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Huet back sooner than later?

Friday, 23.03.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Montreal Canadiens
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Huet back sooner than later?
French netminder takes part in first full practice with team

Cristobal Huet needs just one more victory to reach the 20-win plateau for the first time in his career.

MONTREAL - With opponents already having their hands full contending with rookie sensation Jaroslav Halak, the news might get worse for the opposition with All-Star Cristobal Huet inching closer to a return to the Habs' crease.

With the team coming off sweeping a home-and-home series against the Bruins and Huet taking part in his first full practice with his teammates Friday morning, there were no shortage of smiles on the ice at the Bell Centre.

"It feels great to be back practicing with the guys and getting to face shots that are a little more dangerous than Rollie's," said Huet with a smile in reference to all the time he's spent skating with goaltending coach Roland Melanson of late. "I'm still not at 100% yet. I haven't felt any discomfort, even if the muscles in that area are a bit tired. It's important for me to get back in the swing of things before being ready to compete once I'm back to 100%."

Those anxiously awaiting a precise return date for Huet are not alone. 

"We still haven't really set a timetable for when I'll be back. We're taking this day-by-day," explained Huet. "All I really know is that I'm not playing Saturday night and we'll see how my leg responds to the next couple of practices."

Huet isn't the only one surveying his progress, these days.

"He looked good to me out there," said Steve Begin. "He really worked his tail off in the gym to be able to come back as soon as possible. We're all thrilled to see him back on the ice with us and looking forward to having him in the lineup."

However, the same can't be said for the cluster of teams battling with the Canadiens for a playoff spot in the East.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com