Ryan Callahan cleared for contact, a 'big hurdle'
Judging by the way Ryan Callahan is skating, and shooting, he looks ready to get back into game action.
Take his "walk-off" shootout goal on goalie Ben Bishop near the end of Friday's practice.
"I got lucky on 'Bish,'" Callahan said, smiling.
But Callahan did take another step Friday in his recovery from June hip surgery, getting cleared for contact. Originally slated to return in mid-November, Callahan is hopeful to be back around the start of the month.
"There's obviously some stuff to get to where I need to be and contact is a big hurdle," Callahan said. "So we'll see how I feel after I went through it, and go from there."
Callahan has been skating for a month, saying his conditioning is fine. He said it's a matter of getting his confidence back engaging in battles, like he did Friday.
Coach Jon Cooper said he's comfortable carrying 12 healthy forwards on the roster, noting how often the team like's to go with 11 forwards, seven defensemen.
More notes from practice: Cooper said G Andrei Vasilevskiy will get at least one, maybe two, starts on this four-game homestand. Cooper said D Slater Koekkoek, a healthy scratch Thursday, will also get mixed in. D Andrej Sustr felt like he held his own in his first NHL fight Thursday, coming against Red Wings D Brendan Smith, who has been in 11. Sustr said he'd been in one fight in the AHL and another in USHL. "Smith is obviously a little bit more experienced guy fighting," Sustr said. "Just making sure I had a good grab and hold on him. I got a couple good shots at him."