SUN Hockey Pool

No strain no gain for Rene

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Rene Bourque lives on the edge.

He likes to bang and crash on the forecheck, but that leaves him susceptible to injury.

That was the case in Friday night's pre-season victory over the Florida Panthers, when Bourque got in a little less than six minutes of work in the first period before leaving with a minor injury.

In those 5:52, Bourque managed a goal, three shots on net -- another was blocked -- and a one recorded hit.

"I feel good. I like to play physical, try to get a few bumps in there right away to get me into the game. I'm fine, it was nothing, just a little hip-flexor strain," Bourque said yesterday after skipping practice for some extra treatment.

"I would have kept playing, but they said to take it easy."

It's hard for the 26-year-old to take it easy on the ice. Although the 6-ft.-2, 205-pounder has been unable to suit up for a full NHL schedule in three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks because of injury, Bourque has to play that style. That line he walks is a double-edged sword.

"If I didn't play that way, I wouldn't be here."

Veterans get a break

Dion Phaneuf, Craig Conroy and Rhett Warrener joined Rene Bourque in skipping practice yesterday. Brandon Prust stayed home with the flu, and John Armstrong is suffering an unknown lower-body injury.


Photos