By Chris Block
The best news to come out of the weekend from an IceHogs’ perspective is that the injury Alexander Salak suffered in Friday night’s loss to Lake Erie is not nearly as bad as first appeared.
Salak was making an innocent looking stop twenty seconds into the second period when he flattened out on the ice favoring his left leg. It did not appear that any other player made significant contact with Salak.
After a couple minutes, teammates helped Salak across the ice to an awaiting stretcher and he was rolled to the trainer’s room. Upon getting up, Salak could put no weight at all on the leg.
Asked for a status on Salak 24 hours later, coach Ted Dent had a positive update.
“He’s just day-to-day. I don’t think it’s too serious.”
A source confirms Salak does not have a knee injury. It is a sprain to another part of the leg.
Salak will be reevaluated on Tuesday in Rockford. The “day-to-day” distinction at this point may be bit optimistic. We’re told the nature of the sprain isn’t serious, but its an injury that could linger or not heal quickly.
In 12 appearances and 10 starts on the season, Salak has posted a 3-5-1-0 record. After a poor start, his performance has turned around of late, showing off his quick reflexes and lateral movement. Salak has improved his goals against average to 3.06 and the save percentage is now 89.3%.
Salak struggled get into a good rhythm in October after getting cut by the Chicago Blackhawks.
He did not appear in a game until October 21st after being sat out opening weekend because of what Ted Dent described as a “mental break.” Salak missed the road trip to Abbotsford the following weekend to stay at home for the expected birth of his first child. But that child wasn’t born until October 28th and Salak missed another weekend slate of games then.
Since being pulled from a 5-4 loss to Oklahoma City at home on November 16, Salak had appeared in five games, starting four and posting a 2-1-0-0 record. He allowed 8 goals over that stretch, stopping 91.5% of the shots he faced for an average 2.22 goals against.