One of T.J. Brodie’s biggest fans shares the blue-line with him.
The Dresden native has been partnered on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ back end this season with Morgan Rielly, who raves about what Brodie adds to the team.
Brodie, 30, signed a four-year contract with the Leafs as a free agent in October after playing nine full seasons with the Calgary Flames.
“What he brings to this team is extremely valuable,” Rielly said. “I think the way that he plays in our end and the way that he can move the puck on the breakout, his stick in the defensive zone is elite. I think that he’s been very, very good for us and been a huge part of this group on and off the ice.
“If you watch him play over an extended period of time, you’ll really appreciate how he views the game, how he plays defensively and how important he is to me and our whole back end. He’s been very, very good.”
Brodie is adept at making plays that help the high-scoring Leafs transition from defence to offence.
“As a group, we want to play in the offensive zone,” Rielly said. “We want to hold on to the puck, make plays, do our thing.
“With a guy like T.J., he’s able to end plays. He’s able to get his way on the puck and just create offence that way. He moves great. He’s been a joy to play with.”
Brodie has assists in three straight games and four of five after picking up one helper Thursday in a 4-3 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets. The Leafs snapped their three-game losing streak by erasing a pair of one-goal deficits.
Brodie has 10 assists in 28 games overall and has only one penalty.
His plus-12 rating leads the Maple Leafs’ defencemen.
Michaud wins NOJHL award
Blind River Beavers forward Thomas Michaud of Blenheim is one of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s three stars of the week.
Michaud, 20, had four goals and two assists in three games last week. He scored the winner in back-to-back games against the Soo Thunderbirds.
The ex-Chatham Maroon has seven points in four games since being acquired last month from the Leamington Flyers.
Ex-Maroon Josh Maine has two points in four games with the Beavers.
Konecny gets two points
Travis Konecny of Clachan had a goal and an assist in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
Konecny has multi-point games in three of the Flyers’ past five contests.
He has seven goals and seven assists in 18 games overall.
Montour ends drought
Buffalo Sabres defenceman Brandon Montour ended a 30-game scoring drought with his goal in Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Flyers.
The former Chatham-Kent AAA Cyclone was held off the scoresheet Thursday as the Sabres’ skid hit nine games with a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Montour, a former Tilbury resident, has five points in 23 games.