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Brodeur ready to roam in Vancouver

Tuesday, 02.09.2010 / 10:27 AM / All-Access Vancouver

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Martin Brodeur is ready to play the puck like it's 2004.

For years Brodeur was called a third defenseman for his efficiency playing the puck. But the NHL added the trapezoid coming out of the work stoppage in 2005 and Brodeur has been one of its biggest critics since for obvious reasons.

There is no trapezoid to restrict goalies in international play, so Brodeur plans to put one of his best skills back into his repertoire at the 2010 Olympics.

"I'm looking forward to roaming around a bit, definitely," Brodeur told NHL.com. "For me, it's just out of my mind. I know my instincts will guide me where I need to go. It's not that I'm saying I will play the puck a lot. I have no clue, but there are no restrictions and it's going to be fun."

These Olympics will be the first time Brodeur won't feel restricted since the work stoppage. He was free to roam in Italy at the Olympics four years ago, but the larger ice surface made him think twice before leaving the net.

He worried about not being able to get back to the crease in time should the puck get turned over. International ice rinks are 98-feet wide, but the rink in Vancouver will be typical for the NHL, meaning 200-feet long and 85-feet wide.

"I'm looking forward to roaming around a bit, definitely. For me, it's just out of my mind. I know my instincts will guide me where I need to go. It's not that I'm saying I will play the puck a lot. I have no clue, but there are no restrictions and it's going to be fun." -- Team Canada goalie Martin Brodeur

"I mean seriously, for a goalie with all this stuff on, to skate into the corner and make a play with it … for me it makes a big difference to be on a smaller rink," Brodeur said.

Brodeur expects to get his share of opportunities to retrieve the puck because the NHL ice surface won't allow teams, the Europeans in particular, to keep the puck for extended periods of time waiting for the perfect play to develop.

"When you play in the neutral zone, if you want to get some offense you have to dump the puck, and that's usually the way it goes," Brodeur said. "It may not be that way for the first three or four players on Russia, but they all can't play 60 minutes, you know. Somebody is going to get hit and somebody is going to take the puck away. It's going to happen real quick that the checker is going to be on them."

And, if the puck gets dumped it in, you know who is going to the corner to get it. Brodeur has been waiting a long time to again show off one of his best skills.

"Ecstatic?" he asked. "Yeah, definitely."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com