Playoff hockey. It’s one of the most brutal sports out there, which we saw with clarity Sunday night when Zach Werenski took a puck to the face, bled all over the ice and then came back into the game for his Columbus Blue Jackets, who ended up losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins to fall to 0-3 on the series.
After the game, Werenski shared this picture, which shows just how badly he was hurt.
Yet he still. Came. Back. Into. The. Game.
Now, this isn’t just the case of a rookie trying to prove himself to the veterans on the team. This is the mentality of pro hockey players on a wide scale. They’re unbelievably tough and must have pain tolerances out of this world.
Thankfully, the team is shutting Werenski down for the rest of the playoffs, for his own good.
Columbus #BlueJackets D Zach Werenski is out for the playoffs after taking a puck to the face last night according to coach John Tortorella.
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) April 17, 2017
This is the smart and prudent thing to do. The kid suffered a fracture to his face, for crying out loud. That he came back into the game last night was probably not the smartest thing, despite the culture he clearly fits into.
A culture that also saw a Penguins fan refuse medical treatment during Game 1 after he was stabbed in the head…with a screwdriver.
At least the rookie has earned some well-deserved respect for showing legendary toughness. Which, in this league, will get him a long way.