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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Jochen Hecht (Photo: Getty Images)
[Editor's Note: Buffalo Sabres centerman Jochen Hecht addressed the media to update his injury status, stating he is ready to play in tomorrow night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.]

How did you feel back on the ice?

"Practice went well. I was out there I was going full speed. I didn’t feel anything and I’m ready to go for tomorrow."

How frustrating is it to watch your team play, knowing you could help on the ice?

"It’s always hard to watch the games and now we’re going down a tough stretch where everything counts a lot. Not being able to help out is really hard. I had to take some time to let it heal, I’m not back at 100 percent and I’m looking forward to being out there with the guys and make the push for the playoffs."

Is there anything with the team that you can help them with?

"I’m just going to go back and try to do my job as well as possible. The last couple games we played good in our own end, we had good puck control, we had nice breakouts, but we had some mistakes that cost us the game. We gave Washington some breakaways, which you can’t afford to do. We just have to play our style, stay focused. Before that we played good defensively and we scored a lot of goals so have to keep doing that."

Was there temptation to try and make an early return?

"I tried skating last week. I felt pretty good but I was out there and all of a sudden it came back so I knew it would be another week"

Lindy Ruff (photo: Getty Images)
[Editor's Note: The following are Lindy Ruff's comments on Hecht's status as well as injuries on the team]

How did Jochen look?

"Jochen got through it good so he is ready to go."

It’s got to be a relief considering the team has only won two games since he has been out.

"For a while it looked like weren’t going to get anybody back and now we’ve got everybody. We’ve got small problems trying to figure out where everybody is going to go, but at the same time, it’s a good problem to have."
Is there going to be competition among the team?

"I don’t want players to feel like if they play bad one game they are going to come out of the lineup. You have to have the confidence that you’re going to play well, you’re going to make mistakes inside the game. We are going to count on the guys that got us to this point. You’ve got your top nine forwards and we may rotate a few guys in and out based on our needs on our fourth line. But fully healthy I don’t see too much changing with our top nine."
Is that why you sent Clarke MacArthur down to Rochester?

"If you look at it, Mike Ryan is almost ready. He is going to skate here and you’ve got four extra forwards ready. If you can’t play him on a regular basis on our top three [lines], it’s difficult. Like I said I don’t want to be rotating. I don’t want guys like Staff, Van, Max and all those guys worrying about if you play bad, play poorly… I’m going to play you and you are going to need to play well and we’re going to move forward."
Is Jochen like a coach on the ice?

"He’s just a real smart player and obviously you just miss his experience. He is the one guy up front that has the number of years and has played in all the situations. He’s the guy we’ve counted on in all the tough situations when we’re playing against top lines. He’s the guy that is always aware. He knows when the top players are there, he knows where they are going to be and he is an easy guy to read off of when you are playing defense because the support is always there."
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