Nikolai Khabibulin emerged from under wraps Saturday, playing for the first time in eight days and ending speculation he was hiding an injury.

"I was ready to play in Phoenix but it was Tom's decision not to," said Khabibulin, who wasn't about to argue with his coach. "I don't get into that; he decides who's playing."

Renney said Khabibulin got run down last season and wants to make a determined effort to keep him as fresh as possible. Khabibulin admits last season got a little taxing, but it had more to do with the team he was playing for than the number of starts.

"I didn't play that many last year ... it just seems like a lot more when things are not going well," he said.