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Brodeur returns to practice

Monday, 03.18.2013 / 11:19 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Brodeur returns to practice





  
Martin Brodeur won't start Tuesday's home meeting with the Rangers, but all signs point to his return coming sooner than later.

Brodeur returned to practice on Monday for the first time since soreness forced him out of warmups before a scheduled start against Winnipeg on Feb. 24.

Johan Hedberg will start against the Rangers, but Brodeur could be on the bench as backup.

"I have to see how I'm going to feel after this [practice]," Brodeur said. "I've skated for the last week or so, but this is the first time I'm doing it as hard as that. It's definitely the best I've felt so far on the ice, but I don't know how my body will react, so we'll go from there."

Said Brodeur: "I'm probably going to skate in the morning [Tuesday], but I don't think I'll be playing, that's for sure." 

Brodeur has missed the last 11 games after an 8-2-3 start. The Devils (13-10-6) have gone 3-6-2 in his absence, including an 0-5-1 skid.

Hedberg has started every game since Brodeur got hurt. He's 5-8-3 on the season with a 2.71 goals-against average, .888 save percentage and one shutout.

"It's not fun because you'd love to be there to do whatever you can to try to get them out [of a slump]," Brodeur said. "When you know the players, you know how much they care and how hard they work."

He added, "There were a lot of games on that [losing] streak that we deserved a lot better and things weren't happening for us. Guys got cold a little bit with scoring. You look at the last two games: we've played really well, we've stayed in games, Heddy played really well, but we don't have much to show for it. That's the type of season we're going through."

Brodeur described the injury as "almost like a pinched nerve. It just didn't feel good, didn't feel right. Not that I was in pain much. I was for a while after I left Winnipeg. We did a lot of different things, saw a lot of different doctors to make sure there was nothing that I could really hurt myself [further]. They really wanted me to take it easy for a long time; I didn't like that, but I think you have to follow the advice of the people who know what they're doing."

Following two to three weeks of no activity, Brodeur was finally able to start working out and skating again. He's been symptom-free for "a week, a week and a half."

"The issues that I had in the upper back and my neck were going away, and now I feel comfortable enough to get back," he said.

Just having Brodeur at practice provided a lift for his teammates.

"It's great to see him back in that net and it looks like he's feeling better," David Clarkson said. "I don't know when he'll be back, but it's nice to have him on that ice and practicing with the guys. It's not just who he is or what he brings, but he pushes the young guys.

"You see him out there make a save and he makes fun of you as you're skating back to the line, so the next time you come down you really want to bury it on him. He makes all of us better; it's great to see him back on that ice."

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
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10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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