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Tallinder looks forward to helping desperate Devils

Henrik Tallinder, Justin Williams

New Jersey Devils’ Henrik Tallinder, front, of Sweden, and Los Angeles Kings’ Justin Williams compete for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


After a long and grueling run, the New Jersey Devils season will end on a sour note if they lose just one more game. Desperate, Devils coach Pete DeBoer has decided to make a couple of noteworthy roster changes. One was to insert Henrik Tallinder into the lineup for the first time since Jan. 17.

“I haven’t been playing for a while so I’m pretty excited to come back and just to be able to play again,” Tallinder said.

The Devils might be facing nearly insurmountable odds, but Tallinder has some first-hand experience with coming back from the brink.

When he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg, he wasn’t sure if he’d play again this season and he very nearly didn’t.

“It’s really tough,” he said. “You are going through the emotions. It was not one doctor. It was a couple doctors. I don’t know, it was probably more than a couple doctors. You go through the emotions. One guy says one thing and then you go to the next one, he says another thing. You are trying to take a path where I’m going and it’s not easy because some say, ‘Yeah, you’re going to be back in two months’ and one says, ‘Yeah, it’s going to take six months.’ So how do you deal with that?”

He found a way to and now he’s playing in the Stanley Cup finals. It might not be under the best of circumstances, but at least now he’ll have a hand in shaping the Devils’ destiny.