Penguins Notebook: Fleury has a backer in New Jersey's Brodeur
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NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey's Martin Brodeur stresses that he is not in the business of analyzing opposing goaltenders, and claims no special insights on the work habits or mental makeup of Marc-Andre Fleury.
But Brodeur, arguably the finest goalie of his generation, said yesterday that he believes Fleury will develop into the impact player the Penguins' front office -- and many others in the industry -- believe he can be, even though Fleury has struggled to get his game in sync through the first month of the season.
"He's such a great athlete," Brodeur said. "What I look at is a guy's ability to skate, and he's a really good skater. The foundation is his mobility, how athletic he is, how competitive he is.
"Everything is there. It's just that sometimes a couple of things are going the wrong way and the next thing you know, everything doesn't fit.
"But when he finds a way to put everything together, relax and be patient, he has so much skill, so much speed, that he's going to be all right. I love watching him play, because he's a spectacular goalie."
Penguins coach Michel Therrien said he started Dany Sabourin, not Fleury, against the Devils at the Prudential Center last night because Sabourin played well in the opener of the Penguins' four-game trip, a 4-2 victory Thursday in Minnesota , and "we're looking for a second win."
Defenseman Ryan Whitney, who missed his second consecutive game last night because of a sore groin, went on the ice before and after the Penguins' game-day skate and reiterated that he hopes to play when Philadelphia visits Mellon Arena at 7:08 p.m. tomorrow.
Whitney said he only skated at "about 80 percent" of normal and experienced some discomfort, although nothing unexpected or serious.
Still in the plans
Although Penguins right winger Colby Armstrong was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game, Therrien said that doesn't mean he has lost his place in the team's plans.
"We haven't lost confidence in him," Therrien said. "We know what he's capable of doing. I like the player. He has to get his nose dirty. He has to play hard. That's the way Colby Armstrong is at his best."
The Penguins have received the modified version of their game sweaters -- only the fabric formulation, not the appearance, has changed -- but they have not been sent out to have nameplates and numbers sewn on, so there is no firm date for when they will be used.
Although an informal survey of players showed that most are interested in at least trying the new version, those opinions are moot because everyone will get one.
Reebok, which designed the uniforms worn by every team this season, agreed to alter the makeup of the sweaters after players around the league complained that the water-repellant qualities of the originals led to perspiration accumulating in their gloves and skates.
In the new version, one fabric was replaced by another and the moisture-repellant quality was eliminated, according to a company release.
The $375 million Prudential Center features restrooms in the runway leading from each team's locker room to its bench, which is believed to be a first in the NHL. ... Penguins rookie Tyler Kennedy, who was awarded his first NHL goal nearly two minutes after he scored it on Long Island -- that's when a video review confirmed his shot actually had entered the net -- said the situation was "kind of surreal" but agreed that "it will make for a better story" when he talks about it in the future.
First Published November 6, 2007 12:00 am