The news isn't good for the Calgary Flames and defenceman Roman Hamrlik.
Hamrlik's holiday season turned slightly sour when he was diagnosed with a second-degree sprain of the MCL in his right knee after an MRI yesterday.
He will be sidelined for at least a month.
The Flames rearguard was injured during Wednesday's 4-1 victory when Devils forward Grant Marshall jammed Hamrlik's knee on the boards during a check in New Jersey.
Fellow blueliner Robyn Regehr can empathize with Hamrlik's plight. Regehr suffered an MCL sprain in the pre-season and missed the Flames' first 14 games.
"I hope that he's not out as long as I was," said Regehr yesterday. "Both our hits were fairly innocent-looking hits but you get caught with your knee in the wrong position and something has to give."
Bryan Marchment will make his eleventh appearance for the Flames tonight and will be in the lineup for the foreseeable future. He was paired with Hamrlik's usual partner, rookie Dion Phaneuf, in yesterday's practice.
"Practice has been good," said Marchment, who has been working hard on conditioning. "My preparation for games hasn't really changed much. I get to the rink early, I've been fortunate enough to go out for warmup and being a part of the team. I haven't been off in the background. It's been good other than being out there and getting banged around or banging people around and that kind of thing. I'm really excited to be playing."
Regehr offers a vote of confidence: "He's been practising really hard. After we're done, he's been getting skated and he's been working out on his own, too, to stay sharp."