Interchangeable Parts

Devils’ Martin Brodeur underwent surgery today, Thursday, to repair his torn distal bicep in his left elbow. Lou has stated that Brodeur’s surgery was “100 percent successful.” Still, he cannot move his arm for approximately eight weeks, and will need physical therapy and training for another 8 after that.

Although no timeline is set in stone, Brodeur will most likely not see any action until the middle of March, if not later.

Veterans Bobby Holik (broken pinky) and Brian Rolston (sprained ankle), remain out as we near the three week mark of their injuries. Other absences include Paul Martin (upper body soreness), Andrew Greene (broken right hand), and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (cracked orbital bone).

Brian Rolston is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation but he probably won’t be back until Wednesday’s matchup against the Rangers – at the earliest. There is no status update on Bobby Holik, and Paul Martin may see ice time on Saturday if he practices, but he too could remain out until Wednesday as well.

And yet even with all this turmoil in the Devils roster, players being shuffled between Newark and Lowell, and now Kevin Weekes as the number one in net, the Devils still have a 7-3-2 record, and find themselves in second place in the division, and fifth in the conference.

Jamie Langenbrunner stated in a pre-game interview last Wednesday that this will force players to step up and take more active roles in the team.

We hope that is the case. But in fact I believe it is already starting to. I am noticing Patrik Elias is now the team leader in shots, nearly all of the Devils defenseman have 30 attempted shots or more, and only a couple of players who have a negative plus/minus average – meaning the Devils are scoring more goals than opponents when even strength. In fact, the Devils have 5 more goals for than goals against, which is not a bad number for the Devils at this point in the season.

At the early stages of the season, before the team was plagued with every injury listed in the medical textbook, I was very pleased with the team’s appearance on the ice. Passes were crisp, positioning was good, and they were making genuine good scoring chances. And now with their continued success sans some of their top players including Brodeur, I am even more convinced. In fact, I’m downright optimistic.

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