hockey players are tough

Video: Patrik Elias shakes off puck to the face

File this was in the warehouse of clips known as “hockey players are tough.” New Jersey Devils lifer Patrik Elias wears a face shield but a deflected puck caught him underneath it, right in the nose. Elias was clearly bloodied yet he might not have even missed a shift. Check out video of that painful moment below:

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You know, we might want to bump up Elias on the list of players who don’t get enough credit.

Kyle Brodziak shakes off skate to the face


After a surprising start, the Minnesota Wild have had some bad times in their considerable fall back to Earth. Kyle Brodziak’s 22-goal season has been one of the best bright spots, but he convincingly showed that he’s more than just a nice goal scorer on Tuesday.

Brodziak took a skate to the face from his own teammate Darroll Powe – Michael Russo passes along video that indicates it landed somewhere around his left cheek or nose – yet he returned in the same first period with a visor, according to the Minnesota Wild.

Sure, true hardcores might penalize Brodziak for what Russo calls a “[Dany] Heatley visor,” but it’s still a testament to true hockey toughness that he barely missed a beat in a game that’s meaningless for the Wild. (In fact, the heating-up Minnesota team is only hurting its chances of getting a better draft pick with each win.)

Video: Steven Stamkos takes a puck to his face, barely misses any time

The beauty about hockey – particularly as the stakes rise in the playoffs – is that just about every player is tough. It’s not just enforcers or defensive defensemen who remind us why we watch on TV while they play for puck-related glory. Big-money stars shake off ghastly injuries for two reasons: 1) they’re tough as well and 2) it’s simply expected of them.

Even though we’ve seen moments like these time and time again, they never fail to amaze hockey fans. Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos took a Johnny Boychuk slapper to the face, which “shattered his nose” according to the Versus telecast. Cameras caught him making his way to the locker room with serious haste while clutching his nose, leaving some to wonder if the Lightning would play a huge game without a big star.

It seemed like he barely missed more than a shift or two, instead. Stamkos came back into action with a full face shield and a gnarly wound on his nose (which you can see from this post’s main image via a screenshot from Chemmy of Pension Plan Puppets).

You can watch footage of Stamkos taking that shot to face in the video below. As I joked on Twitter, Stamkos went from having a face suited for a villain’s role in ’80s teen comedies to a mug that wouldn’t be out of place in a gangster movie. He might be a little less pretty after tonight’s game, but in return, he gained the respect of almost any reasonable hockey fan.

One final thought: thank goodness that he was wearing a visor.

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