Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils

Martin Brodeur says he’s ready to play, but is New Jersey ready to play him?

New Jersey Devils G Martin Brodeur spoke to the media today about coming off IR and the state of his injured shoulder. According to Tom Gulitti of NorthJersey.com, Brodeur told Devils goalie coach Chris Terreri that “if they need me tomorrow, I’ll be okay to play.”

Which leaves the decision of when to get Brodeur back into action with head coach Peter DeBoer. (The future Hall-of-Famer has been out since Oct. 13 and played just 80 minutes all told this season.)

So, when should Marty play?

At first glance, the answer is right away — 38-year-old backup Johan Hedberg has started seven consecutive games. He began strongly with two straight wins, but has fallen back to earth lately by going 1-3-1 over his last five while allowing seven goals in his last two outings.

Yet when asked if Brodeur would play Wednesday in Toronto, DeBoer was non-committal. “He’ll make that call,” DeBoer said. “This guy knows his body better than anybody. There’s nothing that I can look at out there and decide what he knows. He knows his body. We just don’t want to rush him to get in there.”

While it’s probably true the organization doesn’t want to rush Brodeur back, you have to wonder about what Rich Chere of the New Jersey Star-Ledger wrote this week. Chere posed the question — “Will Johan Hedberg split workload when Martin Brodeur returns?” — an always uncomfortable topic in New Jersey. Brodeur’s a living legend and one of the greatest to ever play the position; asking if he should be splitting time with a career journeyman can be dicey.

But Hedberg’s shown he can be a viable option in goal. In addition to his stellar work this year (4-3-1, .924 GAA, 2.28 save percentage), he was equally impressive last year, going 15-12-2 (.912, 2.38) while Brodeur missed time with elbow and knee injuries.

We’re also at a time where coaches are apt to ride hot hands in net. Davis Payne has used Brian Elliott extensively in St. Louis and Guy Boucher has turned to Mathieu Garon in Tampa, and both have been rewarded in the win column.

Throw in the fact New Jersey wants back in the playoffs after missing last season, and you have a team where playing time might be dictated by performance — not by reputation.

Johansen is a ‘little disappointed’ the Blue Jackets didn’t recognize him in return to Columbus

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Johansen #92 of the Nashville Predators skates against Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on January 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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Ryan Johansen played 309 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets before a blockbuster trade to Nashville last January.

On Sunday, he finally made his return back to Columbus as a member of the Predators. However, he did not receive any sort of tribute whatsoever from the team that originally selected him fourth overall in the 2010 draft, and that is something that apparently bothered him.

“I am a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the Jumbotron and say ‘thank you’ or anything like that,” Johansen told the Columbus Post-Dispatch. “I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.”

While Johansen enjoyed some productive seasons with the Blue Jackets, his time in Columbus, particularly his final months, were dogged with contentious headlines about his contract negotiations with the club and then his working relationship with coach John Tortorella.

Johansen, now 24 years old, has nine goals and 40 points in 58 games this season for Nashville. Currently in the final year of his three-year, $12 million contract, he’s a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Make that four straight wins for the Bruins

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Brent Burns turned in a dominating performance. But Brad Marchand had the last laugh.

Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season and, more importantly, the overtime winner for the Boston Bruins as they defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Sunday.

That’s Boston’s fourth consecutive win since the controversial coaching change — which took another twist earlier in the week when the rival Montreal Canadiens fired Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien. Off a defensive zone faceoff, Marchand bolted up the ice for the breakaway pass, on what appeared to be a set play, beating Martin Jones through the legs.

The Bruins move back into third in the Atlantic Division, and are now only four points back of the faltering Habs for first.

Meanwhile, the Sharks were unable to fully capitalize on another freakish Brent Burns outing. He’s been dubbed ‘an unstoppable force’ in recent posts at PHT — a defenseman possessing great size at six-foot-five-inches tall and 230 pounds, but no shortage of mobility and offensive talent with 27 goals and 64 points in 60 games. Um, and did we mention he’s a defenseman. . . ?

Against the Bruins, he had 20 shot attempts — by far the most of any player in this game — in just over 26 minutes of ice time.

Given the final score, that probably doesn’t mean much to Brad Marchand.

Jacob Trouba will have a hearing for head shot on Mark Stone

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It appears Jacob Trouba will face supplemental discipline from the NHL.

The league’s Department of Player Safety has said in a Twitter statement that Trouba, the Winnipeg Jets defenseman, will have a hearing tomorrow for his head shot on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone during Sunday’s game.

Trouba was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. Stone, who dealt with a concussion prior to the beginning of the season, stayed down on the ice before he eventually made his way to the dressing room.

The incident occurred when Trouba stepped up to throw a hit on Stone, but instead caught him in the head as he followed through, sending Stone to the ice.

Stone was one of three Ottawa forwards to leave the game because of injuries, which are piling up for the Senators.

Video: Drouin ‘wasn’t going to be denied’ on thrilling OT winner

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders  during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
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The Tampa Bay Lightning needed overtime to defeat the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, but it’s a critical win for the Bolts as they try to chase down a playoff spot.

The hero? Jonathan Drouin, and he did so with a thrilling individual effort — making moves, then losing the puck and then immediately getting it back before he finally scored on the backhander.

That’s his 17th goal of the season. Tampa Bay gets a 3-2 win, which keeps them five points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot in the East.