Devils’ Notes: Brodeur Goes For 40, Kovalchuk A New Father

Martin Brodeur will go for his 40th win tomorrow night against Columbus, which will be his eighth season of 40+ wins. No other goalie in NHL history has three 40+ win seasons.

Brodeur had three-straight 40+ win seasons until last year’s torn bicep injury ended the streak.

The Devils’ goalie believes reaching 40 wins is a significant achievement each and every season.

“It’s something I look at every year,” Brodeur said of reaching 40 wins to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. “It’s a pretty big number for goalies to achieve. Not many goalies have been able to put a lot of them together and I’ve been fortunate playing here to do that. But, because I play so much, I expect myself to get close and try to be there every there. But you’ve got to go out and do it. You’ve got to stay healthy.”

Brodeur failed to get the win in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Blues.

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Ilya Kovalchuk was back in practice today after flying to Florida to be with his wife, Nicole, when she gave birth to the couple’s third child, Artem.

Artem weighed in at 7.8 pounds and was 20 inches. The Kovalchuk’s have a four-year old daughter, Karolina, and a one-year old son, Philip.

While Kovalchuk flew back to join the team, his family stayed in Florida. They have been living in their off-season home since the left-winger was traded to New Jersey. Kovalchuk plans to move the family up to his rented apartment in Hoboken, NJ.

Devils’ coach Jacques Lemaire believes the separation between Kovalchuk and his family could be weighing on the left-winger.

“We don’t know all that goes on in his mind,” Lemaire said to Gulliti.  ”He’s got the baby and moving and the wife and all of that. It’s part of worries.”

Kovalchuk has five goals and seven assists in 16 games for the Devils. Even with his struggles, Lemaire will stick with the left-winger on the powerplay.

“If his minutes would be too high, I would take some power play (time) off as long as we would score,” Lemaire said to Gulliti. “But if we’re not scoring, I want him on the power play first and then cut his minutes somewhere else.”

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