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Returning Wednesday

Monday, 03.26.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Returning Wednesday

March 24, 2007
by Brian Wheeler

Ales Kotalik doesn't see any problems with playing this Wednesday, if his knee feels as good as it did on Monday.

Kotalik, along with Daniel Paille, participated in a full practice on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Feb. 17. Following the workout, Kotalik was hopeful that his return was imminent.

"It was a hard practice, and if things go as they have so far, I'm not seeing any problems with me playing Wednesday," said Kotalik. "We just did a lot of work to know how the knee would react in a full practice. We've been doing a lot of battling things in practice today and I felt pretty good.

"I felt strong and that's what I need to do to be able to come back on the ice."

"For the first day and a pretty tough practice, [Kotalik] got through it pretty good," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "Him and Danny [Paille] have progressed to a pretty good level now.

"We're hopeful that [Kotalik] will be ready [Wednesday]."

Kotalik will don a knee brace for an added level of support. Although foreign for the 28 year old, it's something that he will have to adjust to.

"It's definitely different," said Kotalik. "You just have a feeling that you're one leg is heavier than the other one and the movement is a little different.

"I've been skating with it for three weeks. It's unfortunate, but it's what you've got to do to have that knee a little protected."

"You have to gain a comfort level in wearing one," said Ruff. "We've had several players that have worn one almost full time and it does take awhile. I don't think it's restricting at all, but it's something that you have to get used to.

Kotalik joined Chris Drury and Dainius Zubrus in his first day back. Ruff is hoping that, once healthy, Kotalik will be able to gel with the duo of pivots. In 59 games this season, Kotalik scored 14 goals and added 22 assists for 36 points.

Added Ruff: "Dainius is a pretty good passer and Al has a pretty good shot, so you're hoping for some chemistry."

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82