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Here it is real bad news I know.

What started with such promise for the Chicago Blackhawks is quickly turning into another disappointing season as Martin Havlat and Nikolai Khabibulin are still not ready to return to the lineup.

After winning four of their first six games to start the season, the Blackhawks have lost seven straight as they wait for their star players to return from injuries.

Havlat has been out of the lineup with an ankle injury since Oct. 20 and is still likely two to three weeks away from returning, writes the Chicago Daily Herald Times.

"It's still going to be a couple weeks, I believe," head coach Trent Yawney told the Times. "Those things do not come around as quickly as everybody would like them to come around, and if they do that’s a bonus."

As for Khabibulin, his return is more imminent, but is dependent on whether he feels he can tolerate the pain he feels from his broken right index finger.

"It's a day-to-day thing with Nik," said Yawney. "It’s a pain tolerance thing, and he has a high pain tolerance, but this is a pretty touchy area for a goaltender. It’s his control hand, too.

"I'm just relying on the feedback he’s giving me. After playing last year with a torn MCL for a whole game I would think his pain tolerance is pretty high, and if he says that it’s not good then I totally trust him."
Hope you get well soon Havlat!
 

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That must hurt, and it's especially a shame for the Blackhawks.

I never believed that injuries can't be a good excuse. Chicago is proving that wrong.

The season started out so well, and then injuries killed them. Could they play a better with out Havlat, Khabibulin and Handzus? Sure.

But how much better?
 
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