I read somewhere the other day (I am bad at remembering this stuff) that the injury Kovi is nursing is a herniated disc. If that is truly the case, and it seems to be true based on how he has been playing, is it time to consider bringing up someone else to help get this cup win? I am a huge Kovi fan, and it really kills me to even put this out there, but in last nights game 1 performance it seemed to me like he was having a hard time with twisting and bending, as well as being a bit slow. He was loosing the puck or not making good passes whenever the puck got a little behind him thus forcing him to twist or bend to make the play. I have two discs that have herniated more than once and are permanently bulging. So what you say? Well I can say first hand that playing hockey with a herniated disc is seriously painful and your range of motion is severely limited. I played in men's ice leagues for a few years when I was in my early 20's, but when I hurt my back on a stupid 4-wheeler, I had to stop. The pain was so severe I could only do 30 second shifts before being crippled, and that was three weeks after the injury. The range of motion was so limited that I had a hard time doing anything other than just skating in a straight line.
So if Kovi is really injured with a herniated disc, then his chances of getting better (pain & range of motion) before the playoffs are over, are slim to none. It takes a long time for it to heal, and even when it does, it does not really heal. My guess is he is looking at off season surgery and rehab for months to get himself back on the ice in any capacity, let alone in full force. In a nutshell, this is really the worst news a Kovi fan could hear. Give me a broken bone or torn muscle over a herniated disc any day.
With all this said, does anyone else think he needs to step aside for the betterment of the team? Or does he still have enough moxie to draw top level players to him and open up the ice a bit, maybe put a good shot or two on net?