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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres
National Hockey League teams are notoriously tight-lipped around playoff time, especially when it comes to player injuries.

During a year-end press conference on Friday, Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff revealed the nature of several of the injuries suffered by Buffalo players either late in the regular season or during the team’s seven-game series with Philadelphia.

Jason Pominville (29) and Tim Connolly (19). Photo: Bill Wippert
The most severe injury was the one sustained by Jason Pominville.  The forward, who recorded four points (1-3-4) during the postseason, suffered a severed tendon in his leg during the first period of Game 5 in Philadelphia.  Pominville had recorded an assist earlier in the game, but hopped off the ice in obvious pain after being cut by the skate blade of a Philadelphia player.

Ruff said that Pominville had surgery to repair the tendon, and that the recovery time will be around four to six months.

Tim Connolly was injured in the second period of Game 6 when he was shoved head-first into the boards from behind by Flyers captain Mike Richards.  According to Ruff, Connolly had a sternum separation along with other injuries in that area as a result of the hit.  Ruff added that the timetable for recovery from the injury would be four to six weeks.

Patrick Kaleta missed Game 7 due to a broken hand that was the result of blocking a shot during the second period of Game 6.  Kaleta played the rest of the game with the injury, but was unable to play the following game.  He is slated to undergo surgery on the hand.

Mike Grier is scheduled to have surgery on his wrist in the near future and dealt with knee problems for several weeks.  Although he missed the final seven games of the regular season, he played through the pain and appeared in all seven playoff outings.

Andrej Sekera suffered an oblique strain in the rib area that prevented him from playing in the last two games of the regular season and five of the seven playoff games.  It was also revealed that Jochen Hecht missed the final six games of the regular season and the first six games of the playoffs due to a concussion.

Finally, Ruff said that when Ryan Miller missed four games late in the regular season, it was due to a concussion.  As a result of Miller’s concussion, General Manager Darcy Regier called for the league to address the safety of goalie masks.

“There is an assumption that the equipment is safe. There is no standard for goalie masks. There needs to be a standard for goalie masks for the safety of the goaltender, number one,” Regier said.  “Number two, for knowing that teammates can count on you because of that safety factor, that your fans can count on you, that the National Hockey League can have one of the best players available.”
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