Monday, January 31, 2011

Positive Injury News: Dubinsky, Prospal, Christensen, Fedotenko Get Return Dates/Timetables

As I relayed earlier, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi were both back at practice as expected and both will play tomorrow against the Penguins.
Following the good news of Brandon Dubinsky, Erik Christensen and Vinny Prospal all taking part in a full practice there is even more positive news for the three of them in terms of return dates or at least timetables.
The only one certain at the moment is Vinny Prospal. Vinny is a definitely for Thursday and is apparently only being held until then so that he can get in two more full practices for conditioning purposes.  It is still completely unclear what, if anything, can be expected of Prospal considering his age, the injury and the fact he has not played a game in 10 months.  All of that said, I still expect Prospal to get a shot to play with Gaborik immediately, whether at center or on the wing.
Brandon Dubinsky was back on skates today for the first time since he was taken out of the lineup with a stress fracture in his leg.  Dubinsky took part in hard conditioning skate, rest, and then full practice and was said to be feeling good.  He would rule himself out for tomorrow’s game and that it would depend on how the leg responds in the morning.  Jesse Spector tweeted John Tortorella having similar thoughts on Dubinsky in not ruling him out and that if he is pain free he will likely play.
In terms of Christensen and Fedotenko, Darren Dreger tweeted that EC could be back by Saturday and that Fedotenko could be ready within 10 days.
Amazing how all of these guys could be getting healthy basically all at once.  This is great news for the team and the depth of the club, but also means that roster decisions will need to be made both in terms of lines and who plays/sits.
To remind everyone, here are the lines from earlier


If Dubinsky plays these lines will likely change with Avery being the obvious candidate to move down to the fourth line and Grachev sits out.  There could be other shuffling going on with the top three lines depending on if coach Tortorella wants to put Callahan and Dubinsky back together or even reunite the full line of Dubinsky, Anisimov and Callahan.

The only other lineup spot that is not sure is on defense as coach Tortorella would not rule out playing Michael Del Zotto tomorrow despite the fact that Dan Girardi will play.  This would mean someone else would sit, but there will be more on that tomorrow.