Tuesday, March 02, 2004

3/2 Notes

Derian Hatcher has been ready to return for about a month but his doctors won't allow him to until next week. He had surgery on his knee on November 6th and isn't allowed back until four months later. He has been able to participate in full practices for a while now but hasn't been able to play since he went down in the third game of the season. His return is scheduled for either the eighth or 11th and will, in effect, give the Wings another star player at the trade deadline. My biggest concern would be possible problems with chemistry but the practices should help a lot with that. His tempo will be off at first and he won't play a whole lot of minutes so don't expect big things early on from the guy. As long as he's solid down the stretch and in to the playoffs. Chris Chelios will have a CAT scan done on his left shoulder, which was hurt last week when Vancouver's "giant" 245-lb Todd Bertuzzi fell on him after a faceoff. I'm sure big Todd enjoyed doing that to his old adversary, though I doubt it was intentional (it must be hard to keep all that weight up right). The team has ordered Jason Woolley to take 3-4 days off to rest his sore back. Trainer Piet Van Zant said "We still think it's just soft tissue as opposed to a disc or any nerve injury." It'd better just be soft tissue. I don't want Woolley to have a McCarty-esque injury, especially given how well he's played this year. (Freep) With their loss to the Wings on Sunday, the Flyers are winless at Joe since 1988, going 0-12-2 in that span. The Joe isn't very friendly to the away team in general but that's fairly ridiculous. It's not like the Flyers haven't been decent for that many years. Wow. (Freep) Colorado was shut out at home by the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, 3-0. Nikolai Khabibulin had his 35th career shutout for a Lightning team that had won four straight. He had to make a measly 16 saves to do it, though. I didn't see the game but it doesn't sound like it was too tough. The Avs are 0-4-2-1 over their past seven home games and only have scored only six times in those games. Besides that, they are just 1-5-1-1 over their previous eight games. The Avs are three points behind the Wings with 82 and are second in the Western Conference. I find that hilarious, though I know it won't last long because they'll bounce back in time for the playoffs. The Lightning are tied for second in the League with Ottawa and Philly at 84 points. I was shocked when I saw that and I thought it was a misprint. Guess I need to pay more attention to the East. Sheesh. Not sure if they're for real or not. I'm sure one of the Eastern Conference superpowers will take them out early on. We'll see.


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