On a night rife with injuries, the Dallas Stars might be holding their breath the most. Workhorse goalie Kari Lehtonen left Friday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.
The team hasn’t disclosed the ailment, but Stars announcer Razor Reaugh guesses that it could be a groin injury. Lehtonen seemed to make a save awkwardly and then motioned to the Stars’ bench for help. It’s safe to say that it’s probably a lower-body issue of some kind.
He’s unlikely to return tonight, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika.
The incident occurred moments ago, so it’s too early to say if it’s a significant issue.
The Stars are in their familiar place at or around the West playoff bubble, so losing their 29-year-old cornerstone would be a huge blow. Rather than trotting out full season stats, Heika illustrated his importance in a simple way: the Stars are 7-2-1 this season with Lehtonen in net and 0-4-0 without him.
Many onlookers consider Lehtonen to be an underrated netminder, but it’s also difficult to ignore his injury history. We’ll see if this is a small road bump or another example of his fragility.