Staios blocks out shooting pains

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:39 AM ET

VANCOUVER Blocking shots in practice isnt something anyone would recommend.

At least not with live rounds. Dion Phaneuf unintentionally broke bones in two teammates bodies over the past couple of years during drills not even intended as blocking betterment.

But Steve Staios did practise getting in front pucks while honing his skills with the Edmonton Oilers.

Mac T used to bring out the old sponge pucks, Staios said with a grin. We used to work on it.

While under the tutelage of former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, Staios became one of the games best at getting in shooting lanes.

Hes among the 10 most pelted blueliners since the lockout and cant remember many of those blocks going badly.

Ive had some stuff, but Ive been fortunate, Staios said.

Shin pads (have broken), for sure. I took one in the chest from Rob Blake. That was memorable. That one knocked me down. A one-timer.

That was probably the scariest one. It hit me high in the chest, and theres a guy that can really tee it up.

Another one smacked his upper body recently. It was his second game as a Flame a win over the Wild in Minnesota and the puck nailed him in the ribs.

No padding there, and Staios isnt afraid to tell the truth about it.

Sure it hurt, Staios said with a laugh before being asked to rank the pain on a scale of one to 10.

I dont know. Its hard to say. It wasnt as bad as it could have been. There was no padding, but its just a bruise.

Staios, who had a pair of the 30 blocked shots by the Flames in a 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators last Thursday, hasnt let his age (36) or 15 NHL seasons spoil his appetite for getting in front of the rubber.

The hunger is still there.

For sure. Absolutely, he said. Its part of what I can bring.

As games get tighter down the stretch and into the playoffs, I think it becomes more important that you have guys willing to do that.

In his case, its about helping the Flames win, and not padding his numbers.

Im not much for statistics. Ive always judged my game on how the teams doing, said Staios, whose perfect record as a Flame (4-0) was on the line Sunday night in Vancouver.

Its been fun for me, the last week or so, getting some wins for this team.

At this time of year, its been a lot of fun.


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