|Martin Havlat is expected to be back dazzling fans with his puck skills on Saturday when the Ottawa Senators visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. Photo: A. Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
While Ottawa Senators defenceman Wade Redden will be in the lineup tonight against the Boston Bruins, forward Martin Havlat is targeting Saturday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs as his return date.
Redden has missed seven games due to personal reasons.
Coach Bryan Murray speaks about what the defenceman brings to the team.
"(He's) a guy that passes the puck extremely well. One of the problems we have been having (lately) is getting the puck to the forwards with some kind of flow and allow them to attack. Your defence are your quarterbacks."
Havlat has missed 57 games since he dislocated his right shoulder on Nov. 29, 2005, during a 4-0 Senators victory.
"This will be like a new season for me," Havlat says regarding his return. "I saw (Dr. Anthony Miniaci from Cleveland on Monday) and he said there was a big improvement and the arm is much stronger."
Havlat has tested the arm with some body contact during recent practices.
"No pain at all," he reports. "It's not the same during games, because you don't expect the hits, but everything is looking better."
In other news, defenceman Zdeno Chara (bruised hand) is a game-time decision tonight while Chris Phillips (knee sprain) continues to skate and is expected to return in time for the playoffs. Goaltender Dominik Hasek (adductor muscle sprain) has also returned to full practices.
"It's going to be a big help when we get everyone back down the stretch," says captain Daniel Alfredsson.
Defenceman Brian Pothier doesn't worry about losing the added ice time he has received during the injuries.
"When guys are out, others have stepped up. On the other side, we all know what the pecking order is."
Says Chara, "Soon we'll all be back and the feeling in the locker room will be more exciting."
Senators vs Bruins
The starting goaltender for Ottawa will be a game-time decision as Ray Emery is nursing a sore hip. Mike Morrison could see his first start in goal for Ottawa.
Rookie forward Patrick Eaves will not play due to a lower body injury.