The bad luck experienced by the St. Louis' Blues this season continued Sunday when their No. 1 line center injured his ankle in the All-Star Game.
Doug Weight was hit by a shot from teammate Ed Jovanovski late in the third period and hobbled to the bench. He did not play again and after the game left the arena on crutches and with a thick ace bandage wrapped around his bare left foot.
Weight revealed he underwent an X-ray at the arena, but would not discuss what they may have shown. He said he was still hoping that his injury could be nothing more than a bruise.
"We don't want to jump to any conclusions, but I think it's pretty good. They're looking OK," Weight said about his X-ray results. "I think they want to do a couple of more things, maybe in the morning. For the most part, I'm hoping it's just a bruise and maybe we'll find out (Monday)."
If Weight is forced to miss playing time, he would join a long list of key players who have been sidelined at various times this season.
Captain Chris Pronger hasn't played at all, while left wing Keith Tkachuk missed most of November and No. 1 goaltender Brent Johnson didn't make his season debut until December. The Blues had so many injuries to goaltenders at the beginning of the season, they used six different starters before the Christmas break.
Still, St. Louis leads the Central Division and is second overall in the West.
"We're very proud of how we've acted as a team, we've been very resilient," Weight said. "We've got a lot of confidence in ourselves no matter who's in the lineup, we'll get points."
Taking their shots
If the crowd's reaction to Sunday's All-Star Game was any indication, using a shootout to settle tied games could be a big hit for the NHL.
The announcement that the game would be settled that way after the five-minute overtime failed to produce a goal brought a big cheer from the sellout crowd that lasted through the seven breakaway shots that were taken.
Afterwards, there were mixed opinions from players asked if the league should consider implementing shootouts during the regular season.
Game MVP Dany Heatley said he thought it could work in the NHL, but should be tested during preseason first, while Weight said he liked the idea as long as the five-minute overtime was used first.
Anaheim's Paul Kariya sounded the dissenting note however, calling the shootout too "gimmicky."
"It's fine for an All-Star Game, but it's not the right way to settle things after two teams have fought for a whole game," he said.
No good old days
Speaking of Kariya, his temporary reunion with former linemate Teemu Selanne did not rekindle any of their old magic.
Selanne was on a line with the Kariya for the first time since the Mighty Ducks traded him to San Jose two years ago. The pair managed six shots between them, but failed to get a point.
Kariya did score in the shootout and said he was really hoping to set up a few goals for his old linemate. "I was hoping to persuade him to come back to Anaheim next year," Kariya said.
Selanne joked that Kariya would have to work a little harder.
"He's got to make his passes better," Selanne said. "They're too high now."
No place like home
Hometown fans in Florida had a lot to cheer about Sunday, even if the player they elected to start for the East was traded three days before the All-Star Game.
Sandis Ozolinsh, dealt Thursday by the Panthers to Anaheim, drew a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game, but the biggest noise came when Florida center Olli Jokinen scored the tying goal of the game midway through the third period.
Jokinen also had three assists in the game while Vancouver's Ed Jovanovski, a popular former Panthers player, excited the crowd with a go-ahead goal for the West.
Dogging itThe All-Star Game is supposed to be fun, which is why Western Conference coaches Marc Crawford and Dave Lewis didn't mind being "hassled" by Harvey the Hound, the infamous mascot of the Calgary Flames.
Harvey, in case you missed it, drew national attention a few weeks ago when he taunted Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish from behind the Oilers bench, resulting in MacTavish angrily pulling the mascot's tongue out.
On Sunday, Harvey was flanked by mascots from around the league when he made his way to the Western bench in the second period. During a break in play, he hung a tongue down over the bench, but failed to draw a reaction from the coaches.
On the scoreboard video, meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators mascot was going through a variety of motions, which ended up with pulling his head off and revealing the face of Ottawa and Eastern Conference coach Jacques Martin.