Brodeur still hampered by wrist injury
TORONTO -- Martin Brodeur casually strolled through Canada's dressing room on Sunday with a noticeable wrap on his injured left wrist.
He said he felt good, just not well enough to join his teammates on the ice in preparation for the World Cup of Hockey championship game against Finland on Tuesday.
Brodeur sat out Saturday's semifinal victory over the Czech Republic three days after he sprained the wrist while catching a long shot. He hopes to be able to practice on Monday and see if he can play in the final.
"That extra day of rest, maybe it'll be the difference," said Brodeur, the Vezina Trophy winner with New Jersey the past two seasons. "Today was a lot better than yesterday."
Because of the discomfort on Saturday, Brodeur stepped aside so Roberto Luongo could play. Luongo, a Vezina finalist for Florida last season, made 37 saves, including five in overtime of Canada's 4-3 win.
Coach Pat Quinn said he wouldn't hesitate going back to Luongo if Brodeur is unavailable.
"He made some really key stops when we had to have them," he said.
Brodeur was in his typical, matter-of-fact, laid-back mood despite a rare injury.
He has started 133 straight playoff games with New Jersey -- putting him only behind Patrick Roy's NHL-record 136. In 11 NHL seasons, he estimated missing only a handful of games due to injury.
If he was worried about missing such a big game, he didn't let on. He wouldn't rule himself out if he misses practice Monday.
"I always can play," Brodeur said. "It's only a hockey game, it isn't that hard."
Defenseman Robyn Regehr was also absent from Canada's mandatory practice. Quinn wouldn't reveal what was bothering Regehr, but said he needed to have the day off.
"He has had a bit of a bang going on for a few games," Quinn said. "He'll be fine."
Wade Redden was on the ice but doesn't expect to play Tuesday because of a sprained left shoulder that has already forced him to miss three games.
Quinn said Canada's tight victory over the Czech Republic looked better on film the day after than it did live. But he felt it would be good to scrap the usual optional practice and have every available player on the ice.
"We've been in town quite a few days now and a team can get a bit drifty," he said. "It was more to avoid driftiness than anything else."
Finland goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff has picked right up from where he left off in the NHL playoffs.
Fresh off helping the Calgary Flames reach the Stanley Cup finals, Kiprusoff has led underdog Finland into Tuesday's championship against Canada.
But this time he won't have Flames captain Jarome Iginla on his side. No, Iginla is a key cog in Canada's offense and just another high-scoring forward that Kiprusoff has to deny.
"He didn't score on me last year at practice, so I can feel confident against him anyway," he said Sunday, while appearing to fight a smile.
"Nope, not once," Kiprusoff said.
A moment of silence was held in Toronto on Saturday night to remember those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Fans stood before the World Cup semifinal game between Canada and the Czech Republic.
Players on Canada's team wore black patches on their uniforms commemorating the date.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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