Hasek's return hits another delay

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

The Dominik Hasek comeback rollercoaster ride took another strange twist yesterday.

The Senators goaltender, who looked like he was preparing to return tomorrow vs. Toronto, left practice after only three minutes. But he remains hopeful he'll play in Ottawa's final regular season game Tuesday in New York.

Hasek, 41, still trying to come back from an adductor muscle injury he suffered eight weeks ago at the Olympics, said he needed a rest. That's not good news for the Senators, who were hoping Hasek could return against the Leafs.

"I've been working hard for two straight weeks without a day off and I think I just may have tired myself. I thought it might good to take a day off and see how it feels," said Hasek.

"Hopefully, I can come back and get ready to play one game (vs. the Rangers) before the season is over. I don't want to get into (a timetable). I want to be 100%. I've practised a lot lately and it's good to take a day off to give it some rest."

Watching everything unfold at the morning skate before the club's game against Florida was strange. Hasek circled the ice three times and then went down the runway to the dressing room.

Goalie coach Ron Low, who will accompany the club for the balance of the season, left the ice a few moments later and then returned.

It's believed GM John Muckler and coach Bryan Murray, who wasn't on the ice for the optional skate, then met to discuss Hasek's situation before Murray met with the media.

"He just had a problem with his groin. I don't even think it was in the same area as (the adductor muscle) injury," said Murray.

But Murray admitted he's concerned about injured players such as Hasek, winger Martin Havlat and defenceman Chris Phillips going into the playoffs without getting at least a game under their belts.

Havlat is expected to play tomorrow, but to make matters worse, goalie Ray Emery is nursing a sore hip. Mike Morrison started in net last night.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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