John Tavares took a puck off the face tonight, adding his name to the list of star NHLers who have been injured by pucks to the face in the last week. Said list now consists of Tavares and Dion Phaneuf. The miracle of this, if there is any, is that neither player plays for the Pittsbrugh Penguins who seem to have everything else going wrong for them, injury wise at least.
As Backhand Shelf’s venerable editor, Mr. Justin Bourne, noted last week: these injuries aren’t likely to slow anytime soon, ESPECIALLY with the emphasis on getting the puck up off the ice to beat butterfly goaltenders. Obviously Tavares’ injury – as you will see soon – came from an errant chip attempt, but the point remains the same.
A puck that is up is a hazard.
This will definitely be an interesting part of the game to keep an eye on. We seem to be on a run of headshots and concussions now, years after a run on high sticks and visor debate.
Could pucks to the face become the new “thing”?
UPDATE: You can add Jonathan Toews to the list. Click here and watch ~10 seconds in.