Alex Tanguay bounded into the Avalanche dressing room Friday, fresh from a pain-free practice, a smile on his face. What seemed to be a lost season for Tanguay just a couple of weeks ago has been replaced by hope and promise.
Tanguay has a date in mind to return to the Avs' lineup. He won't divulge it, but his words indicated it will be soon.
"I'm expecting (to play). I've set a date in mind and I'm hoping to play by then," Tanguay said. "Obviously, it's been beyond frustrating. But I've just tried to come in and do the stuff I've needed to do on a daily basis."
After he suffered a knee injury Nov. 2 against Montreal, the Avalanche said Tanguay probably would return within six weeks. Then a hip injury happened too, and that became the more worrisome of the two ailments. For a while, the Avs were concerned that Tanguay would need to have season-ending hip surgery.
But for the past two weeks, the hip has felt much better.