“There was a highlight from that game,” the Dallas Stars forward said with a smile. “You might remember it. Me doing a spread eagle.”
It’s hard to believe Lindros’s last playoff game was May 26, 2000, in the Eastern Conference final when he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. It ended with a crunching hit from New Jersey defenceman Scott Stevens that left the London, Ont., native crumbled on the ice with one of his eight concussions.
“It’s been a little while,” Lindros, 34, said Monday, before the Stars faced the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of their Western Conference quarter-final series. “It’s been fun getting back into it.
“You sit in bed at night and think of different scenarios. This certainly falls into a chapter.”
A groin injury that sidelined him for the final 16 games of the regular season meant Lindros didn’t appear in this year’s playoffs until Game 5. By then Dallas was trailing 3-1 but rallied with two victories to force Monday night’s deciding game.
“You do appreciate it,” Lindros said about being able to contribute. “It’s a lot of work to get into the playoffs to begin with.
“It’s been fun. It’s another thing to be here in Canada and Vancouver, the atmosphere in the rink.”
He shrugged when asked to compare a Game 7 to a regular playoff game.
“It seems like when the anthem ends the overtime begins,” he said.
Lindros has averaged 10 minutes, 19 seconds in the two games he played prior to Monday. He had three shots on goal and dealt out some solid hits.
Veteran Star Mike Modano said Lindros casts a presence on the ice past his six-foot-four, 245-pound frame.
“He’s a big guy,” Modano said. “His presence and everything is great to have, especially in the playoffs.
“He’s slid right into it and seems like he’s found his comfort zone. He’s played hard, he’s created some opportunities and chances. When he’s on the ice they tend to think about him and worry about him.”
Lindros sat out the 2000-01 season in a dispute with the Flyers. He played the next three seasons with a New York Ranger team that never made the playoffs but was a member of Canada’s Olympic gold medal team at the 2002 Winter Games.
“In New York we weren’t a very strong hockey club,” Lindros said.
After the lockout, Lindros spent a year in Toronto where injuries limited him to 33 games. Last July he signed a US$1.55-million, one-year contract with the Stars.
A variety of injuries limited Lindros to just 49 regular season games. He had five goals and 21 assists for 26 points. His last goal came Nov. 20.
It remains to be seen if the Big E is nearing the end of his career. Dallas is his third team in three NHL seasons. Over that time he’s averaged 40 games and 26 points a season.
Asked about next year, Lindros shook his head.
“I’m not even going to discuss that,” he said.