Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/19/13 at 08:18 AM ET
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
After two stints on the shelf with a groin injury last season, Halak visited a specialist in Philadelphia after the Blues bowed out in the first round of the playoffs. The verdict was that surgery was not needed, but the goalie was told that he would lessen the risk of re-injuring his groin if he significantly improved his lower-body strength.
The last three months have been a regimented schedule of weight training and cardio activity aimed at bolstering his legs and quads. In the meantime, Halak dropped his body-fat percentage and appears to be in the best shape since arriving in St. Louis in 2010.
Friday was Halak’s fifth day on the ice taking shots and afterward he said, “Everything feels good. I needed some time to heal it properly. Right now, I have no issues and hopefully it’s going to be this way.”
Players report to training camp Sept. 11 — in 24 days — and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock expects that it will be “all systems go” with Halak.
“I’ve run into him four or five times during the summer,” Hitchcock said. “He’s excited, he’s feeling healthy. Part of it was conditioning, but another part was strengthening that area.
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