Esposito to have surgery Tuesday

Just back from a quick trip to a near empty Duluth IceForum. Did an interview with Angelo Esposito for a story later today (online)/tomorrow (newspaper).

He was in good spirits. He did a workout and will have surgery tomorrow on his re-torn ACL.

Sounds like it was a freak accident. He was going to the net and got his skate stuck and his knee just buckled. He thought it was just a sprain until three days later when an MRI revealed the tear.

“I’ve been talking to friends and family,” Esposito said. “That’s what helps me move forward in this. It took me a few days there and now I’m feeling good. I came here and started working on my knee to make sure I get it strong before surgery and then I will do whatever it takes after surgery to get it even stronger.”

Tough break for the 20 year old. He intends to have the surgery, rehab and get back on with his career.

Thrashers are in Toronto tonight. Here are a couple quotes from Garnet Exelby about the possibility of facing his old team courtesy of Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun:

How badly do you want to play tomorrow?

“It would be great. … I’d like to play here every night, but obviously I’ve been a spare part since the start of the season. I have a few friends coming to down so it would be definitely nice to get in. I’m not happy sitting out every night, bottom line. The team (Leafs)  has been doing better absolutely, which is great, but I don’t want to be a spare part, sitting around the press box, secluded from the team. And that’s the position I’m in right now.

“It’s funny how things change that way I guess. When I was in Atlanta last year, things were going well at the end of the season. Now I’m here and I’m not playing. It’s not the way I expected to come to Toronto and start my tenure with the Leafs, but that’s the way it is right now.”

Best memory of Atlanta?

“My best memory is starting the playoffs there, the only playoff games they’ve had. From when I started there, to get (to playoffs), seeing the support of the fans over those few years and reaching the playoff climax was great for the team and the city. The fans deserved to see an NHL playoff game and hopefully they can get back there.”

Also when I was at the IceForum, I finished taking behind-the-scene pictures of the facility. Couldn’t get into Don Waddell’s office – the door was locked – but I will be able to show you the locker room, weight room, player’s lounge, John Anderson’s office, etc. All those things behind the red door. One of the pictures will feature Kari Lehtonen riding the stationary bike as part of his rehab. Look for that in the next day or two.

Was that the real Mike Knobler that checked in on the previous blog? Get to work Mike.

37 comments Add your comment

stendec

December 7th, 2009
2:02 pm

Please vear with me. This is very important to me. Thanks.

I humbly request that censors permit this post despite its length. Thank you.

This is difficult to type. I am speaking as a fan who has been a Falcon supporter since the birth of the team in the 1960s. All that ended over the weekend. I suffered in silence as Keith Brooking gloated during a Cowboy victory in Texas. It hurt but at least the Falcons competed. That was not the case Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Excuses be damned. There are no excuses for that giveup job. Some folks will say it is just a game. In this instance I disagree. This was a citywide disgrace. Falcon defenders should have been out of their minds when Mike Sick took the field. What was the response? Falcons stepped aside as he walked uncontested into end zone. Unacceptable. Falcon secondary looked the other way on his short touchdown pass. Unacceptable. Over the decades I have only despised and wished doom on several Falcons. Three quarterbacks come to mind. One of which was in the Georgia Dome recently. I can honestly say I truly hate every player/coach on present Falcon roster with the exception of Tony Gonzalez who works his butt off every play. Sorry you wound up with these quitters Tony. Just take the money and grit mouth guard tightly. A spot awaits you in Hall of Fame. I see injury prone Matt Ryan as a one season wonder with no instestional fortitude (guts). Allowing a toe bruise to keep him on sidelines. Matthew Stafford competes for his team with much more serious afflictions. Maybe the overrated Falcon QB and Thrasher waste Kari Lehtonen should tank their present seasons as a team. Both appear worthless. All I hear from apologists is wait till next year wait till next year. Listen people. I am over half a century old with a weak heart. That was fine when I was in my 20s but not now. Time is of essence for me and others like myself who have suffered with these losers since day one. Defeats are part of sports. Quitting is not. The Falcons quit against Philadelphia. That was painfully obvious to everyone with eyes to see. In the one game for which I would not sugar coat or forgive another defeat. Falcon wins used to bring me great joy. No longer. The Falcons quit on me. I have quit on them. Many will scoff and say good riddance. No problem. As a sportswriter for many decades I have an extremely thick skin. Many will call me a fair weather fan. That is not true. The decision I made was difficult due to my former adoration of team. I now wish nothing but doom and failure on this uncaring franchise. Southern teams like the Saints and Dolphins now have my support. They are now my official state teams. The Falcons are dead to me. Just as they are officially dead to the rest of NFL. Continued success Tony Gonzalez. God bless you. ++STENDEC++ BTW – Thrashers keeping KL under contract is nothing to what Falcons staged Sunday!

Bob

December 7th, 2009
2:09 pm

“Please vear with me.”

Veer with you, where? Right off your rocker?

[...] Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that Angelo Esposito will have surgery tomorrow on his re-torn [...]

Brendan

December 7th, 2009
2:46 pm

Poor kid. I really do hope his career can rebound from this.

Alan R.

December 7th, 2009
2:48 pm

Good luck with your surgery, Angelo, and I hope you have a swift recovery.

Do be more careful with that knee of yours. I’d love to see you prove all the critics wrong, but you can’t exactly do that while sitting on LTIR. :(

TheFan79

December 7th, 2009
2:50 pm

stendec this article is about Thrashers not Falcons.Let’s worry about the Leafs tonight.

Russian

December 7th, 2009
2:53 pm

Expo had lot of things to do to be back to action. I do not know, but second time on same knee it is very bad for hockey player.

The Earl of Bud

December 7th, 2009
2:59 pm

TheFan79 (& Bob) – maybe that’s where he was “vearing” to, another blog.

Onto hockey matters, I’m guessing Pavalec will start tonight, he is the #1 goalie. Boulton & Thor will be in the lineup and Schubert won’t sit as we need the bigger body back there. Has to be Pops or Salmela as the 7th dman up in the pressbox.

Spud Webb

December 7th, 2009
3:31 pm

Stendec, falcons are on a different page…Poor Espo. I’ve got high, high hopes for him. I had hoped he’d be up this year. I can’t see him being any worse than mr.white???
Earl, I agree, and we’d better be ready for a team taking runs anywhere they can. So boults and thors and schubbie better strap it on!!!! Trap game, one we should win against a bad team, lets do this!!!!

TheFan79

December 7th, 2009
3:32 pm

Looking forward to see the game tonight.I hope thrashers can pull another victory tonight.

Matt

December 7th, 2009
3:47 pm

Kari? Who is this Kari of whom you speak?
As for tonight’s game, need 60 minutes of effort from the opening face off to the final buzzer. Also, hopefully, the Power Play can get on track, because offensively this team has been off for the past couple of games.

jfjyg

December 7th, 2009
3:59 pm

in his own way, letemin has really helped the team this year.

Dwayne

December 7th, 2009
4:09 pm

every player, every shift, 60 minutes…Go Thrashers.
Stendec is my hero.

Diego from Lilburn

December 7th, 2009
4:31 pm

I think we have seen Bryan Little “winding up his spring” the last few games. I think he’s about to break out for us.

Go Bryan!!!

Thrashfan01

December 7th, 2009
4:40 pm

Chris is this a complete tear of the same ligament or was part of the ligament? Are we talking another six months just to get back to Espo skating or will the recovery be shorter?

Kari's Dad

December 7th, 2009
6:41 pm

Stendec, your posts are short compared to some of these long winded story tellers. Why do you not like my son?

Matt

December 7th, 2009
8:10 pm

Well, yet ANOTHER horrendous start for Le Thrash this evening. Being woefully outshot thru one and half periods, down 2-0 to the Loafs with goals about two minutes apart. WHY, why, why, why???? (Bangs head into keyboard repeatedly)

sisu

December 7th, 2009
8:13 pm

poor defense, a very bad pass from Max for the first goal and lack of rebound control by Pavs on the second. Got them right where they want them :)

sisu

December 7th, 2009
8:16 pm

worst part so far is that Toskala has struggled a lot this season and he looks like an awesome goalie so far…

The Earl of Bud

December 7th, 2009
8:49 pm

When it rains, it pours. All I know is that we better pack Philips when they get back. I am watching the game on Rogers and this was their Ultimate Access question for Nik Antropov:

What do you miss most about your time as a Maple Leaf?

I miss the fans the most. In Atlanta, it’s just not the same. Football is #1. The passion of Leaf fans is something I’ll never forget.

This feeling that is clearly going around the lockerroom has got to be hurting us in the Kovalchuk talks. Let’s pack Philips please.

LAC

December 7th, 2009
8:59 pm

This meltdown is unreal… Getting WHIPPED by this Leafs team is Schocking, just a total non game by most.

You could see the air start going out after the past few games with NOBODY at the games, guess the players just feels like “Who Cares” now ?

Plus comments & feelings going around the team and NO signing of #17, Leafs TV said he has a BLANK check from Thrashers, but STILL waiting to see commitment by waddell & worthless owners before signing…

Many more stinkers and he will not sign, this is Shocking to watch,
Oh Family fued is on the other channel, Wonder how bad it will be in Calagry, 10-0 ?

The Earl of Bud

December 7th, 2009
8:59 pm

Let me be the first to say it – too Little, too late.

Matt

December 7th, 2009
9:06 pm

UN-Friggin believable and PATHETIC effort. How the HECK do you lose this badly to the Loafs??

[...] source [...]

Brendan

December 7th, 2009
10:31 pm

Okay folks. There’s no such thing as moral victories. But … 28 shots against is LESS than 30, if you’re using “base 10″ mathematics. The PP unit went 1/2, and Bryan Little and Marty Reasoner scored goals. For Marty, it was his first non-empty net goal. :smile:

Are we done yet? Nope, not quite. Moose Hedberg, the statistical best Thrasher goalie this season, mopped up quite capably in relief of the #1 goalie, Ondrej Pavelec. Moose stopped all six shots he faced. And the team outscored the opposition, 2-0. I don’t have to wonder if Stendec thought Pavelec should have been pulled after the 2nd goal. Anderson left Pavelec in net to let him try to battle his way out of it, in my opinion. He couldn’t, tonight. Maybe Anderson wanted to preserve Hedberg for the next game? I can’t say. I’m not John Anderson.

Out of positives yet? Well, the following players were +1 in a 5-2 drubbing: Reasoner, Thorburn and Boulton. Bogosian, Hainsey and Enstrom were “even” for this game. Who thought that was the case? The minutes leader was (1) Bogosian, at 22:56, followed by (2) Hainsey, 21:38, (3) Kubina (-3,) 21:37, (4) Enstrom, 21:29, (5) Schubert, (-2,) 14:19, and Popovic, (-3,) 13:59.

Popovic and Kubina were -3. Ouch. Kovalchuk, Kane, Schubert, Armstrong, Peverley, Finny, and Antropov were -2 for the game. Little, White and Kozlov were -1.

Since the Leafs got Kessel back, they have, without question, improved noticeably from where they were. Toronto had a disasterous start. But they’ve been banking points at a much nicer clip since then.

Washington beat Tampa Bay, 3-0. Carolina held off the Penguins, 3-2. Edmonton toppled Florida, 3-2, in the shootout. That’s your SE Division update. The story of the night, however, was Marty Brodeur tying the all-time shutout record at 103 in a 3-0 win at Buffalo. Congrats to Marty.

The Earl of Bud

December 7th, 2009
11:47 pm

“Moose Hedberg, the statistical best Thrasher goalie this season, mopped up quite capably in relief of the #1 goalie, Ondrej Pavelec. Moose stopped all six shots he faced. And the team outscored the opposition, 2-0.”

Brendan, I hate to put a damper on your moral victory, but I have to in this case. The guy off the bench is SUPPOSED to do better when a goalie gets pulled. Did you honestly think that the Leafs were keeping their foot on the pedal tonight after getting up 5-0? Or maybe Moose played better because he was going up against a team that was easing up with 4 insurance goals. 6 shots in 1 period versus 22 shots over 2 periods should say something about the pressure.

By the way, Chris Thorburn is statistically our best faceoff guy at ~70% Do you really think he’s better than Peverley, White or Reasoner though because they are only in the 50-59% range?

Christopher Walken

December 8th, 2009
12:12 am

I Got a Fever and the Prescription is More Earl.

GaVaHokie

December 8th, 2009
10:27 am

It’s simple… if Pavalec can’t improve his puck control and stop giving up those juicy rebounds, we’ll continue to get spanked like last night. He looked like a pinball machine last night.

Brendan

December 8th, 2009
10:46 am

EOB, I notice that the Leafs still put six shots on goal and none of them went in. Why is it problematic that Moose did well in relief of Pavelec? That’s a GOOD thing, in my opinion. Even if the six Leafs shots had been from fired from their own zone in an attempt to ice the puck, the team did play better in front of Hedberg in that 3rd period. And yes, Toronto didn’t need to do anything but kill the clock. Which they did. Why is any of that Moose’s fault?

I’m not the sort that throws the team under the bus after a loss. To me, this is still Year Three in the Four Year building project, post NY Rangers sweep. It’s a process. And I understand that. I’ve got patience. Does the relatively good 20 minutes that was the 3rd period make up for the previous 40? No. Are those first forty minutes still a problem for the Thrashers this season? I think we know the answer to that. Just look at our 3rd period goal totals and it does paint a picture. A few more of those goals could be spread across the first two periods, instead of the frantic third periods we’ve strung together. Nothing can be done about this game. It’s on to the next one.

Brendan

December 8th, 2009
10:50 am

Chris Thorburn is at 70% on faceoff wins? That’s awesome. Though, I do wonder how many draws he’s actually taken. Who leads the league in winning faceoffs? Anyone got that stat? Red Light, I’m looking at you, or poster Stats.

The Earl of Bud

December 8th, 2009
1:27 pm

Brendan, it’s not problematic, it’s just misleading. To put it in southern football terms for you so you can understand it, you are like the guy who sees a 3rd string QB go out in an exhibition game against a 3rd string defense and throw for a couple TD’s and you shout on the blogs “AHA! WE FOUND OUR TRUE QUARTERBACK! HE’S GOT BETTER STATS THAN OUR STARTER DOES RIGHT NOW!”

To look at a backup goalie stopping a few shots in mop up duty is the equivalent of a backup QB doing well in a pre-season game. Just because they both did well in weaker circumstances doesn’t mean they are the guy to start on opening night/day.

Kari's Dad

December 8th, 2009
3:04 pm

he has taken 10. if was a baseball player he would be making trillions of duckies

Kari's Mom

December 8th, 2009
3:05 pm

get off the computer

stendec

December 8th, 2009
5:23 pm

If I asked really nice suppose Calgary would send the Flames back for the Thrashers? Did not think so! Sigh. Suppose Kapitan Ilya Kovalchuk will be in a Calgary uniform next season? Certainly appears he has gone into Maryann Hossa mode this season. No broken fingernails until he reaches his next destination. I do wish him well. Really. No hate on for him like everyone knows who. Suppose the Flames can reach double figures in goals? Possible. ++STENDEC++

stendec

December 8th, 2009
5:42 pm

Challenged my own call. Threw red bag. I have reviewed the tape. In fairness to Pavs I can only truly regard three of the five second period goals as marshmallows. However, considering the final score, they were more than enough to ensure defeat. Moose deserves plaudits even though the Loafs did skate at third speed in final period after the victory was locked up. Nothing wrong with that! Like taking a knee in football to run clock out. ++STENDEC++

Kaat

December 8th, 2009
11:51 pm

ChrisViv: I just wanted to say I love the humanity you’re bringing to the players through your features this year. Reading about Xs and Os and what went wrong and game summaries can get tiresome after a while. It’s fantastic to get little glimpses into the real human beings who play the game we love. So thanks! :-)

Jeff

December 9th, 2009
3:25 am

Moose hasn’t been just a “backup” this season. He’s played like great number one (and has enough games played to qualify for 2nd in the NHL in SV%). Quite frankly, Hedberg has been amazing thus far this season. His great goaltending is has A LOT to do with our current playoff positioning.

Just look at how much better our winning pct. is when Moose starts.