SUN Hockey Pool

Diaper duty

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

Brent Krahn has been called plenty of things over the years. Never has speechless been part of the description.

Ask the Flames goaltender to describe the birth of his daughter, though, and he becomes absolutely tongue-tied.

"You can't put it into words," Krahn said searching to find them. "It's so incredible."

At 5:57 a.m. Thursday morning, Krahn and wife Marcia celebrated the birth of their first child, Malina Oceana Krahn, who arrived into the world a healthy 9 lb., 4.5 oz.

"There's nothing like it. People can describe that kind of experience but what really do you call it?

"It's a miracle. When you witness something like that, it changes you forever," he said.

"All of a sudden you realize your kids and family are number one."

The club's first-round selection in the 2000 draft, Krahn's opening day of prospects camp was short and sweet. He arrived early for fitness testing and bolted for the hospital as soon as possible.

At least going through the paces at the Saddledome meant less time at the hospital worrying.

"The whole fitness test had me nervous but I was more nervous about my wife. I was just praying everything would go well," said the 23-year-old former Hitmen who's made Calgary his full-time home.

It has made for some hectic days to start the season but he's not complaining.

"You have to overcome all kinds of distractions, the joys in your life and the troubles. You have to use those as motivation. Because we had our daughter, it gives me no excuse to show up at practice and be slow or sloppy," he said.

Besides, he's found time with his daughter a relaxing respite from the strain of training camp.

"It's great. I'll come home and see her face and she just looks at me and needs me. She doesn't know if I had a bad day or a good day or even what hockey is and it's perfect," he said. "It's great to talk to her and she just smiles and listens and burps and all kinds of stuff."

Now mom and bundle of joy are resting and recovering with Marcia's parents lending a helping hand. Meanwhile, a doting father is trying to see them as much as possible in between workouts during this past week's prospects camp and next week's main camp.

Krahn, who spent a couple of nights in the hospital, will stay in a hotel during training camp.

"I'm gonna feel guilty not being there," he said. "I will enjoy the sleep but I'll miss not hearing her cry or hearing her giggle.

"I'm going to miss that."

Even if that means getting out of changing diapers?

"I changed my first diaper and was just awful at it," he said with a chuckle. "She's kicking and screaming. And those little ones are stronger than you think. She gave me a run for my money."

Speaking of giving a best effort, that's exactly what Krahn plans to do over the next few weeks to remain here through the season.

While it's most likely newcomer Philippe Sauve will serve as the back-up behind Miikka Kiprusoff, Krahn isn't ready to accept a ticket to Omaha to be the No.-1 netminder for the club's AHL affiliate.

"Phil Sauve is a great goaltender but competition brings the best in everyone and I'm coming to camp to earn a spot here. I'm not thinking about second place," he said.

He's already used to the new, smaller equipment with which he'll have to do the job.

"I thought it would be a lot smaller. I didn't think it would look as big as it does," he said. "It's all mental to me, if you think you're smaller, you'll be smaller and will have defeated yourself.

"I consider myself to be a big guy with quick reflexes and my style is to get in the way of the puck but this will put a little more reflex back in and I'm finding I'm a little more agile."


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