CALGARY – The injuries keep coming for the Calgary Flames.
The Flames will be without defenceman Dion Phaneuf in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarter-final series against Chicago on Monday, according to head coach Mike Keenan.
“No, he will not (play),” Keenan said following the pre-game skate. “He is not available.”
Phaneuf was levelled by Chicago’s Troy Brouwer with about eight minutes remaining in Saturday’s Game 5, which ended 5-1 in favour of the Blackhawks to give them a 3-2 lead in the series and the chance to finish it Monday.
Phaneuf got up, skated unsteadily to the Flames bench and didn’t return Saturday.
He didn’t skate Monday and wasn’t available to speak to reporters. Anders Erikkson, who played in the first game of the series, was expected to replace him in the lineup and defenceman Matt Pelech was also expected to dress.
Calgary hasn’t had defenceman Robyn Regehr (knee) for the entire series. Forwards Rene Bourque, Daymond Langkow and Craig Conroy are not 100 per cent.
It’s believed Bourque aggravated an ankle injury that kept him out the last 24 games of the regular season and Langkow took a shot off the hand in Game 4. Conroy played only the first period in Game 4 after a hard check.
Phaneuf, a Norris Trophy nominee last year as the NHL’s top defenceman, is a key player for Calgary. He led the Flames in hits during the regular season and his powerful slapshot from the point is an asset on the power play.
The Edmonton native had three assists in the first five games of the series.
While Keenan has a reputation for gamesmanship – Jeremy Roenick has said Keenan once made him wear a cast on his hand even though he wasn’t injured to make an point with officials – Phaneuf did appear dazed after the Brouwer hit.
Phaneuf had just unloaded a shot on Chicago’s net when Vancouver native Brouwer, who is six foot two and 213 pounds, angled in and flattened Phaneuf, who is listed at six foot three and 213 pounds.
“Our heads did collide and I think him not ready for it, he’s not able to brace himself and that’s why it stunned him I guess,” Brouwer said Monday.
A Phaneuf slapshot in the first period of Game 5 disfigured the finger of Chicago defenceman Matt Walker. The 29-year-old from Beaverlodge, Alta., managed to return to the game. Walker didn’t participate in Monday’s pre-game skate, but head coach Joel Quenneville said Walker will play in Game 6.