this week: they took my appendix out through my belly button

pondChris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune was asking this week about the rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks. “That’s a team we dislike a lot,” volunteered Vancouver’s Alexandre Burrows. Duncan Keith, from Chicago said: “I don’t dislike anybody I play against. I don’t have a problem.”

“I don’t know,” said one of the Vancouver goaltenders, Roberto Luongo. “I just stop the puck, man.”

The other, Cory Schneider denied he was feeling sorry for himself. “I don’t cry myself to sleep at night,” he told some reporters.

“You run out of clichés to say to the guys, obviously,” said Washington’s coach, Adam Oates.

About the New Jersey Devils, Marc Staal of the New York Rangers said, “I can’t stand losing to them.”

@AnzeKopitar twickered: “Iskrene cestitke vsem fantom! Pise se zgodovina!”

“Obviously most people wouldn’t say I play a pretty game or anything,” a self-aware Mike Rupp offered. He’d just been traded by the Rangers to Minnesota’s Wild and had to go home and tell his wife, Christi, and their four children.

“The hardest thing,” he said, “was putting them to bed last night. We all got a little emotional because you know I’m not going to see them for a few months. It’s tough, but it’s what we signed up for. But before you knew it, my daughter started drawing pictures of the Wild logo and writing facts about the state of Minnesota.”

Boston’s Shawn Thornton was feeling better. “The noggin feels pretty good,” is what he said. His teammates were in Montreal but he was back home recuperating from a nasty bout of having been punched repeatedly about the head by Buffalo’s John Scott at the end of January. “I knew when I got hit behind the ear my legs went from out from underneath me that something was wrong,” he reminisced. “I just didn’t really feel right in the box. That’s why I skated right off when I went across the ice.”

In St. Louis, Russian rookie Vladimir Tarasenko didn’t like a nickname his teammates had given him, Tank; he asked them to call him Frank instead.

His coach, Ken Hitchcock, looked at him and remembered Jere Lehtinen. “He just kind of wowed you with his tenacity on the puck, his ability to make plays in small spaces, Jere was like that.”

Derek Dorsett from Columbus said he didn’t bite the Blues’ Chris Stewart on the hand when they were fighting. “We were chirping back and forth,” Dorsett said. “I have no idea what he was saying.”

“Yeah, he bit me,” Stewart said. “Want to see the teeth marks?”

In Edmonton, captain Shawn Horcoff broke a knuckle. “It’s not an injury that’s due to some kind of contact,” said his coach, Ralph Krueger. “He was just playing hockey, blocking a shot.”

Sidney Crosby said his nose was not broken.

In Buffalo, Christian Erhoff either suffered an undisclosed muscle injury or injured a muscle called the undisclosed. You’d have to know the names of the muscles better than I do to be sure.

Max Pacioretty was commended for his super-speedy healing. The guy “barely flinched when he was drilled in the heart with a slap shot in January 2011,” a reporter recalled, “then rebounded with incredible speed from a fractured neck and severe concussion sustained two months later.” Now the Montreal winger was back on the ice sooner than expected from an appendectomy. “Three holes,” he said. “They took my appendix out through my belly button. It gave me an ‘outie,’ which I’m not too happy about. But that’s about it.”

In Washington, Coach Oates cleared the air regarding the state of Brooks Laich’s groin. “I can only speak from experience,” Oates said, “where I had a couple groin injuries and you feel like it’s lingering and all of a sudden one day you feel like, ‘Wow, it’s that much better that I can take contact.’ Then once you get over that hurdle, you’re fine.”

Chris Kuc to Phoenix’s Raffi Torres: thinking of changing the way you play? Torres: “If I want to keep playing in this league I’m going to have to change.”

“I knew it was going to happen,” Shawn Thornton said.

Huh? Sorry?

The fight. Buffalo. John Scott. Punches. Head. Thornton said, “I was thinking about it all day. The anxiety is going and to square off with somebody that is 6’8”, 270 isn’t easy for someone when you are seven inches shorter.”

No. No way. Can’t be.

“My thought process going in was to try and get in tight as quick as possible and try to decline the reach advantage as much as possible. But I missed my grab, he backed off and it was good by him. Like I said, you do it enough, it’s going to happen once and a while.”

Right. I guess.

“You win some and you lose some,” Thornton continued. “We fought like men and he got the better of me.”

“You could lose it twice as fast as you got it … that’s what my grandma told me,” twookled @Logancouture.