Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Not Throwing Pity Party

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Not Throwing Pity Party

Article excerpt

NEWARK - If the present is what life after Martin Brodeur will be like for the Devils, the future doesn't appear as promising without the centerpiece of their glorious past.

The franchise's iconic goaltender is on injured reserve and seemingly nothing has gone its way since he skated off following pregame warm-ups with a sore back five games ago against the Jets.

The Devils have not won in the aftermath of Brodeur's surprising departure, losing every one with backup goalie Johan Hedberg starting in net heading into tonight's game against the Sabres at Prudential Center.

"[Brodeur is] feeling better, but I wouldn't classify it as day to day," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said Wednesday. "When I say day to day, I mean he's not going to play on Thursday. I don't mean it's going to be a month. Somewhere in between there: Thursday and a month. I don't have a timetable yet. He is feeling better, though.

"It's heading in the right direction."

As long as Brodeur remains sidelined, the same can hardly be said about the Devils' once-promising start unless there is drastic change to their performance on the ice.

The Devils will reach the halfway point of the lockout-shortened 48-game schedule against Buffalo and, it may be cliche, but the season has been a tale of two completely different halves.

They were 8-1-3 in their first 12 games and now 2-7-2 in their last 11 with losses in the past six (0-5-1), leaving them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points. The Rangers are gaining ground, just one point behind in eighth after beating the Flyers on Tuesday night. Philadelphia is two points back.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Brodeur - who has yet to take the ice and will not until he is declared 100 percent healthy - will likely not be back at the earliest until after the weekend.

"It's a little longer than we thought, but has he had a setback? No, he has not had a setback," Lamoriello said. "It just hasn't come as quickly and we're going to make sure it's perfect."

The Devils did not practice Wednesday, save for four skaters - including rookie Stefan Matteau, who should return to the lineup tonight - and goalie Jeff Frazee. …

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