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Brodeur eager for Lamoriello induction

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Brodeur will be watching Monday, when Lamoriello is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The surging Devils were back at practice Monday while up in Toronto, President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello awaited his Induction Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Lamoriello will enter the Builder category as part of the Class of 2009 that includes Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille, and Steve Yzerman.

Martin Brodeur said he would watch the ceremony, which will be broadcast by the NHL Network beginning Monday at 7 p.m. ET. Drafted 20th overall by Lamoriello in the 1990 Entry Draft, Brodeur has been the centerpiece of the Devils' three Stanley Cup titles in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

"I think you give your heart and soul to the game," Brodeur said. "He constructed a team and an organization, so for him to get recognized from the highest standard that our sport can give out is something that’s amazing."

Brodeur said Lamoriello's drive is what has made him one of the NHL's legendary general managers. In the last 15 years of Lamoriello's 23-year tenure, the Devils have produced 11 100-point seasons, four Eastern Conference titles and eight Atlantic Division regular-season championships.

The club is off to another resilient start this season, and has weathered a long list of key injuries to open 11-4, including an 8-0 mark on the road that ranks second-best ever to begin a season.

"I believe it’s really his focus," Brodeur said. "He didn’t care about what people thought about the way he did stuff. He had a vision; he had a way of doing things that some of us agree with it, others not. But he stuck to his guns and he just never got influenced by anybody or what they were doing. He believed there was one way of doing things and I think that’s why he’s the man that he is."

As the winningest netminder in NHL history, Brodeur has already secured his spot in the Hall. He'll eventually join Lamoriello and 2007 Hall inductee Scott Stevens in hockey's shrine, and his No. 30 will hang alongside Stevens' No. 4 and Ken Daneyko's No. 3 in Prudential Center's rafters. 

But Brodeur doesn't spend his days pondering future honors as much as he remains focused on bringing a fourth Cup to New Jersey.

"I’m still playing the game, so I don’t think about these things at all," he said. "But it’s nice to see what we’ve accomplished here being recognized. From retiring jerseys to getting guys in the Hall of Fame, it says a lot about the success the organization has had."

Brian Rolston, Mike Mottau and Bryce Salvador had rest days on Monday. Dean McAmmond is still sick and did not practice. Johnny Oduya skated after missing the last four games with a lower body injury, but did not have much in the way of positive news.

"The status is not as good as I wanted it to be," Oduya said. "It’s still day to day, I guess. We’ll see, is pretty much what I have to say."

Oduya is working toward playing Wednesday, when Jersey's Team hosts Anaheim. Monday's practice has left his return in doubt. 

"That’s what I was hoping for," he said. "Obviously, I’ve been out four games here, so I want to get in as quick as possible. But on the other hand, you have to be smart too."

• The Devils' power play has produced six goals in the last three games, but head coach Jacques Lemaire hasn't been wowed by his team's execution with the man advantage.

"Sometimes we looked just awful on it, then for some reason we start to score," Lemaire said Monday. "Sometimes I want to decline the penalty, that’s how good it’s going. And then we score two goals after."

Lemaire said hasn't been concerned to see the Devils give up the first goal in three straight games.

"I can give one," he said. "I can give two, as long as we win. To me, it becomes a problem when you give the first goal and you don’t win the game. That is the problem. Let’s try to score the first goal so we can win a game. Makes more sense."

• Center Tim Sestito was called up from Lowell (AHL) on Saturday, and made his Devils' debut in the 3-2 win in Ottawa. New Jersey erased a 2-0 deficit with three straight power-play goals to take its fifth straight victory, and eighth straight on the road.

"I thought it went well. It’s nice to be a part of a win and come from behind," said the native of Rome, N.Y. "They’ve done pretty good on the road, so it’s good to be a part of that. Personally, I thought it went well. Have some things to work on, but it was fun. I got some ice and had a good time."

Sestito filled in for Patrik Elias, who did not make the trip after making his season debut on Friday. The 25-year-old Sestito has seven goals and three assists in 12 games with New Jersey's top minor-league affiliate, and was excited for the new opportunity.

"Yeah definitely," he said. "The first shift, the adrenaline was going pretty good. Then, we had a good shift cycling the puck. I think Clarkie (David Clarkson) put a backhand on net, and the rebound came to me in the slot. I had more time than I thought, and it was rolling a bit. I think my eyes got as big as the hockey puck itself.  I don’t really blame myself for trying to put it in right away, but I would’ve liked to have had that back."

Sestito saw 8:53 of total ice time on 16 shifts.

"Works hard, never stops," Lemaire said of Sestito. "He’s very energetic. I like what he does. He’s banging and he’s on the puck. He’s not bad with the puck, either. Skates with it."

Pleased with his overall performance, Sestito pointed out that there was room for improvement.

"On their second goal, I got caught flat-footed in the offensive zone," he said. "Especially the way I play, I play defense first. And, you know, I could always make some more plays. I had some chances I would’ve liked to have had back; maybe a little nervous. You have a little more time than you think. Other than that, pretty good."

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