Many who saw it happen wondered how Josh Langfeld could stand afterward.
When the senior forward crumpled to the ice late in the second period of the Michigan hockey team”s Feb. 17 game against Michigan State, a collective gasp rose up from the Joe Louis Arena crowd and press box.
Langfeld had gotten his right knee locked underneath a falling Adam Hall with Langfeld”s scrunched, pain-stricken face fully visible through his face mask, his body fell backward and contracted into a “C” shape.
The crowd reaction was well-intended sympathy, but little consolation for Langfeld. As Michigan”s big winger lay writhing on the ice, it looked as though his last games as a Wolverine would be spent in a suit and tie instead of maize and blue.
Yet there Langfeld was yesterday, slashing around the Yost Arena ice with a vengeance as if he”d just awakened from a two-week-long bad dream.
Through steady rehabilitation, Langfeld has worked his knee back up to “80 or 85 percent” by his estimations. Michigan”s third-leading goal scorer could be back for the Wolverines” weekend bout with Ferris State.
“I”m glad he”s on the ice, I feel good about that,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “We”ll see how he feels tomorrow and the next day as to whether or not we”ll think about him playing on Friday.”
Langfeld reported little pain in his skating, save his stopping and starting.
“I was happy to make it through the whole practice today,” he said. “It”s pretty sore right now I”d like to play. If it gets worse everyday I”ll have to back off.”
In his time away from the ice, Langfeld has tried to maintain the same physical regimen, though weight and cardiovascular training offer little to match the reactionary quickness of game speed.
“I”m going to train as though I”m going to play this weekend,” Langfeld said. “I”m not out of shape but I am not in the shape I was in two weeks ago. It”s a matter of getting my timing back and seeing the ice again.”
Without Langfeld in the lineup for the past three games, the Michigan offense has averaged just over two goals a game.
Komisarek wins award: Michigan freshman defenseman Mike Komisarek was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team yesterday.
The 6-4, 225-pound blueliner won respect from around the league this season with his physical presence and considerable skill on both sides of the puck. Komisarek is also a mainstay on special teams.
“It”s a great honor a pat on the back for this year,” Komisarek said.
Surprisingly, Michigan”s other freshman defenseman, Andy Burnes, was left off the team.
“I”m kind of shocked I was picked and not Andy,” Komisarek said.