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Tracking the Storm

Cheering for Brodeur

Tuesday, 03.17.2009 / 12:20 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Cheering for Brodeur
Besides watching the obvious games around the league tonight involving teams competing for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, Canes fans may want to pay some extra attention to tomorrow’s opponent as well.

Paul Branecky
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The Devils are at home tonight against the Blackhawks – a game the Hurricanes will probably want them to win, considering that Martin Brodeur’s next victory, his 552nd, will push him past Patrick Roy as the winningest goaltender of all time. If that milestone isn’t accomplished tonight for whatever reason, the Devils will have plenty of motivation to do it tomorrow.

“We’re cheering for him tonight,” Canes Coach Paul Maurice said with a smile. “But really, I don’t think it matters. It won’t change the way the team plays in front of him the next night, and they’re going to get good goaltending no matter who they put in there.”

If the Devils do win tonight, it will be an advantageous situation for the Canes, who may not have to face Brodeur at all. Teams often rest goaltenders on the second half of back-to-back games – especially teams assured of a playoff spot whose star netminder recently returned from a long injury hiatus. Meanwhile, Carolina has been idle and waiting in Raleigh since Sunday.

If that scenario were to occur, the Canes would be facing someone that Maurice knows well.

“Kevin Weekes is a real fine NHL goaltender," he said.  "In the last game I saw with the Hurricanes and Devils on the ice, he made a glove save on John Madden that I’ll never forget. I’ve got a lot of time for Kevin Weekes, and I think he’s a very capable goaltender.”

For fans who have the NHL Network but not necessarily the Center Ice package, the network announced yesterday that it would televise Brodeur’s attempt, so feel free to do some scouting if you have that channel.

Even after he took yesterday off to deal with the upper body injury he suffered in Washington on Saturday, it appears the Hurricanes will have Patrick Eaves back for the game. He returned to practice today, skating on a line with Dwight Helminen and Tim Conboy. 

Jussi Jokinen, who had previously been centering the fourth line since his return from Finland, was moved up to the right side of Rod Brind’Amour and Sergei Samsonov.

Scott Walker practiced fully on the “Black Ace” unit with Ryan Bayda and Michael Ryan, but will remain out of the lineup for tomorrow. – Depth Chart

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 44 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 49 10 19 -15 29
E. Lindholm 48 9 11 -12 20
R. Nash 49 7 13 -4 20
J. Tlusty 42 12 7 -14 19
J. Skinner 44 10 9 -9 19
N. Gerbe 45 5 13 -7 18
V. Rask 49 6 9 -13 15
A. Sekera 47 1 14 -7 15
J. McClement 49 1 9 -2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .914 2.41
C. Ward 11 18 4 .913 2.42