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Kotalik eyes return

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Ales Kotalik is ready to return to action.

Out of the line-up since being injured on the pre-season -- he damaged two separate ligaments in his knee -- Kotalik has been skating with the team for about a week and Monday said he may be able to dress for a game Friday when the Flames travel to Minnesota to begin a two game road trip.

"Most of it is going to be a coaches decision. It seems like I will be ready for Friday," said Kotalik.

Kotalik missed his 24th game of the season on Monday when the Flames hosted Minnesota after a five-game road trip.

"I have to get more practices with the team in and get the battle level going," said Kotalik, who had a strong pre-season with three goals and two assists in four games before being injured.

The Czech-born Kotalik said he won't be worrying about the knee once he gets into a game.

"Once you go our there, you can't be thinking about those things. I hope I can give the team a different look and give a spark," said Kotalik.

Having watched the team through the first two months of the season, he is anxious to be back on the ice. "It's tough to be the guy on the outside," he said.

And, with some recent offensive struggles, Kotalik wants to help the team move up in the standings.

"It's not easy to scoring in this league. A lot of things have to settle together to score goals. I think this group is good enough to get out of it, get on a roll and push into the top eight," said Kotalik.

Kotalik was acquired from the New York Rangers last season for Brandon Prust and Olli Jokinen. This is his eighth NHL season. In 516 games he has 132 goals and 278 points.


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