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Opening Night always a thrill

Saturday, 10.03.2009 / 12:13 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Opening Night always a thrill
Brodeur still gets excited for the opener. 
The excitement of Opening Night never gets old.

"It's fun," Martin Brodeur said. "It's the start of something new. I think everybody starts at zero, and now you're building up toward the playoffs by trying to have a great season. Here we go, you know? That's the great thing about home openers, they're always exciting because of that. It's still a hockey game, but you know that day, it's all starting."

Brodeur, who last year surpassed Patrick Roy as the winningest goalie in League history, will hit two milestones in the first game. With his 15th consecutive opening night start, he'll eclipse Roy and Terry Sawchuk for the most all-time. He'll also join Roy as the only netminders with 1,000 appearances.

Brodeur's ranks the Devils' 1996 home opener as his all-time favorite. That night, the team raised the banner commemorating their 1995 Stanley Cup title.

"Those are the most fun opening nights," he said. "Whenever you finish a season, start a new one and there's a banner, it's like, 'Wow, that's pretty cool.' We've done that three times and they're pretty special."

Jacques Lemaire coached the Devils to that first Cup and now finds himself back in New Jersey to deliver an encore. Eager "to get in and get the ball rolling," Lemaire wished the first few games were already out of the way.

"I wish it was the fifth game," he said.

After the Devils' successful exhibition season, Mike Mottau says the team is well-prepared to play the games that finally count.

"It's good to finally have that feeling of excitement coming into a game," he said. "After all the hard work in the preseason, it starts tonight." 

Jersey's Team set a franchise record with its 51-win campaign of a year ago. Their 2009 postseason fell short of expectations, but there's a long road ahead before the playoffs come back into view.

"It sounds cliché, but you have to take it one game at a time to start off," Mottau said. "You work on the new system that's been implemented, and work on executing with the options that we have. The wins will take care of themselves. We have a good group guys in here and we can't be worrying about trying to match certain numbers. Things will take care of themselves as we go throughout the season."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51

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