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One step closer for Huet

Tuesday, 13.03.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Montreal Canadiens
All-Star goalie itching to return to Canadiens crease

Cristobal Huet does some footwork drills in his first day back on the ice since injuring his hamstring on Feb. 14.

MONTREAL - While he may not be back in the lineup quite yet, the sight of Cristobal Huet back on the ice this week has been a welcome one for his teammates and coach alike.

On the shelf since tearing his left hamstring against the Devils on February 14 in New Jersey, Huet is now on the road to recovery. With no timetable yet set for his return, that day won't come fast enough for the French netminder.

"I'm feeling good and it's great to be back on the ice," said a smiling Huet, who has now missed his team's last 11 games. "We're being really careful not to rush things. We're not at a point where any timetables have been set or anything."

While every precaution is being taken, Guy Carbonneau was glad to see his No. 1 goalie inching closer to his return.

"I like the fact that Cristobal back on the ice, but it's tough to know how far along he is," said Carbonneau, who has seen his team go 5-6 without in Huet's absence. "From what I'm hearing he's ahead of schedule but we still have to be patient."

Huet spent roughly an hour on the ice with goalie coach Roland Melanson after skating strictly with strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Livingston up to this point.

"We focused mostly on footwork today just to see how it would react," said Huet. "I've been working hard with Scotty in the gym and I'll continue to work hard on the ice now with Rollie. Being back before the playoffs is what we're hoping for, but it's hard to predict. It all starts with building my strength back up and then we'll see."

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com