Hawks Come Clean on Chelios Mystery Captain Defends Team Doctor, but Admits Injury May Keep Him out of Game 5 of Series
Sassone, Tim, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Tim Sassone Daily Herald Sports Writer
Chris Chelios was preaching honesty as the best policy Thursday, the morning after a most bizarre night of hockey at the United Center.
The Blackhawks lost 3-2 to Colorado in triple overtime in the second-longest game ever played in Chicago, and they did so without Chelios, their fearless leader and the NHL's best defenseman.
Chelios wishes a better job had been done of explaining why he missed the important Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, rather than let speculation and rumors run rampant until the game ended well past midnight.
At first, when Chelios wasn't around to start the game, it was announced he had an equipment problem. Later the Hawks informed everyone that Chelios had a right-groin pull.
Finally, word spread that Chelios could have played except that he was given too strong a dose of painkiller, which froze his entire leg instead of just the injured area.
Chelios denied that team physician Dr. Louis Kolb did anything wrong. He also admitted he doesn't have a simple groin pull, that it's more of a ligament strain in his leg, and he isn't sure if he can play in Game 5 of the 2-2 series Saturday in Denver.
"It's not so much a pull, but something aggravated a ligament up high attached to the bone," Chelios said. "Now I just have to rest and see how it is Saturday. I just have to hope the two days rest I get here will put me where I'm well enough to play and help."
Chelios said there was no way he could have played Wednesday without the injection to freeze the area. But apparently nerves react differently in those who receive injections, and Chelios was unfortunate that his entire leg lost feeling.
"You never know," Chelios said. "That's all part of it, especially where the injury is. It's in a position where the injection will drain into your nerve. You've just got to hope you get lucky. I couldn't play with the pain that I had and (the injection) was the only chance that I had to play."
Chelios' status for Saturday's critical game likely won't be decided until faceoff.
"We can't count either way whether he's going to be in or out," said coach Craig Hartsburg. …