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Original Issue

In The Crease

The runaway MVP candidate through the first two months of the
season was Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who had seven shutouts
and a stunning 1.53 goals-against average through Sunday. Brodeur
played in 27 of New Jersey's first 28 games and had missed only
three matches because of injury in his 11-year NHL career. That
durability is one reason he should shatter the league's alltime
win mark. (He's 170 behind the leader, Patrick Roy, who retired
with 551 victories.) ... The reason the Lightning has swooned
recently (2-7-2-0 in its last 11 games) is the uninspired play of
star centers Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards. After fine
starts by both players, opponents intensified efforts to stop
them, and neither Lecavalier nor Richards has been fighting
through checks the way he should.... Keep your eye on Bruins
goalie prospect Hannu Toivonen, the team's first-round draft
choice in 2002. Toivonen, who is playing for Boston's American
Hockey League affiliate in Providence, has all the tools to be an
impact NHL netminder.