Jim Calhoun undergoes successful surgery

661340.jpg

Jim Calhoun undergoes successful surgery

STORRS, CONN -- UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun has undergone what the school says was successful surgery to address the spinal condition that has forced him to miss the Huskies' past sevengames.

The school says the two-hour surgery was performed Monday morning at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and involved removing a disc fragment that had been pressing on a spinal nerve. The surgeons then decompressed the area around thenerve.

Calhoun issued a statement thanking his doctors and those who reached out to him to offersupport.

The school says Calhoun's coaching status will be monitored on a day-to-day basis, and there is no timetable set for hisreturn.

UConn, which has gone 3-4 during Calhoun's medical leave for spinal stenosis, plays at Providence onTuesday.

Calhoun told The Associated Press Saturday that he hopes to be back in time to coach the March 3 season finale againstPittsburgh.

Dr. John Knightly, who is the medical director of the Spine Center at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., but is not treating Calhoun, said that is certainly apossibility.

"I have patients driving after a couple of days, and if you can drive, you can coach, assuming he's not having other problems that would require a much more aggressive surgery," he said. "This is so he can walk more independently withoutpain."

Under associate head coach George Blaney, the Huskies lost to Syracuse on Saturday, 71-69.
"I hope more than anything that he takes care of the pain," Blaney said. "The pain has been really, really tough for him - for anybody - but for him because he doesn't acknowledge pain. So, I can imagine what the pain really is for it to keep him out, and I'm hoping the operation or procedure is successful and that he'll be back as soon aspossible."

Calhoun turns 70 in May and is a three-time cancer survivor. There has been talk after the past several seasons of his possible retirement, but center Alex Oriakhi said he doesn't believe this latest health setback will mean the end of the coach'scareer.

"It takes a lot to bring Coach Calhoun down," he said. "I definitely think this is really nothing for him. That's a man who fell off his bike, broke his ribs and kept riding. I definitely think you're going to see him backsoon.

"This is just a little bump in the road, but he'll get throughit."

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

bruins-zane-mcintyre.jpg

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.