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Brodeur finally living the dream

Goaltender to make NHL debut for Senators against Wild tonight

Saturday, 19.12.2009 / 12:23 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Brodeur finally living the dream
Binghamton Senators callup Mike Brodeur gets his first shot at the big time tonight when he steps between the pipes at Scotiabank Place against the Minnesota Wild (Just Sports Photography).
Check out the NHL game notes for tonight's Ottawa-Minnesota matchup.

For Mike Brodeur, it's a moment that's been a long time in coming.

And that's a time frame that stretches well beyond the 13 games he's sat on the Ottawa Senators bench, watching Brian Elliott carry the load in the absence of the injured Pascal Leclaire.

But tonight, it'll finally be Brodeur's turn as he makes his National Hockey League debut against the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200).

The 26-year-old Calgary native has 172 games of professional hockey experience on his resume — all of it at the American or East Coast Hockey League level. But safe to say, he's never looked more forward to a game than the one he'll play tonight.

"It's something I've dreamed of my whole life," Brodeur said earlier today after learning he'd be making his first NHL start. "Ever since I was about five years old, I'm been dreaming about playing in the National Hockey League and tonight's my chance to do it."

Brodeur, a distant relative of the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur — the NHL's all-time winningest goaltender — would settle for just one victory right now. A seventh-round pick (211th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he parlayed a strong season with the Rochester Americans in 2008-09 into a job with the Ottawa organization this season.

Shortly before being recalled on an emergency basis when Leclaire went down with a fractured cheekbone, Brodeur was named the Reebok/AHL Player of Week for the period ending Nov. 8 — a stretch he and the Binghamton Senators concluded with a 1-0 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs at Scotiabank Place.

Now the sixth-year pro gets to tend goal in the same building again, but under vastly different circumstances.

"The nerves are going to be there, but they work with you on days like today," said Brodeur, whose fiancee, Melissa Drover, will make it to Ottawa in time for the game.

"It's something I've dreamed of my whole life. Ever since I was about five years old, I'm been dreaming about playing in the National Hockey League and tonight's my chance to do it ... The nerves are going to be there, but they work with you on days like today." - Mike Brodeur
Brodeur has a room full of teammates eager to make his life easier tonight.

"We're excited for him," said centre Mike Fisher. "He's worked hard in practice and done a good job down in Bingo. I'm sure he'll play well tonight."

Senators head coach Cory Clouston isn't concerned that the 6-foot-2 Brodeur hasn't seen any game action since his callup to Ottawa nearly three weeks ago.

"I've seen goalies who have been out for a long period of time and they come back in with their best game," Clouston said after the Senators' pre-game skate. "(Brodeur) just has to play his game. He's a big goalie and he stays square to the puck. We faced him a few times last year down in Binghamton and he was outstanding.

"We expect him to just go in there and be solid and confident and we'll play well in front of him. You've been waiting your whole life for this game. Whether he's been up here for one day or six months ... he's just got to be focused and calm those nerves and just focus on his task."

Around the boards

Brodeur was drafted the same year that the Senators obtained Elliott with a ninth-round pick (291st overall) ... The Wild lost most of their equipment in a cube truck fire yesterday outside Scotiabank Place, but brought in replacement gear from St. Paul, Minn., overnight ... Fewer than 3,500 tickets remain for the game.


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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06