Pete DeBoer announced at Monday’s practice that backup goalie Johan Hedberg will get his first start of the season Tuesday in Boston, giving Martin Brodeur a night off after playing the first four games. It’s been a while since Hedberg’s been in the net. Just how long?
He hasn’t started a game since a 3-1 victory over the Islanders on April 3 of last season.
“It’s been a long time,” Hedberg said. “I’m excited to get back and play in a game again.”
With the team’s schedule being spread out so far, the Devils haven’t had to use Hedberg, yet. But, they will need him down the road with 10 sets of back-to-back games still to come on the schedule. The first set of back-to-back games is this weekend. The Devils visit Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon and play the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
“I’m prepared for however they want to play it,” he said. “Playing or sitting, it’s still a matter of being prepared and being ready when it’s time to play.”
This sounds about right. I guessed Hedberg would start at some point on this two-game trip and Sunday’s loss provides a nice “impetus” for the change. With shuffling on in net and up front, it stands to wonder when we’ll see some changes on a defense that really struggled in its own zone against Montreal on Sunday.