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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 55 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 53 18 18 14 36
K. Palmieri 55 20 15 3 35
T. Zajac 47 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 47 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 55 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 51 1 12 -1 13
A. Greene 55 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 44 3 7 -14 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 16 6 .930 2.01
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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