Luongo to Czech in

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

In last summer's World Cup, goaltender Martin Brodeur got hurt and Roberto Luongo had to come in and fill the gap for Team Canada --which he did in admirable fashion.

So with the opening of the world championship two days away, Canadian coach Marc Habscheid wants Luongo to get a bit of work so that he'll be ready in an emergency, even though he has designated Brodeur as the starter.

As a result, Luongo will get the call in tonight's exhibition game against the Czech Republic in Prague.

"We talked to Marty to see how he felt," Habscheid said. "He wanted to play in Latvia (which he did) and this is a good game to rest him."

He also determined that yesterday was a good day to rest all the other players. The scheduled practice was cancelled in favour of a short team meeting at the hotel.

With two days off between exhibition games, Habscheid thought that it made sense to let the players relax and enjoy the sights rather than go through another practice.

REDDEN EXPECTED TO PLAY

The Canadians expect defenceman Wade Redden, who missed the game in Riga because of a sore groin, to be back in the lineup tonight, but another defenceman, Ed Jovanovski, may be out. He has a hip problem.

"He'll go for treatment and we'll re-evaluate at the pre-game skate," Habscheid said. "If there's any question, he won't play."

Jovanovski was injured in the opening game of the World Cup and missed the rest of the tournament, but Habscheid said yesterday that this injury is minor and is not expected to keep Jovanovski out for long.


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