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Tracking the Storm

Williams Practices, Feels Good

Thursday, 11.20.2008 / 2:47 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Williams Practices, Feels Good

Although still in a gold non-contact jersey, Justin Williams took part in the team’s full practice this morning as he continues to be well ahead of schedule in recovering from a ruptured right Achilles tendon.

Actually, ahead of schedule might depend on who you ask.

Paul Branecky
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“It’s been quicker than everybody else anticipated.  I’ll tell you that I’m behind,” said Williams.  “It’s going about as well as I could have hoped.  It’s feeling better every day, which is a huge positive for me.  I’m not going backwards at all out there.  Every day is better, and hopefully I’ll get to that point where I get to 100 percent.”

The front end of the initial four-to-six month timetable announced after his September 18 surgery would have him back in mid-January.  That certainly remains in play, although no one will commit to a revised timetable just yet.

“I think it’s still real uncertain at this point,” said coach Peter Laviolette.  “It’s a good thing for him just to get back out there.”

Although he hasn’t looked out of place when skating with his teammates, Williams says he still needs to work on his speed and balance.  He’s kept in shape during his recovery process, and getting some regular skating work in now should help ease the eventual transition back into the lineup.

One reason he’s been able to get back on the ice so quickly is that his foot doesn’t undergo the same kind of stress in a skate as it would otherwise.  His injury occurred while running during a preseason workout.

”When he’s in that boot, his Achilles is pretty restricted in there to what he can do,” said Laviolette.  “He’s been cleared by the doctors to go out and do what he did, we’ve just got to keep him out of contact for right now.”

When he does come back, he’ll help give the Canes some excellent depth at right wing, which they thought they had coming into the season with Williams, Tuomo Ruutu and Scott Walker on their top three lines.  As it turned out, all three of those players have missed time this season, including a three-game period where none were healthy enough to play.

”Sometimes I think when people analyze our team they forget about him, and he’s a 30-goal scorer that’s out of our lineup,” said GM Jim Rutherford.  “It will be like trading for a good player at the midway point or at the trade deadline and not having to give up anything for him.”

Like Williams, defenseman Frank Kaberle also practiced in a non-contact jersey, marking the first time that the entire roster has practiced at once.  Kaberle’s recuperation from a fractured leg has taken a little longer than anticipated, and may not be over quite yet.

”If you ask the two of them who feels better, I’m sure Willy feels better than Frank right now,” said Laviolette.  “Frank’s dealing with a broken bone that’s taking some time recovering.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45