Forward Gilbert Brule
likely will be back in the lineup tonight when the Coyotes play at the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Brule recently returned to action after missing four games because of an upper-body injury suffered in the game played vs. Los Angeles on Feb. 21.
Brule, who did not play on Monday vs. Pittsburgh, said he’s looking forward to being in the lineup on a regular basis again during this critical portion of the season.
“I think I have to keep it simple out there, at first, and not extend my shifts too much,” Brule said. “It’s tough to skate in games when all you’ve been doing is skating after practice and doing bike rides and things like that… I think I’m going to come out and provide as much energy for the team as I can and do anything I can to get the guys excited and happy and help our team in any way.”
Brule has notched three goals and four assists in 18 games since the Coyotes claimed him off waivers from Edmonton in early January. His season was temporarily derailed when Kings forward Kyle Clifford checked him high and hard on Feb. 21, knocking him from the game.
“I didn’t think I deserved a hit like that,” Brule said. “I didn’t even see him coming. I watched it a couple days after and I thought it was a head hit.”
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Brule smiled after he was reminded that it was the Columbus Blue Jackets who selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and that he played his first 146 NHL games for the Blue Jackets.
“It’s always nice to play one of your former teams, but I’ve been to Edmonton since then and here in Phoenix now, so it’s not like I hold any grudges against them,” Brule said. “It’s just like any other game. I just want to go out and have a good game.”
Brule is enjoying his time with the Coyotes and is hoping to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in a few weeks.
“It’s been a great experience since I’ve been here,” Brule said. “I don’t even think it’s been two months, but it’s been fantastic, and our team, especially in February, has done so well. It’s been a very good environment to come to everyday.”