Giordano trying a visor after Saturday's close call

 

 
 
 
 
Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He started the game without a visor, but a dangerous high stick by Chris Neil had him wearing the window.
 

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He started the game without a visor, but a dangerous high stick by Chris Neil had him wearing the window.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

On the ice, as everyone could see, Mark Giordano was wearing a visor.

Off the ice, as everyone could see, Giordano was extremely lucky.

Which the Calgary Flames captain, with a tight line of stitches along his left eyelid, fully knows.

“It was close — a close call,” Giordano said after Monday’s practice at the Scotiabank Saddledome. “But nothing (damaged on) the actual eye, so that’s a good thing. The stitches are on the outside — it didn’t go through (the eyelid) or anything.”

Saturday night against the visiting Ottawa Senators, Giordano had been clipped in the face by Chris Neil’s stick.

For now, he is wearing a shield.

Same with another holdout, Lance Bouma, who’d had his cheekbone mashed earlier this season in Nashville.

“Thanks to Booms’ mom, we won that battle,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. “It’s a scary sight to see any guys getting injured at any point, but when your trainer tells you he got a stick in the eye and he’s in for stitches . . . and once I saw (Giordano’s) cut, especially where it was, I fully understood how delicate the doctors had to be. I fully understood the situation.

“We’re in an era right now when the game is so quick — pucks are flying, sticks are flying — you need to protect your eyes. I would like everyone to wear a visor.”

Flames players forgoing eye protection are Dennis Wideman, Brian McGrattan, Brandon Bollig, Deryk Engelland.

“I’d definitely prefer not using one,” said Giordano. “But I’ll try it again and see how it goes this time.”

Why the hesitation?

“I don’t know,” replied Giordano. “It’s just personal preference. They fog up and get water on them from time to time. So that’s a bit of a bother. But I’ll try it again because it was pretty close to being a bad eye injury. And I don’t want to, obviously, put myself at risk if I don’t have to. I’ll try to get used to it over the next few weeks.”

Usage of shields is being grandfathered in, in the National Hockey League. Newcomers must wear them. Most everybody approves of that.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Giordano. “I just think certain guys — myself included — for whatever reason, it was tough to get used to it. I’m going to try it again. Hopefully, I can keep it on for good.”

GIO NO MYSTERY

Bruce Boudreau, for one, is not surprised by Mark Giordano’s play.

As skipper of the Manchester Monarchs — farm team of the Los Angeles Kings — Boudreau got an eyeful of No. 34 for the 2004-05 Lowell Lock Monsters of the American Hockey League.

Giordano, then 20 years old, picked up 16 points in 66 games.

It had been his first season of pro.

“I thought he was their best defenceman,” said Boudreau, current coach of the Anaheim Ducks. “I kept telling the Kings to go get this guy. But, obviously, I’m not a scout. He was great — Lowell’s best defenceman. He was tough. He could rush the puck. He could do everything.

“But you know what? It takes a while for a defenceman to reach the zenith of his game. I’ve been told that you don’t even become an NHL defenceman till you play 300 games. He’s been everything to Calgary and more. That’s a great get.”

MASCOT OFFSIDE?

To have players hospitalized after catching the mumps is bad enough.

To have another team’s mascot mock you?

Even worse.

Yet when the Anaheim Ducks played Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, Kings mascot Bailey was dressed in scrubs and mask and gloves, poking fun at the guests.

“I think it’s offside,” said Francois Beauchemin. “I mean, you don’t mess with diseases like that. It’s not like the flu bug or something. It’s something pretty serious. But, again, nothing surprises me from the Kings. That’s something they do often for us.

“I don’t they’d be laughing if they got a couple players with it.”

Both of Anaheim’s afflicted skaters — Corey Perry and Beauchemin — are symptom-free. They skated Monday afternoon with their teammates in Calgary.

“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever had in my life,” said Beauchemin, who lost 10 pounds during the ordeal. “It was a long week, a long 10 days, of recovery. I’m finally over it. It’s good to be back.”

Perry returned Sunday in Anaheim.

Beauchemin expects to be in the Ducks’ lineup Thursday at Vancouver.

scruickshank@calgaryherald.com

 
 
 
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Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He started the game without a visor, but a dangerous high stick by Chris Neil had him wearing the window.
 

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He started the game without a visor, but a dangerous high stick by Chris Neil had him wearing the window.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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