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Havlat's rehab takes the next step

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Montreal Canadiens goaltender José Théodore warms up during the Canadiens pre-game skate this morning. Photo: OSHC

by Todd Anderson

Martin Havlat has been cleared to pick up the intensity during his rehabilitation for a dislocated shoulder. Doctors have given the gifted Senators forward the green light to resume on-ice workouts.

"It's positive what the doctors said," Havlat told reporters on Thursday morning upon returning from Cleveland where he underwent x-rays and a CT scan. "They say everything is fine, and I am allowed to do everything."

Well, almost everything. While Havlat looks forward to working harder in the gym, he won't be firing pucks around with his teammates at practice just yet.

"I'm going back in six weeks, and we'll know more then. I'll still be mostly working on my own."

And what about a timetable for his return to action?

"We didn't talk about that. I can really work on my strengthening now, that's the most important thing.

Havlat said he is experiencing no pain on his shoulder now and has a decent idea of what to expect as rehab continues.

"There's going to be good days and bad days. In 1997 I broke my elbow so I probably know what to do. There'll be a lot of time in the gym, that's for sure."

Sens prepare for Canadiens

After dropping the first three games of the season against Ottawa, the Montreal Canadiens rolled off a pair of wins to narrow the season series to 3-2 in Ottawa's favour. Coming off a pair of wins against Toronto -- another division rival  -- the Senators look to get back on the winning track against Montreal tonight.

"Toronto is a big strong team that plays with puck control," said Senators coach Bryan Murray when comparing the Senators' biggest rivals. "Right now (Montreal) is a team with real speed players. They can forecheck on the defencemen fairly quickly."

Tonight will be the first time the Senators face the Canadiens since general manager Bob Gainey fired former coach Claude Julien and stepped behind the bench.

"Any time a team makes a coaching change, they're going to be a bit different," said defenceman Zdeno Chara.

Wade Redden watched a bit of Montreal's 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers last night. He agrees with his fellow defenceman that the players have new opportunity with a change behind the bench.

"They have a new coach, so everyone was given a clean slate. They have come up with a couple of big wins. They played very well last night, and I'm sure they'll be riding a high."

Murray also watched a portion of the game but had to leave before it was completed.

"I had a midget B house league team that I coached (along with rookie goaltender Ray Emery), so I only watched a bit of the first period. I'll watch (the game later today). To me, (the Canadiens) were very aggressive and one guy was a star by driving the net and tipping in goals."

Forward Jan Bulis scored four goals in the win over Philadelphia.

Chara is usually asked by the coaching staff to shut down an opponent's top players and tonight will be no different. While Bulis had a great night against Philadelphia, it's Alexei Kovalev who usually gets the most attention. Chara is looking forward to facing Kovalev this evening.

"He's an unbelievable one-on-one player. He can throw seven different moves on you on seven different opportunities."

Milestones: Chara and captain Daniel Alfredsson will both reach milestones with their next goals. Alfredsson's current career total is 249 while Chara's is 49.



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