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Tverdovsky Gets Ok To Play


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http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=e...2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2

WEST ORANGE - After more than six weeks of waiting and watching, Devils' defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky is ready to begin playing again.

And Colin White might not be far behind.

Tverdovsky, who hasn't played since Jan. 15 and has missed 24 of the team's past 26 games after being plagued by fatigue, dizziness, and headaches, has received clearance from noted concussion specialist Dr. Karen Johnston to resume playing. He could be in the lineup tonight when the Devils host the Washington Capitals.

White skated for 20 minutes Friday, only nine days after suffering a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and could return within a week.

Tverdovsky said that if he doesn't play tonight, then he would definitely play Tuesday in Minnesota.

Neither Tverdovsky nor Devils' coach Pat Burns was willing to divulge much else after Friday's optional practice at South Mountain Arena.

"Nobody knows," Tverdovsky said.

"I couldn't tell you," Burns said.

But Tverdovsky did admit playing tonight was a possibility.

"Maybe, yeah," he said.

The most important hurdle has been cleared. Johnston, who has been monitoring Tverdovsky's recovery and treating him as if he suffered a concussion - though Devils' general manager Lou Lamoriello insists she did not diagnose him definitively with a concussion - has given him the OK to play.

"Basically, she said to me, 'If you're ready to play, you can play,' " Tverdovsky said.

Which seemed to indicate the decision was up to Tverdovsky, Burns, and Lamoriello.

Asked if he would try to talk his way into the lineup tonight, Tverdovsky replied, "I said what I had to say. I definitely will play on Tuesday. I will be ready for sure, but I've only practiced once with the team because we've had optionals all the time, so it's kind of hard to say."

When Tverdovsky rejoined the team for practice for the first time Wednesday, Burns indicated he would like to see Tverdovsky play sooner rather than later. But that has been his only full practice.

Returning tonight would give Tverdovsky four games before the March 11 trade deadline to show he is healthy. There has been much speculation that Lamoriello would trade Tverdovsky for some offensive help before the deadline.

"I don't care about that right now," Tverdovsky said. "I just want to be back and start playing some hockey. Things that I can't control, I'm not going to worry about. It's part of the job and if something is going to happen, then something is going to happen. I can't control it."

Tverdovsky admitted another practice or two might help his timing. Most importantly, however, he has had no recurrence of the concussion-like symptoms that bothered him since December. And Johnston indicated to him that the worst part is behind him.

"She said the recovery has gone fine," Tverdovsky said. "At this point, there have been no problems. It's not likely something [the symptoms] is going to come back."

As for White, his appearance on the ice Friday was remarkable considering the scary incident in which he was injured. His knee buckled under him as he fell backward after hitting Ottawa's Mike Fisher in the second period of a 5-3 loss Feb. 19.

"I thought I was in trouble," White said. "The way my leg bent, it was a scary feeling. It just buckled out from under me. I watched it on tape, I think I'm lucky to get away with a week or a week and a half. Thank God my leg swung out from where it was. But it was planted at first. All my weight was on one leg."

Fortunately for White, his anterior cruciate ligament was undamaged and he began riding the stationary bike and working with weights to strengthen his knee only three days later. Friday's skate was an important step.

"It felt great," White said. "I felt strong. I only did laps and stuff, but it felt strong pushing off, and no problem on the turns. I guess it's just getting back into shape, I hope. Right now, it's day-to-day."

DEVILS BRIEFS: Burns said not to assume that Ray Giroux would be sent down after both Tverdovsky and White return. "We'll see," Burns said. "Maybe it won't be him." ... Martin Brodeur will start his 13th game in a row tonight, but Burns said backup Corey Schwab would play one of the back-to-back games in Minnesota on Tuesday and Calgary on Wednesday. Calgary appears to the more likely game for Schwab.

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Theres no way Sabres are gonna take Giroux in a trade for Satan!

Heck, I dont think theyd even want him as a part of any package, the guy was a free agent who signed a non guaranteed deal to go to camp with the Devils after playing with the Isles last year.

Ive been critical of Tivo, but if he is healthy and can develop some consistency, his return is welcomed by me with the struggles the defense has had lately, particularly in the last period.

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I think what Burns was trying to say was, "Giroux won't be sent down because we are trading his ass to Buffalo in a package for Satan!"

Westcoast is that what your cute daughter is laughing at as well? ;)

Good news for White and Tivo. Everyone needs to stay healthy for a decent run and they really need to nip this choking with a lead thing early on before it costs points and they get lazy. Now is not the time!

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DEVILS BRIEFS: Burns said not to assume that Ray Giroux would be sent down after both Tverdovsky and White return. "We'll see," Burns said. "Maybe it won't be him."

Albelin?

PLEASE SAY ALBELIN!!!

Might a Stevens or a Dano retire this season? It seems we are def. rebuilding our defensive team, now we have 8: Stevens, Daneyko, Tverdovsky, Niedermayer, Rafalski, Albelin, Giroux, White...

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Albelin has made at least eight saves behind Marty this year. I have no problems with Albelin. (Oh, except that I don't need to see him on the PP -- but that's taken care of when White and Tivo are back.)

However, I would like to see Albelin and Dano spelled. Stevens won't get spelled.

So maybe that's all that Burns means. Giroux will hang around and play with one or the other of Dano and Albelin.

Maybe no one will be sent down, since Berglund and Guolla are already down. I'd like see McKenzie sit some. He's not even physical forcing for us right now.

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Statistically, Albelin is the one to keep (never thought I'd say that before this season started!)

He's got 7 points, is +11, and has only played in 34 of our games. Maybe he'd be around +20 if he played all of them? Maybe, maybe not.

Tver is -1 and has 12 points. I don't know what to think. Maybe he'll turn it on for the rest of the season?

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