Beggin' to return

Thursday, 25.01.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Montreal Canadiens
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Beggin\' to return
Bégin takes a big step towards being back in the lineup

Back on the ice with his teammates, Steve Bégin was all smiles at practice Thursday afternoon.

MONTREAL - A familiar face was on the ice at the Bell Centre Thursday afternoon and there was no wiping the ear-to-ear grin from his face. After being sidelined over a month and a half, Steve Bégin was back at practice and couldn't have been happier to be back doing drills with his teammates.

"I couldn't wait to get out there today," admitted Bégin, who was so anxious to return he hit the ice well before his teammates. "For a first time out, I think it went well."

On the shelf with a back problem since a 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres on Dec. 9, the feisty centerman still sits third on the team with 97 hits despite sitting out the last 20 games.

"The last thing we wanted to do is push Steve too hard. We agreed on him taking a few days off when this all started and that was six weeks ago. We're not going to rush this," said head coach Guy Carbonneau. "We'll take it step-by-step and see how he's feeling tomorrow."

The return to practice caps off what has been a good week for Bégin, who also had his No. 22 retired by the QMJHL's Val d'Or Foreurs on Wednesday.

"I've made some real strides the last two weeks, but I'm still day-to-day," cautioned Bégin. "I'd be really surprised if I was ready to go against the Leafs in Toronto on Saturday, but it still feels good to be this close to being back in the lineup."

Bégin will have to be patient a little while longer, but you can bet that opponents are in no rush to see him back in the Canadiens' lineup wreaking havoc.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com

?o be patient a little while longer, but you can bet that opponents are in no rush to see him back in the Canadiens' lineup wreaking havoc.

 

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com