Morrison Sidelined Indefinitely

Of course, given the way the Flames have rapidly turned into playoff contenders, the timing could have been better.
But Brendan Morrison knows this.

"I don’t know if there’s ever a good time to get injured," the 35-year-old centreman was saying Tuesday morning, addressing Calgary media on Tuesday morning. "But especially with the way things have been going with our team, we’re right back in the race. As a player, this is the best time to be playing. We’re jostling for a playoff position.

"It’s disheartening."

And there’s nothing he can do about it.

After injuring his left knee last week in Chicago, Morrison, a proven godsend for the Flames who was a last-minute addition at the beginning of the year, is currently in a "wait-and-see" mode. Currently, the swelling in his knee is so bad that it will take another two or three weeks before doctors will be able to get a solid evaluation on it.

Which means what, exactly? That Morrison will be out for a month? The remainder of the season?

"We don’t know yet," he said. "We’re optimistic that I can hopefully come back but we’re not going to know until everything settles down and we test it."

And that’s a big-time disappointment for the Flames.

In 19 games since Jan. 21, he had collected 21 points going plus-10 in the process working as a first-line centre with Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla. Since joining Calgary before the first game of the season, Morrison has racked up 43 points including 34 assists in 66 appearances and is a plus-13. All for the relatively bargain price of $725,000.

OK, maybe "big-time" is a huge understatement.

"He’s a really smart player," Tanguay said. "He’s been playing on top lines for a number of years … he knows what it takes and the pressure that comes with it."

Which is why, of course, Morrison fit in so well with the Flames No. 1 unit. And in Vancouver with Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund in Vancouver, once upon a time.

"Playing with Iggy, you always play with the top defencemen," Tanguay said. "So it’s a little different. You have to be sharper than usual.

"It’s a lot harder to play against the top-D than it is to play against the third D-pairing. But I think he’s played great throughout the year. Certainly for a guy that was left unprotected from Vancouver, coming in and stepping in the way he has, he’s had a great season.

"He’s been a big part of this team, for sure."

Like anyone would do in the situation, Morrison said he reviewed the incident in his mind: a quick drop to Iginla at the blueline and as Iginla dumped it in around the boards, Morrison picked up the puck and shifted his weight onto his left leg.

Could he have done anything differently? Could he have avoided it?

"It’s a physical game and it happened," he said. "It wasn’t a very dangerous play or anything … but I knew right away that something wasn’t right, right away."

"It wasn’t easy getting off; I couldn’t put much weight on that leg," he continued. "To be honest, I don’t know. What I’ve always done is trying not to stay down when I’ve gotten hurt. It’s not trying to be manly or prove that I’m tough, or anything.

"The play is going on; you’ve gotta get off the ice."

Regardless of his legit attempt to hobble over to Calgary’s bench as quickly as possible, Morrison was chirped from the Chicago Blackhawks bench.

Which, understandably, didn’t sit well with him.

"What was a little disappointing was coming off the ice and the guys from the Chicago bench being a little disrespectful; it was uncalled for. But you just do what you do and try to get off the ice. Guys standing up and yelling — I don’t think it’s very professional."

By no means, did Morrison need a handful of Kleenex on Tuesday.

In fact, his demeanour suggested the opposite — the approach of a consummate professional.

"There’s no point in moping around or hanging your head; it’s not going to change what happened," he said. "You have to face it head-on and be positive around the guys and support them as much as possible. I mean, hey, we’ve won the last two games and I haven’t played. Our team is playing extremely well.

"It’s an exercise in patience, really."

  • phantomcrapper

    I love how critical people are of Kristen. Its pretty easy to talk all big and tough hidding behing a computer screen eh?

    I, for one, enjoy her stories. It is written from a very journalistic point of view but its not detracting anything from the site. I enjoy hearing her insight on some things. It is a very different writting style than those of other writters. All add a good aspect to FN that give a complete view.

  • icedawg_42

    I have no problem with this article – nor the way it was presented. Granted you could have gotten this same information from the local papers. The only thing I would suggest to Kristen is to feel free to inject some personal opinion here, feel free to treat it as a blog and dont feel obligated to just ‘report’.