'I can't wear a visor'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

DENVER -- Peter Schaefer can already predict what's going to be under his Christmas tree.

"My wife (Tracy) is going to put a visor in my stocking," said Schaefer yesterday. "She'll be all over me to wear one. She has been for a long time and this is only going to help her cause."

"This" was a nasty gash under the left eye, courtesy of a high stick, that Schaefer suffered during the Senators' 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night at the Pepsi Center.

While referee Mick McGeough indicated it was teammate Chris Neil's stick that hit Schaefer near the eye, there were indications the blade of Colorado's Marek Svatos did the damage.

Yesterday, as the Senators made their way home from Denver, Schaefer's face was black and blue underneath his left eye, with the cut also requiring stitches. He wore a visor immediately when he returned to the game, but admitted he couldn't see much.

Still, it wasn't enough of a scare to make Schaefer wear one all the time.

'BLURRED VISION'

"I can't wear a visor. I don't even know if I'll wear one (tomorrow vs. Dallas)," said Schaefer yesterday. "I put one on so I could come back (Monday night), but I wasn't really able to see much. I had blurred vision because the eye was so swelled up.

"It's better today and the swelling will go down. I know people are going to be on me to wear a visor. My parents are coming down for about two weeks at Christmas and I know for sure I'm going to be hearing about it the whole time they're here."

Senators centre Bryan Smolinski, who inadvertently blocked a shot by Colorado's Antti Laaksonen, also considered himself fortunate. The shot was so hard it put a dent in his CCM helmet and he needed six stitches to repair the damage between the second and third periods.

FORTUNATE MOVE

"I saw him winding up and the natural instinct when somebody is doing that is to dive in front of it," said Smolinski. "Then, he kind of delayed a bit and I though, 'Uh-oh' and turned my head to get out of the way. I'm lucky I did or I could have been in a lot of trouble.

"I didn't get knocked out or anything. It just kind of stunned me. The cold from the ice kind of woke me up a bit. It kind of brought me back to my senses. I was worried because I didn't know what happened. I realized pretty quickly I was going to be okay."

The injury didn't hurt Smolinski's production. Filling in for the injured Jason Spezza on the Senators' No. 1 line, Smolinski had a goal and assist when he came back to the game in the third.

"I don't know what happened ... maybe the hit in the head jarred something loose," said Smolinski with a smile.

There were a few laughs exchanged when Smolinski walked into the trainer's room in Colorado and saw Schaefer lying on the table.

"I looked and Smolinski had a bandage on the back of his head," said Schaefer. "I gotta tell you, I couldn't help but laugh. Then we both started laughing."

At least they still could.


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