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Wild vs. Hurricanes
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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60