Henrik Tallinder remembers the phone call in January from the New Jersey Devils' medical staff.
He had been in excruciating pain, his left leg swollen. He was told he had acute thrombophlebitis. In plain English: a blood clot that would sideline him about two months.
Now it's June, and Tallinder just last week was cleared to play again. The problem is the Stanley Cup playoffs are almost over and the 33-year-old Swedish defenseman is just hoping for a shot at playing in the final round against the Los Angeles Kings.
''I'm good. I'm ready,'' Tallinder said this week. ''I don't know, I mean, the coach has to make the call. But, as I said, I feel physically fine. I don't have any issues. I've been practicing for two, three weeks now, and I feel good. I mean, if I get the chance, it's a dream come true. This is where you want to play.''
Tallinder, in his ninth season, almost made it to the Cup finals in 2006 with Buffalo...