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Infection sidelines Canucks? Higgins

by Kevin Woodley
VANCOUVER -- Chris Higgins isn't expected to play Tuesday against Colorado because of a possible foot infection.

Higgins was fine talking to the media after scoring the winning goal and setting up two others in Sunday’s 5-1 win against Calgary; but, according to coach Alain Vigneault, the winger woke up with a swollen foot.

Higgins, who missed six games with a Staph infection last season while he was still with the Florida Panthers, was going to see an infection specialist, Vigneault said, adding he didn't expect Higgins to play again the Avalanche based on how his foot looked Monday morning.

"Chris came in this morning and his foot was all swollen up. According to what he is telling us, he had the same thing happen to him last year in Florida," Vigneault said. "They initially thought it was a skate bite and then they thought it was a spider bite and then they finally figured out it was a Staph infection. Hopefully with their experience in the past they can get this under control real quick."

Chris Higgins
Left Wing - VAN
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 17
SOG: 62 | +/-: 2
Higgins said last season that they never did figure out what caused his last infection.

"I got a big zit on my foot, it was disgusting," Higgins said shortly after arriving in Vancouver in a trade. "I've never seen anything like it, it just came out of nowhere and I guess it was pretty dangerous. They tried a couple of different antibiotics, didn't work right away, and then after the third or fourth one it worked.

"It was scary because it came out of nowhere and my foot was like five times the size of normal in hours -- from a dot to totally blown up."

Higgins was offered a variety of possibilities for why he suffered the infection, but was surprised it happened to him given how frequently he cleans his gear.

"I washed my equipment more than anybody else I've ever seen, even before I got the Staph infection. I was it two or three times a week and there are guys that never wash it," he said last season. "It's scary that something like that can happen. I felt something weird and then after the game I took my boot off and it swelled up in two hours."

Without Higgins, who has 8 goals and 17 points in 26 games, the Canucks recalled Victor Oreskovich from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

But judging from practice, Danish speedster Jannik Hansen, who also scored Sunday, is more likely to takes his spot on the "American Express Line" with Ryan Kesler and David Booth.

Manny Malhotra likely moves back up to the third line with Cody Hodgson and Mason Raymond, who is another candidate to play with Kesler and Booth in his second game since returning from a broken back. Oreskovich will take the fourth-line spot left open by Aaron Volpatti’s torn labrum, which requires surgery.
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