Henrik Tallinder, the New Jersey Devils defenseman sidelined since January with a blood clot in his leg, was told by coach Pete DeBoer on Tuesday night that he will play in Wednesday’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Kings, according to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger:
During the team’s practice session in El Segundo, Calif., on Tuesday, coach Pete DeBoer told Tallinder he would not play in Game 3 against the Kings Wednesday night.
That night, DeBoer changed his mind. Tallinder will play his first game since Jan. 17 in place of Peter Harrold.
“It’s the coach’s call. Yesterday in practice we had a conversation when we were skating around,” Tallinder said. “He said I wasn’t in. Then later on last night I got the call. It was kind of weird, but I’m happy.”
DeBoer said to Chere that the team had been going back and forth about the decision to bring back Tallinder following the teams Game 2 loss to the Kings in New Jersey:
“Peter Harrold played great,” the coach said. “The reality is Tallinder has been a top two defenseman for us. He played great all year. We considered it after Game 2.”
According to Chere, Tallinder said he’s not sure how he will react to the intensity of a Stanley Cup game after spending months playing only in team practices:
“I don’t know. I guess we have to see,” he said with a smile. “I feel pretty comfortable in practice. But it’s practice. A game is a different thing. And a Stanley Cup final. How do you prepare for that?