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Slap shots

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001


SHOW HIM THE DOOR: Carolina defenseman Glen Wesley broke his jaw March3 when he was checked facefirst into the open doorway of the penalty box in Chicago.

Just as Wesley was hit by Chicago's Steve Dubinsky, the penalty box door opened to let Chicago's Steve Poapst out. Wesley slammed into the edge.

Wesley's right cheek was cut from ear to chin. He went to the hospital to get his jaw rebuilt.

"It was nasty," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "It looked awful. You knew right away it was serious when it happened."

Blame was placed on the penalty box official, whose job it is to open the door after penalties expire.

"I know it was an accident and I'm sure the fellow working that bench felt horrible about it, but you have to watch the play," Maurice said.

Said Carolina's Ron Francis: "When something like that is right in front of the door, you keep it shut and you avoid those scary situations."

Wesley was at the Hurricanes' pregame skate Wednesday to pick up a bag of shake mixes, which he expected to be sipping for two weeks.

"I was fortunate," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."

FREUDIAN SLIP: When Senators coach Jacques Martin was asked Wednesday about his goaltending choice for Thursday's game against the Bruins, Martin said, "Patrick Roy" instead of Ottawa goaltender Patrick Lalime.

After being reminded Roy plays for the Avalanche, Martin quickly regrouped and said, "Oh, you mean that trade hasn't been announced yet?"

SMOOTH TALKER: Defenseman Alexei Gusarov admits he is not a good interview, and he proved it with the St. Louis media after being traded from the Rangers to the Blues.

Question: How much did you play in New York?

Said Gusarov, pointing to the game notes: "They have the minutes in there."

Question: Who did you play with in New York?

Answer: "I played with everybody. It's a team game."

Question: How is it being reunited with coach Joel Quenneville, who coached you (as an assistant) in Colorado?

Answer: "I like to play for him. We won the Cup with him. See, bad interview."

SOMETHING SPECIAL: Former Lightning goaltender Bill Ranford is working at an alternative school in New Westminister, British Columbia, teaching hockey to at-risk kids as part of an anger-management program.

"If I hadn't been a hockey player, I would have been a teacher," Ranford said.

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