Bad News on Martinek's Knee
by Alan Hahn
December 30, 2001
The Islanders have concerns with the defense other
than the concussion suffered Dec. 22 by Kenny Jonsson,
who missed his second game last night. The team has
discovered that the right knee injury to impressive
rookie Radek Martinek is worse than originally
thought. Martinek, 25, missed seven games after he
sprained the knee Nov. 6 and has been out of the
lineup since re-injuring it Dec. 11.
Team officials would not confirm it last night, but
several people with knowledge of the situation said
Martinek needs season-ending surgery to repair the
knee. The team was concerned about his knee after it
learned he had a history of problems with the knee
during his playing career in the Czech Republic.
There was some hope that rest and physical therapy
would be sufficient, but Martinek continued to have
pain while skating. He left the ice in obvious
discomfort and frustration during the team's morning
skate Thursday in Ottawa.
Heads Up, Hack
A funny scene played out before last night's game
during the singing of the national anthems. At Nassau
Coliseum, the Canadian flag is at one end of the rink
and the American flag hangs at the other. After the
Canadian anthem, the players turned, as usual, to face
the American flag for the "Star-Spangled Banner." But
Montreal goalie Jeff Hackett, a native of Ontario,
remained facing the Canadian flag. During the American
anthem, a handful of fans started yelling at Hackett
to turn around, which he did with a sheepish grin
after he realized his mistake.
One could excuse a visiting player for not realizing
the location of the flags in the building, but
Hackett, 33, is an NHL veteran and - most notably - is
a former Islander who once called the Coliseum home.
Sit 'n' Simmer
Mats Lindgren and Dave Scatchard were healthy
scratches last night and unwitting members of the
Jacques Laperriere Skating Club after the morning
skate. Both struggling players were then given the
night off to watch the game from the suites. With only
one forward, rookie Raffi Torres, available, coach
Peter Laviolette went with seven defenseman, including
call-up Ray Giroux.