Upper Body, Lower Body or Illness Nilsson's Story


If you pass a bus-full of people wearing dentures on I-95 in Connecticut between the New York line and the Rte. 91 connector, it could be a group of seniors on their way to or from one of the states casinos. It could also be the Bridgeport Sound Tigers or another professional hockey team on the way to or from Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena. (Nilsson:Photo Pope Steve XXVII)

When you click on ‘Team’ and then ‘Front Office’ from the drop down menus on the Sound Tigers’ official website, you will find a list of  ‘Team Physicians’. At the top of the list is Dr. Dante Brittis who is one of the areas top Orthopedic Surgeons.

As this field of medicine deals with disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints and ligaments it takes an additional staff of four orthopedic specialists (Dr.’s Langeland, Backe, Kwok and Stanton) to attend to the various and frequent needs of a hockey club. Next on the list is the teams’ dentist Dr. Joseph W. Worthington who is kept busy throughout the season.

Though he rarely has to deal with extractions, which are generally done for free and without anesthesia on the ice during a game, his practice is dedicated to cosmetic dentistry and is one of the most respected in Fairfield County.

Completing the medical staff are; the teams’ Ophthalmologist Dr. Jeffery Kaplan, (even with a face shield injuries to the orbital bone are common), Chiropractor Dr. Brett Carr, and massage therapist Jim Miccio, LMT.

Hockey injuries are almost always reported as ‘upper body’ or ‘lower body’, the thought being that more detail would invite an opponent to further aggravate the problem. On occasion, a player is listed as a scratch due to ‘illness’, which is where Islanders top goalie prospect Anders Nilsson has been listed for several weeks.

I ran into Anders today and had the opportunity to talk him about how he is feeling. His mercury quick smile left me confident he would not mind a few questions.

“All your fans are worried about you big guy,” I told him, “are you okay?”

“Feeling pretty good right now but we’re still not sure what is wrong.” After I pressed further he said, “My B-12 is low and we need more tests.”

I told him to take care of number one first, that hockey would always be there next year. His response, typical of any athlete and every hockey player was “I’ll be back this season.”

“I hope you are, and how will it be to have a 4.5 million dollar a year goalie backing you up?” I asked. Again the smile, “It’s the American League, Mike, it’s hockey.”

Be Well big guy!

-Mike Flannery

Follow me, @hockeyflan on Twitter and make sure to “like” The Checkingline-Isles edition on Facebook as well as on Twitter @TCLIsles to stay up to the minute with all the latest Islanders news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an E-mail: hockeyflan@gmail.com and visit/like my Facebook page'Tigershockeyflan' for Sound Tigers tidbits you might find both enjoyable and informative.

The Checking Line - Isles Edition | Promote Your Page Too


Donovan Brooks's picture

Good work Mike! I'm looking forward to him being back in net. Sky's the limit for the Swede. I'm starting to worry about this illness, but your article is aswaging some of my fears!

Mike Flannery's picture

We all were worried cause there was no news. Had same problem earlier in the year (weak, tired) mono like symptoms. For some reason his system doesn't retain B-12. More tests necessary, but progress. Kid looked great and I agree his career looks bright.