Todd Bertuzzi’s hit takes a chunk out of Ryan Johnson’s ear

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It might be the most redundant point in hockey – even more than criticizing the league’s discipline system or the seriousness of concussions – but it still must be said.

Hockey players are ridiculously tough.

CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers reports that Detroit Red Wings winger Todd Bertuzzi went out of his way to apologize to Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Johnson after landing his ill-fated elbow, but hopefully he was speaking into Johnson’s good ear. That’s because NHL.com’s Brian Hedger writes that Johnson needed a trainer to sew part of his ear back because of the hit.

After ruining your urge for a midnight snack, Johnson was quick to point out that it wasn’t a “Tyson-sized” chunk. Johnson reportedly said that he wasn’t really bothered by it, a claim backed up by the fact that he he returned to action during the same first period.

He also said that he didn’t get the feeling Bertuzzi intended to injure him with the hit, even though he hasn’t seen footage of the check yet. Who knows if Johnson shaking off the hit will affect Bertuzzi’s punishment – Versus blogger Steve Lepore is among those who think that the league should suspend Bertuzzi for the rest of the regular season, if not more – but it can’t hurt Big Bert’s cause.

So here are two things we can continue to say: hockey fans still hold a grudge against Todd Bertuzzi (fair nor not) and hockey players are still absurdly tough. It looks like we can’t say that Johnson holds a grudge against Bertuzzi, though.

For more on the Blackhawks-Red Wings game, check out the PHT recap. For even more, check out Joel Quenneville’s comments that this was the team’s biggest win of the season and Jonathan Toews’ claims that a hot Chicago team is talented enough to beat any team in the league.