Canada's beat-up blueline should be OK

Nathan Beaulieu (left) and Devante Smith-Pelly head to the Team Canada bus following practic at...

Nathan Beaulieu (left) and Devante Smith-Pelly head to the Team Canada bus following practic at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park, Alta., Dec. 27, 2011. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:27 PM ET

CALGARY - Nathan Beaulieu has taken a beating the last few days.

First, the Team Canada defenceman took a puck in the face against the Americans New Year's Eve.

Now, he has to deal with his teammates cracking jokes about the softball-sized goose egg on his right cheek.

Brendan Gallagher can't help himself.

"It's starting to bug him a little bit," Gallagher said of Beaulieu. "His cheek is getting pretty puffy.

"It's enjoyable for us to kinda laugh at him and have some fun.

"Now that he's OK, we can laugh about it."

Fellow blueliner Ryan Murray admits his teammate has received a few cheapshots.

"Yeah, we're giving it to him a little bit," Murray said.

Beaulieu and Scott Harrington (shoulder) were both forced out of the New Year's Eve game.

And while neither blueliner was made available to the media Sunday, it appears both will be available for Tuesday's semifinal.

"It would have been tough going on with just five D, so we're all pretty thankful they're both alright," Murray said.

"(Harrington) is feeling good. I think he could have played (New Year's Eve) if we really needed him to.

"But since the game didn't mean much, the trainers decided to keep him out."

Defenceman Brandon Gormley was one of the five remaining d-men who picked up the slack Saturday night.

"Injuries are a part of the game," Gormley said. "We have guys who can step up and fill the roles if need be.

"But we'll have another day of rest, so hopefully they'll be back in time for the next game."

Head coach Don Hay didn't sound too concerned when addressing the injuries Sunday afternoon.

"Everybody's looking good," Hay said. "We'll evaluate everybody again tomorrow before practice.

"The way it looks now, everybody should be able to skate and be ready for the game the next day."

With Canada winning the B Pool, Hay's group will get an extra day of rest. That could be big for Beaulieu and Harrington.

"It's always good when you can get a break and have time to recover and practice," Hay said.

Harrington and Murray have provided Hay with a reliable defensive pairing that can play against the opposition's most dangerous forwards.

"They're real good at defending," Hay said. "They don't get too involved in the offence as far as getting caught up the ice looking to get points.

"They'll get their points from moving the puck up and looking after their end."

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher


Videos

Photos