Langkow plans to play

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Daymond Langkow says he's playing.

He's also apparently playing games with the media.

His right hand, which appeared to take the brunt of a Brian Campbell slapshot in the third period of Game 4, was dangling at his side and appeared no worse for wear.

Maybe a little swollen, but nothing a casual observer could say for certain.

The tough Calgary Flames centre says that's because the puck didn't hurt his hand.

"Actually, I kind of took that in the groin area, that shot," said Langkow, who had reporters laughing early in his media scrum as he spat out brief answers to the injury questions.

"The hand's fine. It was something else."

That same casual observer, however, would probably have noticed Langkow sporting a heavy black plastic shell over part of his right glove during Calgary's practice not even 15 minutes earlier.

But fibs come with the territory at playoff time.

Whether the black pad or the groin comment was the real decoy, only Langkow and the Flames know for sure.

Head coach Mike Keenan did back up Langkow's claim of being ready to play, however.

"Daymond will play, yes," said Keenan after a fairly long pause when first asked about his team's injuries.

"I'm hesitating because there's so many of them.

"Obviously, my response is they're day-to-day ... Some are more days than others."

Both Craig Conroy and Rene Bourque practised at the United Center yesterday on a line with suspended winger Andre Roy.

Conroy scooted through the dressing room wrapped in towels afterward, but was not available for comment.

A big hit put him out in the first period of the Flames' 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Saddledome Wednesday night.

Bourque is also day-to-day with an undisclosed injury believed to be a tweaked ankle.

He missed more than two months of action at the end of the regular-season with a high-ankle sprain.

"It's just a matter of me feeling good enough to go out there and play well, and not take a roster spot up for someone that's going to go out there and play better than me if I'm not feeling well," Bourque said yesterday.

"If I'm feeling good and I feel like I can contribute, I'll play tomorrow night."

Langkow might be the only one of the injured players who's a sure thing to return.

While outsiders don't see much of his sense of humour, he might have been joking about the groin shot when his initial answers drew blank stares from reporters and laughter from teammates listening nearby.

"Good, I feel fine," Langkow answered when asked about his health.

Prompted about whether or not he'd be in the lineup for tonight's contest, he used one word.

"Yeah."

Interrupting a few seconds of silence were bursts of chuckling from the nearby stalls.

"I don't know what else you want me to say."

The fact he's playing is enough.

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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