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Practice Report: Havlat Not Quite Ready

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

Right wing Martin Havlat will travel with his teammates to Minnesota but will not be in the lineup for tomorrow night's game against the Wild.

"When he's ready, we want him back for the rest of the year, not just for five or 10 games," coach Denis Savard said. "He's really, really close, but we want him playing without any hesitation."

Havlat had a good practice Monday and Savard wants to see a couple more from him before making a decision about Thursday's home clash with the Coyotes. Havlat skated with the Hawks' 4th line of Karl Stewart, Martin St. Pierre and Brandon Bochenski at practice. Savard hasn't decided who Havlat's linemates will be when he returns, but said he will definitely get plenty of ice time.

Havlat led all Blackhawks and the NHL in scoring with 7 goals and 6 assists in seven games prior to his injury. He is currently 2nd in All-Star voting among Western Conference forwards behind Colorado's Joe Sakic.

Three in a row, way to go: Denis Savard is the first Hawk coach since Sid Abel during the 1952-53 season to win his first three games as head coach. A win in Minnesota Tuesday would make Savard the only Hawk head coach to win his first four.

Shining bright: Nikolai Khabibulin has been named the 2nd star of the week by the NHL after leading the Blackhawks to wins in all three of their games last week. Khabibulin posted a 2.00 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. Islanders forward Viktor Kozlov was the 1st star after recording seven goals and two assists in four games, including a four-goal effort in a 7-4 win over the Rangers Sunday. Thrashers right wing Marian Hossa was the 3rd star.

On the mend: Goaltender Patrick Lalime took a few shots from goaltending coach Stephane Waite before practice Monday, his first ice time following back surgery on Sept. 15. There is no timetable set for his return ... Winger Karl Stewart is feeling fine after missing a couple games last weekend with the flu.

O Canada: 2006 1st round pick Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) is one of 38 players on Canada's World Junior Championship tryout roster. Fellow Hawk prospect Dan Bertram (Boston College) was also selected to the roster. Both players were on Canada's gold-medal winning squad last season. Toews is believed to be a strong candidate for team captain.

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