Steve Montador is readjusting to the road-trip preparation.
It took me a while to pack today because I forgot what its like, even though its only a one-game trip, Montador joked. But its my turn to buy dinner, so thats probably one of the reasons why Im coming on the trip.
As much as Montador probably hopes his wallet isnt too much lighter after this quick trip to New Jersey, hes more hopeful hell play his first game in nearly two months. The Blackhawks defenseman is feeling good again after suffering a concussion Feb. 7 against the Colorado Avalanche, and he could play when the Blackhawks play the Devils Tuesday night.
Its been a long road for Montador, who has been cleared for contact for a few days but said he passed one of his better tests at Mondays practice.
Obviously, contact is a critical test. But the other part is just the game speed, game situations, and todays practice was a good, up-tempo one, Montador said. It was a good practice for me.
Montador and the Blackhawks will give it one last check at Tuesdays morning skate before deciding if hell go. If he plays, it should benefit the Blackhawks to get another veteran presence along the blue line in Duncan Keiths absence (suspension).
Still, it will be a bit of a challenge coming back right now, but Montador welcomes it.
This is as big of a challenge as the injury itself; Im back at a fast time of the season, he said. This is when teams are rolling and accustomed to each other, systems are down pat. But at the same time Im excited about that challenge.