Players cautious of flu bug

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:29 AM ET

Mark Giordano will be paying a little closer attention to his body in the next while.

On Saturday, Giordano fought Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid.

On Tuesday came word Smid had been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus.

"It's in the back of your mind," Giordano said yesterday. "But there's really not much more I can do. I try to eat well, stay healthy and that's it. At the time, I didn't know and I don't think he knew either, so it's one of those things.

"Just got to be extra careful."

Smid is one of four NHLers known to be diagnosed with the virus, which has killed nearly 100 people in Canada.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj is recovering from it, while Washington Capitals forward Quintin Laing has been diagnosed.

New York Islanders forward Doug Weight said yesterday he is also recovering after a bout with the H1N1 virus.

"Hopefully, it doesn't get too much worse than it has," Giordano said.

"A lot of guys with Edmonton had the flu. It's an eye-opener. You have to listen to your body and take care of it.

"It's a little bit scary whenever a virus is going around."

Flames forward Dustin Boyd has been away from the team since Sunday due to the flu, but the team hasn't said whether it's a regular illness or the H1N1 virus.

Eric Nystrom, who rooms with Boyd, has moved in with David Moss and his family until Boyd recovers.

"Have to keep safe," Nystrom said. "I've got a jacked up immune system. Nothing's getting to me."

The Flames, like every other NHL team, are doing what they can to prevent the virus from spreading through their locker-room like wildfire -- which can happen with illnesses.

Precautions being taken include not sharing towels or water bottles.

"Guys are pretty aware of any sicknesses," said Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr.

"Hygiene- wise, we're pretty good. It's simple things like hand sanitizer in the weight room before guys go in, a strict policy with washing hands often and, if guys are sick, it's important to keep them away so it doesn't spread."

This past week, Flames players received seasonal flu shots. Many plan to go for the H1N1 vaccination.

"I think it's important to do," Regehr said. "I've been vaccinated right from when I was a kid, so I'll continue that. I think I've turned out to be fairly normal."

Budaj has remained in Denver since coming down with the illness late last week but is expected to join the Avalanche in the coming days.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA

THREE STARS

AS CHOSEN BY STEVE MACFARLANE

WOJTEK WOLSKI, AVS

A spectacular individual effort produced the winning tally in the third.

CRAIG ANDERSON, AVS

Recovered nicely from two early and unlucky goals with some timely saves.

JAROME IGINLA, FLAMES

The Flames' most dangerous-looking forward finished with one goal.


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