Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tough break for Timonen

You've got to feel for Kimmo Timonen.

The injured Flyers defencemen spoke to the media in Pittsburgh before last night's loss to the Penguins, and he's had a tough go. Here's a guy, 33 years old, who has played in more than 650 regular season games and before this April, had played in just 16 NHL playoff games.

Timonen's emerged as an elite NHL defencemen, among the top 20-30 in the league, but he didn't play his first NHL game until 1998-99 and after six seasons in Finland's top league. He sounded heart-broken yesterday talking about being unable to play due to a blot clot in his leg, an ailment that will keep him from these playoffs.

In short, he's been Philadelphia's top blueliner, and I don't think the Flyers can win this series without him.

"It's been a really hard 24 hours," he said. "Thursday morning I was still ready to go on the road with the boys, and I got the news that I can't play probably in this series. Probably not the rest of the season. So it was awful. I can't even describe the feeling. But, like I said, it's been a really rough 24 hours.

He also mentioned that he's had a run-in with a blot clot before.

"It is the second time. But the first time four years ago it was a little different. It was superficial blood clot. And it's not a really dangerous, obviously, it's a blood clot. This time it was in the artery not in the vein. The dangerous thing about this is if I kept playing and the clot breaks loose, it could go to my toes and they have to cut my toes off. So obviously you don't want that to happen.

"So I met three different doctors yesterday, and everybody said they won't let me play. There are too many risks of that to happen, and I've got to respect their opinion."

The diagnosis is that he might miss two weeks, two months or five months — the doctors aren't really sure.

"There's not much you can do. You can only wait and see what's going to happen. I was asking if any hot stuff or hot packs or stuff like that helps, and it really doesn't. The only thing that helps is the blood thinners and the shots I'm taking twice a day. So that's pretty much the only thing I can do."

And watch from the sidelines as his team tries to get in this series on Sunday.

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At 9:44 a.m., May 10, 2008, Blogger Daniel said...

That must really suck, especially since this isn't a single incident. He will probably have to be monitored for this thing more often now, if it formed or moved into his brain, he could have a stroke. That is not anyone wants to see on the ice or in general.

Good luck Kimmo.

At 4:12 p.m., May 10, 2008, Blogger Blitzen said...

Question - if Philly went all the way and won the Cup, would his name go on it?

At 4:13 p.m., May 10, 2008, Blogger I Have Kasparaitis said...

@Blitzen: I guess it would depend. I believe Jay Caulfield got his name on the cup even though he didn't play during play-offs for the first Pens cup. I'm sure Mirtle has more insight than I do.

At 5:02 p.m., May 10, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Definitely, it would. He's played more than enough games during the season.

"To have one's name engraved on the Stanley Cup certain requirements must be met. A player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in 1994 a stipulation was added to allow a team to petition the Commissioner for permission to have players' names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play."


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