WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – It’s difficult for non-athletes to relate to the physical pitfalls of hockey – for instance, what it feels like to be hit in the face by a puck – but weekly conversations with Washington Capital Brooks Laich help bridge that gap between a hostile and non-hostile work environment.
Last Thursday Alex Ovechkin left practice early to have his face patched up after after a screaming puck opened him up.
Twenty-two stitches and a few gnarly Twitpics later and Ovi was back to work.[tweet https://twitter.com/ovi8/status/317293181748252674 width=”420″] [tweet https://twitter.com/ovi8/status/317315275471085568 width=”420″]
“He went to get stitches. Part of the job,” Head Coach Adam Oates said, dismissing any abnormality had occurred.
For cube dwellers, refilling the stapler and fighting with the office printer are two things that are part of the job.
And for a hockey player, getting hit in the face with a puck capable of cracking an orbital bone is just ‘part of the job.’
So what exactly does it feel like to be blindsided by a flying disk made of vulcanized rubber?
“It’s honestly just like, if you imagine, if somebody just walks up to you from the side and you can’t see them, and they just clocked you in the face with a hammer,” Laich blindsided the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday.
“With a HAMMER?” Lurch asked, stunned.
“That’s sort of how it feels,” Laich answered.
“Is that supposed to make it feel better that you don’t see it coming?” Cakes asked.
“I mean, you never see it coming otherwise you’d get out of the way,” Laich said. “It just happens. You just flinch and it just hits you. But that’s how it . Your face goes numb. It’s just like getting clocked, not that I’ve been clocked with a hammer, but I’d imagine that’s how it would feel.”
Laich also spoke of one chance face/puck rendezvous in which three bones in his face were broken in “seven spots or something” and of another incident in the minors when a slapshot to the face landed him in the hospital. Of the latter encounter, he said he knew he was in trouble when he couldn’t feel the ice pack resting on his cheek.
Just part of the job.
Follow Brooks Laich on Twitter.