NEWS

Opening Night always a thrill

Saturday, 10.3.2009 / 12:13 PM ET / 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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59