in the third period of 3-0 loss.
ďThe last time I played, I played well, so Iím going to definitely use that tonight,Ē he said. ďBut itís going to different game, obviously, 60 minutes. Iím excited to play the full game. I know I havenít played much this year, but Iíve been doing this goalie thing for a while. Things donít change. Iím going to approach it like any game.Ē