If you've been holding your breath since Kari Lehtonen down with some sort of right leg injury last weekend, you can let it out now.
While the Dallas Stars goalie isn't expected to return for Finland in the World Championships, the Stars don't seem to be that concerned about the severity of the injury he suffered late in the game against the United States.
As Mike Heika reports, they haven't necessarily determined what the injury is, with some questions about whether it's a groin or a knee (or, gulp, both). But with four months to recover and Lehtonen struggling in the games immediately before being injured against Canada and the US, maybe it's for the best.
``They're still looking at everything, and there has been a lot of communication between doctors there and our trainer,'' (Stars goalie coach Mike) Valley said. ``They're not 100 percent sure what the injury is, but I've been told it is not a serious injury.''
Team Finland will continue on to the quarterfinals for a rematch with the United States without Lehtonen. They will also be missing Anssi Salmela, who was suspended three games for his hit on Alex Goligoski.
After the jump, more World Championships updates, a look back at the odd FWST column from last week and Tomas Vincour had what now?
- Richard Bachman, resident medical expert as well as quality backup goalie, also assures us that Lehtonen will be just fine. [DallasStars.com]
- Without Lehtonen, there will be four Stars in the WC quarterfinals, and two of them picked up goals Tuesday at the end of the first round. [ESPN Dallas]
- As we start looking forward to the draft, we're going to be taking a closer look at several prospects who might be available when the Stars pick. Luther Xue is hoping for Brendan Gaunce. [SB Nation]
- Speaking of prospects, here's a closer look at Reilly Smith, who vaulted to the top of the Stars top prospects chart and made his NHL debut this season. [ESPN Dallas]
- And the newspaper that covers the wonderfully named Kootenay Ice takes a look at the trio of local players who spent time with the Texas Stars, including Matt Fraser. [Daily Townsman]
- Our friends at The Copper And Blue take on that really, really strange Bud Kennedy column from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from a few days ago. [The Copper And Blue]
- Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick will relive collisions of rivalries past in a dual chat today. [ESPN]
- So I'm reading along in this story about the Edmonton Oil Kings winning the WHL championship (hey, at least one hockey team in that city has to be able to win with young talent), and this sentence jumped out at me about their 2009 team. " Keegan Lowe and Tomas Vincour (now playing with the Dallas Stars) both had H1N1" Oh swine flu, remember when you caused such a panic? [Edmonton Journal]
- I love the Systems Analysts post at Backhand Shelf more than most other video breakdowns for some reason, and I think this one about the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils game gave me clue why. I learn just as much about what to do right as I do the mistakes that led to the goal, because the Devils do an awful lot right here. [Backhand Shelf]
- As much as it pains me to admit it, the @LAKings Twitter feed is kind of awesome. I'm not sure how much I'd like the grating style for a full season from anyone, even the Stars, but it certainly is a nice short-term difference from the eye-roll worth @NHL feed. Meet the Kings staffers behind the curtain. [Puck Daddy]
- Dustin Brown dives? Mike Smith went to the Marty Turco and Eddie Belfour school of protecting your crease? Surely you jest.