January 29, 2013
Oilers' Khabibulin figures he's almost ready to start

Ales Hemsky swoops in to score on a rebound on Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov Monday at Rexall Place. (Codie McLachlan/QMI Agency)

EDMONTON - Nikolai Khabibulin believes he’s close, but he’s still not ready to suit up in a game.

The Edmonton Oilers goaltender has been rehabilitating a hip injury and has yet to make his season debut.

Once again Monday, Yann Danis backed up Devan Dubnyk in the Oilers net against the Colorado Avalanche.

“I feel pretty good in practice now, I guess whenever there’s a chance to start again, I’ll probably be able to do that,” said Khabibulin. “But it’s tough to tell just with practice. That’s why usually we get to have exhibition games to really tell where we’re at.

“We don’t have that luxury this year, unfortunately. I’m just hoping that whenever I get to play, the mistakes I make during the game, I can keep working on while winning games.”

Khabibulin underwent hip surgery last April and started rehabilitating with the Oilers shortly after, even during the lockout.