SUN Hockey Pool

Giordano shakes off puck in mouth

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:12 AM ET

ANAHEIM - His visit to the dentist will be a priority when he gets back to Calgary.

For now, Flames defenceman Mark Giordano just has to hope the puck he took to the mouth late Thursday night in Phoenix didn't rattle his teeth enough to force them out.

"A bunch of stitches. Hopefully, I can save some of these teeth," he said, listing off the damage in the team hotel before Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks. "A few teeth were pushed back a little bit.

"They're fake already, those two, the two that got pushed back.

"Hopefully, they set back in place."

Thankfully, Giordano was wearing a mouthguard, which undoubtedly saved a few of his chiclets.

The set of fresh stitches still fresh on his upper lip, Giordano will add to his long list of scars.

He took a slapshot over the lip and under the nose last season that he says was much more painful that Thursday's deflection off his own stick and into his grill.

"You never get used to it, I don't think," he said.

"Anytime you get hit in the face, it stings for a bit. But I think in the last couple of years, I've got a bunch in the face. You just hop ... A, you don't want to get it up in the eye area; and B, hopefull,y you can keep as many teeth as possible."

Returnees eyed for boost

Finding ways to win games immediately is important. But the Calgary Flames feel the return of some key cogs in recent days and weeks will keep them in the playoff hunt right down to the final hours of regular-season action. David Moss played his first game in nearly four months Thursday in the 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Curtis Glencross is finally nearing the level he'd reached before a knee injury derailed his career-best season. Giordano is back to making more of the plays that earned him a big contract extension after missing time with a hamstring issue. "Look at our lineup when we're healthy -- we've got a pretty deep lineup," Glencross said. "That's the (crappy) part about the game is injuries happen once in a while. It seems the last few years we've really been snakebitten by them." In spite of 287 man games lost this season, the Flames are hanging around and pushing for the final playoff spot. "I don't think we're too happy right now where we're at. We've missed some pretty good opportunities to bump up in the standings," Giordano said."But we're still in a good spot."

Around the glass

Leland Irving likely can't wait until his debut at the Saddledome. While he met up with some friends in Phoenix after being recalled by the Flames, he still hasn't had a chance to play an NHL game in front of his family. "I've got some close friends in (Phoenix)," said Irving, who started his sixth game of the season in Anaheim Friday. "I got to catch up with them (Wednesday) night. The way the season's gone, every game's been pretty far away. My immediate family hasn't been able to see me yet. That's the way it goes. Hopefully, they'll catch a game, eventually." ... Irving has quickly earned the respect of his teammates. After stoning Bobby Ryan late in the first period right before a TV timeout, his teammates were respectfully tapping their sticks on the bench. Starter Miikka Kiprusoff contributed with his blocker on the boards ... An entire section of Ducks fans was given white cowboy hats by the Calgary Stampede and Travel Alberta. There was also a white tent outside with a mechanical bull and some other tastes of Stampede, which was here promoting its Centennial birthday celebration this summer.


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