SUN Hockey Pool

Langkow's neck 'OK'

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

Daymond Langkow came home from Minnesota Monday and the Calgary Flames breathed a sigh of relief.

The Flames centre left Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul after taking an Ian White shot to the back of the neck in the second period.

Langkow was motionless for several minutes before leaving on a stretcher.

He spent the night in hospital as the team flew home, but he was released and arrived back in Calgary Monday afternoon wearing a neck brace.

Langkow won’t be in the Flames’ lineup for Tuesday’s meeting with the Anaheim Ducks at the Saddledome — the team announced he is out “indefinitely” — but the players are just happy to hear their teammate is OK.

“To hear he’s fine and walking around is a great sign,” said fellow Flames centre Craig Conroy.

“It was scary. I went out there and looked and saw his face. It’s great news that he’s OK and that he’s coming home. If it hit him on the top of the helmet, it would have been great.”

Before Langkow left the arena, he had movement throughout his body but the scene was ugly as Sportsnet cameras isolated the puck hitting his neck.

Langkow took a cross-check from Wild defenceman Greg Zanon when White’s shot was on its way, and he appeared to be ducking out of the way when it caught an area below the helmet.

“There is that space on the back of the neck that is exposed,” said Flames forward Eric Nystrom.

“You never get hit there. It was a freak play. When it comes to the neck, they take every precaution. The stretcher obviously looks bad when it comes out. When it comes to a neck injury, you want to make sure it’s handled properly, and they did a great job of that.

“As a teammate you hate seeing that on the ice. It’s scary but this game if fast, the puck is hard and the guys are big and strong. Unfortunately, things like that happen.”

With Jamal Mayers also leaving Sunday’s game with what appears to be a shoulder injury and Christopher Higgins and Curtis Glencross still hobbled by lower-body injuries, the Flames may need reinforcements.

The only healthy forward on reserve is Brian McGrattan, so the Flames may have to call up a player from Abbotsford.

“We’ve been fortunate through most of the year that we haven’t had to battle through a string of injuries,” said assistant coach Dave Lowry.

“What it does is give other guys opportunities and this is the time of year when you need players to step in and elevate their games.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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