Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/27/13
Nikolai Khabibulin doesn’t have any expectations. Let us clarify. The veteran Chicago Blackhawks goaltender expects to be ready and expects to play his best when he’s in there. Where the “no expectations” comes in is regarding his potential workload. “Whatever it is it is” said Khabibulin who got his second full preseason game on Monday in Pittsburgh. “Obviously when I’m going to be put out there to play I’ll do the best I can and be ready to play any day.” For the 40-year-old Khabibulin his second opportunity with the Blackhawks is going to be a different one. The starter during his first stint here — and for most of his career for that matter — Khabibulin is now in a backup role. He had that role last year in Edmonton; as his game struggled Devan Dubnyk replaced him as the Oilers’ starter. But now it’s a fresh start with a familiar squad. Khabibulin has looked solid in two preseason games and said he feels just about ready to go. “Physically I feel pretty good” he said. “Always early in the season there are a few things you want to work on. But little by little it’s getting better.” Coach Joel Quenneville has been happy with what Khabibulin has done thus far though he’s not willing to put a number on how he’ll divide the workload between Corey Crawford and Khabibulin.
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