Sutter keeps Glencross' injury secret

WES GILBERTSON, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:10 PM ET

It’s that time of year again when NHL executives would rather reveal their personal banking passwords than dish the details on player injuries, so it comes as no surprise Flames bench boss Brent Sutter isn’t shedding any light on Curtis Glencross’ status.

After the speedy left-winger was spotted on crutches Thursday afternoon at the Saddledome, though, it seems almost certain he’ll be sidelined for Friday’s clash with the San Jose Sharks.

Just don’t expect any members of the Flames organization to admit it.

“I’m not the coach, I’m not a trainer,” pleaded Flames forward Eric Nystrom when questioned about the health of his linemate. “I just go and I play, and that’s all I worry about.”

Glencross was involved in a knee-on-knee collision with Avalanche forward Matt Hendricks during Wednesday’s 3-2 win in Colorado and only took one shift in the third period.

Sutter told reporters Thursday he “wouldn’t talk to anything about injuries,” but elaborated a bit on the Glencross situation when asked a few minutes later whether he thought it was a dirty play by Hendricks.

“Is it a legal hit? Sometimes, those hits in the game are not as illegal as you think,” Sutter said. “But it was still a knee-on-knee and, unfortunately, we’ve got a guy that’s a little banged up from it, and hopefully, he’ll be OK.

“You never like seeing those things happen, obviously. But was it a dirty check? It was a knee-on-knee or leg-on-leg, but it wasn’t someone running at somebody and sticking his leg out at him.”

If Glencross isn’t able to suit up against the Sharks, Sutter will be searching for a replacement to skate alongside Nystrom and Jamal Mayers on what’s become a very effective energy line.

Glencross has three assists in his past four outings. He and Mayers both won key battles along the boards to set up Nystrom’s first-period marker against the Avs.

“Obviously, Glennie does a lot for us — killing penalties, scoring key goals and using his speed,” Mayers said. “But our game won’t change. I’m not sure who we’ll be with, but I’m assuming Ny and I will still be together. We’ll just grind it out.”

With Christopher Higgins also nursing a lower-body injury, the Flames are carrying two extra forwards — rookie Mikael Backlund and enforcer Brian McGrattan.

Backlund has been a healthy scratch for six straight games and is anxious to get back into the lineup.

“I’m always ready to go. I’m just waiting to get my chance again,” Backlund said. “It’s too bad Glencross is hurt — I feel sorry for him — but it’s part of life, and hopefully I can take his spot if he’s not playing.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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