GARRIOCH: Tim Stuetzle doesn’t finish Team Germany’s victory after suffering leg injury

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The Ottawa Senators and their faithful will be waiting nervously for an update on the status of Tim Stuetzle at the IIHF world championship taking place in Finland.

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The club’s top center left Team Germany’s 3-2 victory over France in the first period and didn’t return with a left leg injury he suffered after a hit along the boards from defenseman Thomas Thiry at the Helsinki Ice Hall Monday night.

While the 20-year-old Stuetzle was able to skate off favoring one leg and limped to the dressing room, initially it didn’t look good. A story on Team Germany’s website described Stuetzle as “slightly injured” but there was no update post-game on his status from coach Toni Soderholm.

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“He left on his own power but I didn’t like the way (Thiry) kind of accidentally,” said TSN analyst Mike Johnson Monday from Helsinki. “His body of him kind of bumped into the side of his leg of him. That’s the kind of thing with some people that can cause MCL or ACL (damage).

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“I just didn’t like the way it looked.”

Johnson, a former NHL player, said he believed the 20-year-old Stuetzle would likely need an MRI before any determination can be made on whether his tournament is over.

The good news is Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion is in Finland scouting the tourney and he should be able to get a strong update on Stuetzle’s health as soon as a determination is made.

Dr. Mark Aubry, the club’s team doctor, is the chief medical officer of the IIHF and is likely on hand for the tournament.

Dom Nicoletta, the Senators’ head athletic therapist, is part of Team Canada’s medical staff and you can be certain he’ll be in touch with Germany medical officials to find out exactly what happened to Stuetzle and the extent of the damage from the hit.

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Ottawa coach DJ Smith is also an assistant on Claude Julien’s staff with Canada so the Senators have plenty of people in place to make sure they got a proper diagnosis on Stuetzle’s health.

Stuetzle was Germany’s player-of-the-game in a 5-3 loss to Canada, which includes teammates Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot and Nick Holden, with two assists Friday.

Stuetzle had only three minutes and 56 seconds of ice time on five shifts before leaving the game with only 6:20 to go in the first. He did get a little bit of retaliation by taking a swipe at French defenseman Pierre Cronin and was penalized on the play.

“I just didn’t like the hit because I thought (Stuetzle) got a jolt in the knee,” Johnson said. “He went down and it looked like it was hurting him a lot. It didn’t look thick or violent, it just looked like one of those where you go, ‘Hmmm, that could surprisingly do some damage’.”

Germany has a two-day break in the schedule and will face Denmark Thursday. Hopefully, there’s some clarity on Stuetzle’s status Tuesday.

[email protected]

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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