April 12, 2012
Carkner good to go for first round
By AEDEN HELMER, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Big Country will be ready for the big city.
Senators defenceman Matt Carkner declared himself fit for active duty, taking part in practice Wednesday after sitting out earlier this week.
“If I’m needed, yeah, I feel pretty good,” said Carkner. “I took a few days off just to heal up a little bit. I felt pretty good (Wednesday) and obviously well-rested.
“If it happens that I get in the lineup, obviously I’m going to be thrilled.”
Coach Paul MacLean said “everyone is available” to play, and while he didn’t mention Carkner by name, he wants to match the physical battle he expects from the Rangers.
“The first round is always physical, and (Thursday) is going to be a physical game,” he said. “You have to make sure you’re initiating the physicality and not accepting it. Both teams are going to come out and play hard, and both teams’ good players are going to be targets.
“But at the end of the day, you just have to go out and play the game on the ice and the best players have got to be the best players.”