Hockey player provides the ultimate example of toughness

Most football players are tough. Every hockey player is.

Sunday night’s game between the Penguins and the Blue Jackets included 19-year-old Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski taking a puck to the face. It wasn’t slapshot but a short-range flip. The incident nevertheless opened a huge gash on Werenski’s face and instantly dumped a chum bucket from his nose onto the ice.

It happened in the second period. Werenski returned for the third. Werenski wasn’t able to play in overtime, primarily because his eye had swollen shut.

Via NBCSports.com, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella praised Werenski after the loss to Pittsburgh: “[He has] balls as big as the building, doesn’t he?”

Here’s the reality: Most hockey players do. Through 82 regular-season games (with the starters never taking a night off), they fly around a frozen pond with blades on their feet and weapons in their hands while a sub-zero projectile whizzes around, ready to maim or worse if the wrong player is in the wrong place at the worst possible time.

For those to whom it happens, it’s arguably a badge of honor. How else can anyone explain the fact that Zach Werenski, looking like Rocky Balboa after 15 rounds of messing with Creed, seems to be smiling at us?

34 responses to “Hockey player provides the ultimate example of toughness

  1. I’ll never forget the player for Boston breaking his leg during a penalty kill but stayed on the ice to finish his shift.

    I think it was around the same time Lebron got carried off the court because he had a cramp.

  2. Thank goodness we still have hockey – the last remaining major sport that hasn’t been sissified.
    NHL Playoffs are one of the greatest events in sports IMHO. Everything is turned up to max and the intensity is awesome.
    RN4L.

  3. Hockey tough >> all else.

    Hockey, unfortunately, doesn’t translate well to TV but having been to every type of major league sporting event in person, it’s the hands down best event to go to live.

  4. maddmatter5 says:
    Apr 17, 2017 1:15 PM
    I’ll never forget the player for Boston breaking his leg during a penalty kill but stayed on the ice to finish his shift.

    I think it was around the same time Lebron got carried off the court because he had a cramp.
    ________________________________

    Menstrual cramp if I recall.

  5. These cases aren’t black and white. Is it a franchise QB? What the risk of a making injury worse? Is it game 1 of preseason or game 7/Super Bowl? Is it Lebron or a role player? Is it a swollen eye you can play through or cramps that make you unable to walk? You can’t just paint “tough or not tough” as a generalization and not look at the real context because some guy got hit in the face and played through it and why can other athletes do the same.

  6. News flash for a couple of you: women play hockey too. It isn’t anywhere close to being as exciting to watch as the men’s version, but that’s not my point. My point is that I’ve seen enough women’s hockey games to know that, while I’ve not seen any players play through gushing blood or breaking bones, I’ve seen quite a few of them play through injuries a lot worse than what athletes in other sports, male or female, would try to play through. The idea of hockey players being the toughest doesn’t have to be sex-restricted.

  7. mikemart77 says:

    Turns out he has facial fractures. Season is over for him.

    ————–

    Which, ironically, means hes only going to miss one game with a facial fracture. He’s tough as nails!

  8. This ain’t war. It’s stupid bravado. Playing hurt for a ‘game’ doesn’t make you a man, it makes you stupid.

    You get jacked up, get better before you get back in. Don’t believe the hype.

  9. Public: Hey NFL, some of those hits look pretty violent on my favorite team’s QB. Can’t you try to limit those?

    NFL: Yeah, you’re right. We should ban ANY contact to the head/shoulder area of the QB.

    Public: Hey MLB, did you see that Chase Utley guy try to take out another player while sliding into second base? And that collision that Buster Posey took at the plate?

    MLB: True, let’s make those kinds of plays illegal now.

    Public: Hey NHL, isn’t it kind of dangerous to have those pucks flying around? Shouldn’t you make face protection mandatory instead of elective for the sake of your players?

    NHL: Nah.

  10. Hockey, unfortunately, doesn’t translate well to TV
    __________________

    I really hate when people say this. Normally it’s by people that don’t really follow the game. If you can’t follow the game or the puck especially now with HDTV you must be blind.

    Sure, the NHL is the greatest spectator sport however it’s pretty freaking awesome on TV also. I’ve never once heard a hockey fan complain that the game is not that good on TV.

  11. I feel like I need to point out one aspect of the article that’s being glossed over: Werenski’s 19 years old, and despite not being old enough to drink, he manned up with a broken face.

    I love football as much as anyone, but hockey has them beat, not just on raw toughness, but on flow of the game, lower amount of commercials, cutting back on head shots, far better replay and overall excitement, especially in the post season. If only the game could get more coverage

  12. Hockey players are tough, and in some cases as big as Nfl Players(Not oline and Dline but you get what I am saying).
    Hockey contracts are guaranteed, NFL NOT.
    change that and the NFL will get “tougher” players.

  13. Is hockey hard?

    ” I don’t know, you tell me. We need the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner, and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us, oh yeah, did I mention that this whole time we’re standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick? IS HOCKEY HARD? I don’t know, you tell me……next question.”

    – Brendan Shanahan

  14. maddmatter5 says:
    Apr 17, 2017 1:15 PM
    I’ll never forget the player for Boston breaking his leg during a penalty kill but stayed on the ice to finish his shift.

    I think it was around the same time Lebron got carried off the court because he had a cramp.
    *************************************
    This had me laughing out loud. 🙂

    There’s something about hockey players that separate them from other athletes, it’s hard to explain but those who follow the game understand.

  15. Was he the guy who got into the fight with Shea Weber? Luckily the linesmen got there in time before Weber picked the guy up by his ankles and flung him up into the 37th row of the stands.

  16. That would never happen to Brady because the refs throw flags if you even breathe on her.

  17. wib22 says:
    Apr 17, 2017 1:15 PM
    Big Ben would’ve called for the cart and start to cry.

    Brady would’ve whined to the refs.
    =============================

    As opposed to you chipster, just sitting at your keyboard crying and whining to us. Grow up son.

  18. I’m older than most of you and used to watch minor league hockey. The doctor sat behind the bench, and would stitch up players between shifts. then back on the ice. Different times. Real men playing for love of the game. No million dollar contracts. Just guys who loved the game.

  19. Anytime this guy talks about another sport it always envolves the Pirates or the Penguins. Yet he wants us to believe hes not a fan of the Steelers and has no bias for them. Lol anytime they might be good he talks Superbowl about them. Any good player they have is 1 of the best at there positions. Everybody except Big Ben who gets accused of something is probably guilty. For the last 5-6 years he Talks about how Marvin Lewis should be fired but bringing up Mike Tomlin should go is crazy. Its to obvious. Which is why he should never write about them or there division rivals and just let his employs do it.

  20. Meanwhile basketball softies need every weekend off to rest it’s “stars” when they play the same number of games in really long shorts. The NBA guys flop as bad as soccer players. Total garbage game.

  21. baldbuc says:
    Apr 17, 2017 3:12 PM
    Hockey, unfortunately, doesn’t translate well to TV
    __________________

    I really hate when people say this. Normally it’s by people that don’t really follow the game. If you can’t follow the game or the puck especially now with HDTV you must be blind.

    Sure, the NHL is the greatest spectator sport however it’s pretty freaking awesome on TV also. I’ve never once heard a hockey fan complain that the game is not that good on TV.

    ————————–

    Was speaking more generally for those that don’t follow the game. GROWING the sport to where it’s not #3 but 1 or 2 in this country.

    And NO ONE, I mean NO ONE who loves hockey would ever state that watching it at home is better than live – unlike football where watching it live is the poorer choice for most people.

Leave a Reply