It's worth noting ...

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

With all the injuries piling up, the Blues were hoping to get some good news about the return of C Andy McDonald.

He made the trip to Western Canada to test out his ankle, but is still feeling pain.

Now the team figures there's a good chance they'll keep him out until after the all-star game.

"Putting the skate on and practising, it's not healing probably as fast as I thought," McDonald, who missed his 25th consecutive game Sunday in Edmonton, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's just too much pain. Probably strength-wise too, it's not where it needs to be. I don't want to say for sure that it's going to be after the all-star break, but the way it's going right now, that's the way it looks."

ICE CHIPS

The Flames could soon have D Jim Vandermeer back in the lineup, but it could be as a forward if LW Todd Bertuzzi's hip keeps him out for any length of time. He practised on the fourth line with RW Eric Nystrom and LW Andre Roy yesterday and didn't look to struggle with sharp turns or stops. "He's getting close," said head coach Mike Keenan ... As for Bertuzzi, Keenan says he's "day-to-day" and that he skated alone before yesterday's practice at the Saddledome. If neither Vandermeer nor Bertuzzi can go, GM Darryl Sutter will have to recall another forward ... Roy's second-place showing in the hardest-shot competition is still being talked about. Keenan figures he'll hear from the jokester about getting time on the powerplay after rifling 101.8 and 100.7 m.p.h. slapshots in Sunday's skills competition. "I'm expecting it," said Keenan. "But I haven't heard from him yet." ... Blues F Alex Steen blocked a shot Friday in Vancouver and skipped Sunday's game in Edmonton. The X-ray was negative, but his status is still in question for tonight's game against the Flames ... G Miikka Kiprusoff hasn't lost to the Blues since Jan. 30, 2006. He's 13-3-1 against them overall, and has 11 straight wins.


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