By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 16, 2001
TAMPA -- Count Sheldon Keefe among the very lucky.
The right wing, who plays for Springfield, the Lightning's top minor-league affiliate, sustained a scary injury Saturday when he took a stick to the left eye during a game against Lowell.
It appears he will make a full recovery. Springfield trainer Mike Zanzarella said Thursday that Keefe, recovering from a corneal abrasion, blood between the lens and pupil and retinal swelling, could be skating by Tuesday.
"It was a little scary at first," Keefe said. "There was about 10 to 20 seconds when I lost vision in that eye, but I got it back quickly. At this point, it's just a little uncomfortable."
Springfield assistant coach Brad Shaw said the injury occurred when a Lowell defenseman tried to block Keefe's shot. The defenseman's stick hit Keefe's and flew into Keefe's face. Keefe was not wearing a face shield.
"There was no intent (to injure)," Shaw said.
Keefe, 21, a second-round pick (47th overall) in 1999, has played well at Springfield with 4 goals, 8 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 14 games.
"He's been the one guy we've been able to count on night in and night out and shift to shift to give us an honest effort," Shaw said. "He plays borderline reckless, but his passion for the game is contagious."
"It's feeling a lot better," Keefe said. "My vision is pretty much all back. There are a couple of little blind spots, but the doctor said it should heal 100 percent."
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: Fredrik Modin's son is named Jesper (pronounced YES-per). His fiancee, Linda Renhorn, gave birth to the couple's first child Wednesday at University Hospital with the Lightning left wing at her side.
"It came out. It was a little blue, but they wiped it off right away," Modin said before facing the Maple Leafs. Of being a new father, he said, "It's all smiles."
NEW PLAYER HURT: Defensemen Josef Boumedienne and Sascha Goc, acquired from the Devils on Nov.9 for Andrei Zyuzin, played their first game for the Lightning. Boumedienne broke a toe blocking a shot. It his unclear if he will miss any games.
REMEMBER: Saturday's game against the Hurricanes at the Ice Palace is at 5 p.m. in deference to the Florida-Florida State football game.
FOOD DRIVE: Saturday is the last day of the Thanksgiving food drive put on by the wives of Lightning players and benefiting Metropolitan Ministries. Fans can donate nonperishable items before the game at the Chrysler/Jeep Plaza at the Ice Palace.
ODDS AND ENDS: Defensemen Grant Ledyard (concussion) and Cory Sarich (bruised right shoulder) and left wing Gordie Dwyer were scratched. ... Wing Ben Clymer played his 100th game. ... Vinny Lecavalier's first-period goal was the 64th of his career, fifth all-time on the Lightning.