01 April 2009

When the juice ain't worth the squeeze

Lehtonen may play tonight
By Mike Knobler
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen went through half a practice with the team on Tuesday and said he might be able to play tonight against Buffalo.

"We don't know yet what's going to happen [tonight]," Lehtonen said, adding that it might depend on the result of another visit with the team doctor.

Lehtonen got hurt —- he and the team describe it only as "an upper body injury" —- in Thursday's victory over the New York Rangers when he fell backward after Sean Avery crashed the net. Replays appeared to show the back of Lehtonen's head hitting the ice. He finished the final five minutes of the first period before being pulled.

"I felt good enough to try to battle there," Lehtonen said when asked why he kept playing. "It didn't end up well because they scored."
Right. So. As you all know, I pretty much consider myself an expert on everything (don't hate. That kind of pretension gets you places in life!). So I'll throw it out there that I have some expertise on concussions. And dear readers (you're looking great, by the way - gearing up for beach season?), there is one thing you can do to prevent concussions. Wear a mouth guard. Guess who doesn't wear a mouth guard? That's right!! You so smart! I so proud! Our lovely goaltender does not wear a mouthguard. So pretty much ANY time he hits his head on ANYTHING, he'll be concussed. He kept right on playing after he hit his head though, and chances are good that whatever mild damage was done, it worsened with the continuing play. With a Grade I concussion, in theory you can return to 'athletic activity' after 15 minutes, but only after receiving examinations every 5 minutes during that 15 minute span. Which didn't happen. Since he hasn't played or practiced since the end of that period, I'm guessing his concussion (I mean, upper body injury!) is a lot worse than just Grade I.

So bottom line? There's nothing left to play for, Kari won't break his 100 wins record this season no matter what. Cut the loss and IR him for the remaining... 4 games? 5? Whichever. In this case, the juice definitely ain't worth the squeeze.

Let the season go, Karppa, you done good. Hopefully next year, the team'll follow your lead, and do good as well.

Pohjanmaan kautta, kippis terveydeks!


Wayne from AL said...

Oh, great...with Hedberg in goal, we're already down 3-0 before a game even starts...

Maali said...

Aww, don't hate on JoJo! Better he than Turple, eh?

Anonymous said...

Good read, I was wondering what actually happened. Anyways keep up the good work bro, always enjoy a good on Kari.


Anonymous said...

When you get an concussion, the min you can be is 1 week. Most doctors will say that (or at least 5 days) because aggravating an unhealed concussion will make it worse. And concussions build upon one another. There isn't a clean slate (unless, I think, its been years. Plural.).

Goalies in the NHL and AHL aggravate me sometimes. Its only the younger ones coming up that wear actual protection (mouth guard, neck guard, dangler). You'd think they would have learned from the goalie who got his throat slit (and he was pretty much saved by the fact that the doc on his team was in Vietnam and knew how to pinch arteries together).

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