Regehr to play after taking shot to ear

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Blood on the ice usually means sutures are forthcoming.

But while Robyn Regehr kept the media in stitches yesterday, he avoided them himself when a slapshot connected with the side of his head in Vancouver Sunday night.

"Feels like it took a slapshot," he said when asked how his ear was feeling. "Didn't get any stitches, though. I was lucky. Puck was rolling and probably flat-sided. I think that's why I didn't get cut wide open."

The Calgary Flames defenceman's right ear was red, clot-smattered and sore-looking the day after Lukas Krajicek's fluttering point-shot knocked Regehr out of the game in the first period, but he will play tonight against the Colorado Avalanche (7:30 p.m., pay-per-view) after practising yesterday afternoon.

Regehr's ear drum was the medical team's biggest concern initially.

"When a puck hits you flat like that, it can pop the ear drum. But I got it checked out yesterday in Vancouver and again this morning here in Calgary. Everything looks good. Just bruised. Not looking too good for an ear," said Regehr, setting up one of his punch lines. "They also said my ears were too big. If they weren't that big, I would've got out of the way."

A concussion was also a possibility, but unlike teammate Marcus Nilson -- who was concussed on a hit from behind by Canuck Trevor Linden Sunday and will miss at least tonight's tilt -- Regehr showed no signs of that sort.

"Nope, I don't think so. There's not much to worry about up there anyway, is there?" he said, drawing another round of laughter from the small crowd outside the dressing room.

Avoiding serious injury was a stroke of luck. It's amazing more rearguards aren't wounded more often while defending the space around their nets.

"That puck comes at you very quickly as a defenceman," said Regehr, who ad hoped to return Sunday and remained in full gear until his teammates went out for the second period. "You're in front of the net a lot and try to see as many shots as possible. That one, I think I just caught it right at the last second out of the corner of my eye."


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