Friday, April 22, 2005

Brodeur - A complete competitor

NHL lockout hasn't dulled Brodeur's edge

Canada will take on the U.S. again Friday in Quebec City before heading to Europe for the world tournament, which will be held in Austria from April 30 to May 15.

QUEBEC (CP) -- The NHL lockout may have kept star goalie Martin Brodeur off the ice during the regular season but it hasn't dulled his edge as he practices with Team Canada for the upcoming world hockey championship.

"In my case, I haven't played hockey during the winter but I kept in shape during training and skating in New Jersey," he said Thursday before a team practice at the Quebec Coliseum.

Brodeur certainly looked sharp in Canada's 3-1 exhibition win over the United States on Wednesday in Halifax. The New Jersey Devils goalie stopped all 18 shots he faced in a period and a half of work.

Steve Tambellini, the Canadian team's general manager, was impressed with Brodeur's performance.

"How many games did he play this season?" he asked rhetorically. "That's what impressed me the most, it's his great ability to concentrate.

"He's calm and very focused."

Brodeur said the players are getting better as they work together.

"We have to be alert because half the guys haven't played this season," he said. "We're missing some cohesion at times but that's normal.

"We'll make the necessary adjustments. I'm not worried."

Brodeur said Canada is fielding a competitive team at the championships despite the absence of such players as Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux and Martin St-Louis.

"What we have here are the up-and-coming stars of the NHL -- Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Shane Doan," he said.

Simon Gagne, who helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics and the World Cup in 2004, said he is looking forward to the tournament.

"I'm very happy to be wearing the uniform of Canada," said the Philadelphia Flyer.

-Referenced from

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