Don't skate so low, bro. Protect the hips.
So Paul Kariya skated with the Blues at the morning skate today. Head coach Andy Murray has said that Kariya had to have at least one full practice with the team before he could come back. Well...
"If Paul tells me he can play ... he's in."
Of course this could be a bit of gamesmanship by Murray. Put all the focus and attention on Kariya and get the spotlight off the kids. Make some ruckus on one side so the press and the opposition ignores what's happening over here away from that. Is it misdirection or is it a real possibility.
UPDATE: Internet friend Norm Sanders has some comments from Kariya, who apparently hung out for several minutes after practice. Is that normal for a guy who expects to play at 6 p.m. tonight?
“I’ve been playing the game a long time, so I think I know by now the way my body needs to feel to perform and help the team win games,” he said. “Obviously you want to get back as fast as possible and help the team. But after two hip surgeries, I’ve got to be smart and make sure that I can perform to a level that I need to help the team.”
On the plus side, Kariya could really jumpstart the power play. Put him on one side of the ice and McDonald on the other and it's like the Harlem Globetrotters' weave. Of course we have to wonder how durable and fit Kariya is and how rusty he might be since he has been out of action since November.
There's a rumor that Cam Janssen might be in the lineup and Dan Hinote has an undisclosed injury. So Murray may be mixing things up tonight. He obviously doesn't have a choice. He can either sit back and hope something clicks or he can do what he can to find the right combination. I'm in favor of him being proactive.
Put on your coaching hat. What's Murray to do? Let us know in the comments.