Tomas Kaberle played his first game of the season in Toronto's 4-1 over Colorado on Saturday and while he didn't set the game on fire and did not register a point, it was a successful debut to the season by all accounts.
"I felt very good and I tried just to keep it simple," said Kaberle. "I think I got lots of ice time and had the chance to get into the game. I was glad I could do my job and help the team."
After missing the first 13 games of the year in a contract stalemate, spending most of that time in his native Czech Republic, Kaberle's first shift came just one minute into the game.
"I was getting nervous about it but it gave me a good feeling," he acknowledged, clearly relieved to have that first game out of the way.
Perhaps the one who will derive the most benefit from his return is goalie Curtis Joseph who was glad to have another familiar body in front of his crease.
"He played great. He makes a big difference back there," Joseph professed after holding the defending champs to a single goal. "He's very smooth and doesn't make too many mistakes. He's very composed and a true professional and that only leads you to believe he's going to bet better."
Aside from Kaberle's own efforts, the one whose opinion will count the most is Pat Quinn, Toronto's coach and general manager. He will be the one to decide on the pace of Kaberle's integration into regular duty and perhaps even to additional duties.
"We haven't used him a lot to kill penalties and he's making steps so we can use him on those circumstances. He did a nice job," said Quinn.
Leaf fans can now feel comfortable that he will do that, and more, for the next few seasons. Related articles:
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