Monday, March 22, 2010

A Skate to the Face: One of the scariest parts of the game

It’s not a head shot, or deliberate attempt to injure, but a skate to the face is always a terrible concern.

The most recent example comes from Monday’s Habs-Senators game.

Fortunately the Canadiens Travis Moen was treated for a facial laceration to the forehead and was treated at the Bell Centre medical clinic. Props to referee Bill McCreary for immediately waving for the Canadiens training staff to get out there.

The event was clearly an accident, but the player who is usually wearing the skates feels pretty bad about it.

He clearly knows that it could easily be him on the receiving end. It’s part of the risk of playing the game.

The same can be said about an errant high-stick (see Bryan Berard), or a misdirected puck.

Former Canadiens forward Richard Zednik is one of the most recent to have taken a shot from a skate. In his case it was his own teammate.


One of the scariest moments happened over 20 years ago to Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk. Please watch this with extreme caution. This is why neck protection is so critical for goalies in today’s game.

Three years before that, Leafs defenceman Borje Salming was on his back during a goal-mouth scramble. The Detroit Red Wings Gerard Gallant was bumped, lost his balance and stepped right on the rearguard’s face.

It took 250 stitches to repair the damage. How he didn’t lose an eye, I have no idea.

image Borje Salming after taking a skate to the face in 1986– Toronto Star

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