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For Brodeur, Opening Night still excites

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Brodeur looking forward to great things in 2010-11.

The Devils' gameday dressing room sported a new look Friday morning, with a ceiling trim that details the club’s championships, division titles and individual award winners.

“It’s a part of Devils history,” Brodeur said. “I think they’ve been good about it. It’s kind of nice, especially the ones with the team. Looking at the Atlantic Division championships, seeing some of the great things we’ve done in the last 15 years or so."

When Brodeur starts tonight against Dallas, he'll extend his own NHL record to 16 consecutive season-opening starts with the same club. With all that he has already accomplished – most wins, most shutouts – Opening Night never gets old.

“It doesn’t,” said Brodeur, as he enters his 17th NHL season. “It just shows the start of something, hopefully something great. It’s always exciting to get going. We’re creatures of habit and we’re used to playing an NHL season eight months out of the year, usually. It’s something, when it’s not there for four months, you’re really looking forward to get back in that groove. It starts with game number one.”

Brodeur has backstopped the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles, and remains hungry for a fourth. It’s hard not to be enthused about this year’s club, which added Ilya Kovalchuk and Jason Arnott up front and strengthened its defense with Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder.

“Everybody’s looking forward to the changes and how it’s going to pan out with the new coaches,” he said. “I think the atmosphere’s been awesome through training camp and it’ll be interesting to see. I think the excitement level is definitely high.”

Brodeur led the League last season with 45 wins and nine shutouts, and hopes to add to his NHL record of eight 40-win campaigns.

“I look at the number of wins I’m going to try to achieve and go step by step. I don’t like to ahead of a 40-win season,” he said. “I start with the first 25, and after that move on, be consistent. That’s always the battle with goalies: you want to be consistent as much as you can throughout the season. That’s the battle that I have to face every year and I’m looking forward to the challenge again.”
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