EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Henrik Tallinder missed two months with acute thrombophlebitis (a blood clot) of the lower left leg, but the Devils' defenseman has been healthy enough to play since the start of the Stanley Cup Final.
Despite being cleared medically to play in an NHL game, Tallinder had to take special precautions with the Devils flying to Los Angeles on Sunday morning. Taking a six-hour flight in a pressurized plane could cause complications for a person with a history of blood clots, so the Devils team doctors put the 33-year-old Tallinder on a plan to minimize the risk.
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"You can't really sit still the whole time," Tallinder said. "I was up jumping up a little bit more than I usually do from the seat. I was drinking maybe a little bit more water. I took some baby aspirins (to serve as blood thinners."
Tallinder's situation is similar to that of Tomas Fleischmann, who dealt with blood clots in both of his lungs last season after dealing with the same problem in his lower leg previously.
"That's what we don't want happening to me," Tallinder said. "You have to really make sure that doesn't happen because then you might have to be on meds for the rest of your life. I do not want that."
The only problem now for Tallinder is all that work just to get Los Angeles for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night at Staples Center is he may be watching from the press box once again.
Tallinder hasn't played since Jan. 17, and he was skating as part of the fourth defense pairing with Adam Larsson at practice Sunday. Devils coach Peter DeBoer has said that he has no reservations about inserting Tallinder, who averaged 21:18 of ice time before he was sidelined.
How would Tallinder handle jumping back into the lineup in the heart of the Cup Final?
"Ah, it's easy," Tallinder joked before giving a more serious answer. "Of course, I've been gone for a long time. I've been in the game for quite a many years now, so I kind of know what to expect and what to do out there."
As of Sunday, Tallinder hasn't been told he's playing in Game 3.
"It's his call," Tallinder said of DeBoer. "The only words we've spoken is, 'Be ready, anything can happen and I'm comfortable putting you in there.' That's what he said. That's all I can comment."