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15 марта 2009 года. 
Khabibulin back, in nick of time; But goaltender warns he can't turn around team's fortunes all by himself // Chicago Tribune


In need of a boost to yank them out of their doldrums, the Blackhawks will turn to goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

The veteran is scheduled to return to action Sunday when the Hawks host the New York Islanders at the United Center. Khabibulin hasn't played since suffering a lower-body injury Feb. 11 in Atlanta.

With six losses in their last nine games, including three of four, the Hawks are looking for any spark. But Khabibulin knows he alone can't bring a turnaround.

"You can't expect one guy to change something like that," Khabibulin said after Saturday's practice in Bensenville. "It's still a team, and we still have to do our jobs. If we're all going to do our jobs, we should be in good shape."

Before the injury, Khabibulin had won four consecutive starts to improve his record to 17-5-5. His 2.37 goals-against average is fifth in the NHL, and his .924 save percentage ranks third among NHL netminders.

"[Khabibulin] has had a great year for us," coach Joel Quenneville said. "His presence and the way he has played should help solidify the net. You gain confidence when he's there. We're expecting him to continue doing all the right things."

Confidence game: Despite the rough stretch during which the Hawks' hold on fourth place in the Western Conference has dwindled to four points over Vancouver and five on Columbus, Khabibulin said the team is in good shape.

"The guys are still confident," Khabibulin said. "It's very hard to have the whole year without some bumps. Even the best teams in the league have those. You just try to keep them as short as possible."

Defenseman Brian Campbell said it will take hard work to get the Hawks on track with 16 games remaining in the regular season.

"All you can do is work hard in practice, watch video and try to improve yourself," Campbell said. "It will come. Every team goes through this.

"We've been in a position where we were comfortable and teams are starting to creep back at us. It's time to settle down. You have to keep pushing yourself."

Banged up: Forwards Martin Havlat, Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland all sat out Saturday's practice with various injuries.

Havlat appeared to reinjure himself at the end of the Friday night's 5-3 loss to the Blue Jackets and moved slowly to the locker room after the final whistle. The veteran winger had missed the previous game with a lower-body injury.

Kane had several teeth chipped during a second-period collision with teammate Jonathan Toews. The second-year winger left the ice near the end of the period but came back and finished the game. The team said Bolland has a lower-body injury.

After practice, Quenneville said: "Nothing's long [term]. I would say we're hopeful they're all playing [Sunday]."

Time change: The Hawks' regular-season finale April 12 against the Red Wings has been added to NBC's schedule and will begin at 1 p.m.

Страничка Николая Хабибулина на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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