Tag: Todd Bertuzzi

7 Insane Hockey Injuries for your Entertainment

By Trevor Paul

Full disclosure: this article was originally pitched to the comedy website Cracked, but deemed too specific to get a full publication. It’s been sitting on my computer for a while now and I figured it might find a spot with the Noontime blog. So, here you go, to lighten the dog days of summer by reading some absurd hockey trivia…

#7 Paul Cavallini

Hockey is a rough sport, what with the large blunt weapons and sharp blades attached to your feet. So you would expect that one of the least threatening parts of the game would be the little rubber disc.

You can see from the mugshot the man had no rhythm

Paul Cavallini, a defenseman for the St. Louis Blues, would politely disagree. Playing a game in 1990, Cavallini blocked a shot from opponent Doug Weight. The shot severed the tip of his index finger.

Cavallini’s fingertip was later found inside his glove, not really a testament to its protective qualities. Unfortunately, while Cavallini went on to play again, doctors could not reattach the tip. Cavallini was forever cursed with being unable to effectively execute stereotypical disco moves, as is standard procedure in Awkward White Guy Dancing 101.

#6 Paul Kariya

The eldest of three professional brothers, Paul Kariya had the distinction of being the only truly talented college or pro player in the family. Sadly, he was drafted and spent much of his time playing for a Walt Disney inspired franchise.

Teal and purple: the colors of intimidation.

However, during that career he managed to lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals where he ran directly into defenseman, and possible Terminator, Scott Stevens. Stevens delivered this hit in game six of the seven game series. Kariya got rocked so badly that heactually stopped breathing (note the sudden burst of fog on his visor in the clip). Remarkably, Kariya got his Disney ending to the game, coming back to score only minutes later, though Anaheim would lose the series in seven games.

Kariya and Anaheim might have won the whole thing had he mastered the secret “triple-deke” maneuver.

#5 Donald Brashear

Now, if there is one guy on this list likely to elicit the least sympathy, it would be Donald Brashear. One of the few players of African-American descent in the NHL, Brashear made himself a reputation as a very physical (read: dirty) player.

In a 2000 game against the Boston Bruins, apparently Brashear acted a little too tough and got a cheap shot that no one deserves.

Brashear had earlier fought Boston tough guy Marty McSorley and soundly beaten him. He later ran into Boston goalie Byron Dafoe, injuring the goalie’s knee. This decidedly upset Boston and McSorley spent the rest of the game trying to get another fight going with Brashear. When Brashear refused, McSorley decided to channel his anger into more inspired play, scoring the winning goal for Boston in the last moments of the game!

Oh wait, no, that wouldn’t have led to a horrific injury. Instead McSorley did this.

Believe it or not, some actually believed the stick to the head was uninspired dirty play, lacking horrific creativity. I mean it’s nothing compared to what happened to…

#4 Steve Moore

In 2004 Steve Moore was a developing player for the Colorado Avalanche beginning to show some promise. On February 16th of that year Moore delivered a legal hit on Vancouver Canuck Markus Naslund that left Naslund with a concussion. The Canucks, already irritated at having a slang term for Canadian as their name, were now certifiably pissed.

The GM of the Canucks declared the hit bogus and Canucks’ player Brad May publicly placed a bounty on Moore’s head.

Actual photo of Brad May

At the next match-up between the teams, Moore fought the Canucks token enforcer to a stalemate. Then he scored a huge goal. At this point the rage of one Todd Bertuzzi, a star on the Canucks, boiled over.

Bertuzzi’s felonious assault resulted in three fractured neck vertebrae, facial cuts, and a concussion. Steve Moore has yet to play professional hockey since, his career effectively over before it began.

Thankfully Bertuzzi was run out of the league by Gary Bettman and forced to live in an igloo in the far northern reaches of Cana…

…oh wait no, he simply made a teary apology and refused to pay for Moore’s injury trying instead to blame his then coach Carl Crawford. Bertuzzi served a short suspension and continues to play professionally in the NHL.

Pictured: Todd Bertuzzi

#3 Bryan Marchment

While it might not affect Todd Bertuzzi, karma does occasionally catch up with people. Bryan Marchment is one of those people.

Marchment was notorious during his NHL career for being a hard, arguably dirty, hitter. He once hit an opposing player so hard he collapsed his lung and the injured man had to travel home by train. Despite this, the hardest hit Marchment would ever deliver would be to himself. In the 1996-1997 playoffs while skating for the Edmonton Oilers (seriously Canadians, if you aren’t naming teams after yourselves you have to steal them from our more successful professional franchises) Marchment fell and crashed into the open penalty box door.

“Oh come on, the Americans will never notice.”

Marchment suffered a concussion but would return to playing professional hockey. No word on if the penalty box was ever able to recover from the trauma.

#2 Clint Malarchuk/Richard Zednik

Fair warning: if you do not like blood it is recommended you skip over the videos linked in this entry.

Okay now we’re getting to the truly horrific. Let me make one thing clear: even people who don’t like or understand hockey know the most dangerous parts of the game are the miniature swords attached to your feet.

"Oh hey guys, I'm just bleeding profusely from the neck."

There are two NHL players can attest to the danger first-hand: Richard Zednik and Clint Malarchuk.

Zednik’s was the most recent, when a teammates’ skate inadvertently came up and sliced his throat open in 2008. Zednik lost between 5 and 6 units of blood (the human body contains between 10 and 12 units) but survived thanks to the intervention of his training staff.

But this was not the first time or worst injury from a hockey skate. In 1989 Buffalo Sabers goalie Clint Malarchuck had his internal carotid artery severed by a skate. Believing he was going to die, Malarchuk skated off the ice of his own volition because, “I didn’t want (my mother) to see me die on national television.”

Fortunately for Malarchuk, Buffalo trainer and resident badass Jim Pizzutelli had returned from fighting in Vietnam to tape ankles as an NHL trainer. Pizzutelli reached into Malarchuk’s neck and pinched off the bleeding, saving his life.

Not to be outdone Malarchuk returned to the ice four days later, cementing his place in the Teddy Roosevelt Badass Hall of Fame.

"Gillete offered me an endorsement deal? Yeah, not happening."

 

 

#1 Bobby Baun

Times were different in the 60s. Free love was still considered cool and not a major transmitter of STDs, rock and roll was young and emerging, and Russia still had Communism.

Oh, and athletes had titanic, two-ton balls.

Bobby Baun was a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs for over a decade, winning the Stanley Cup with them four times. However, none of those times would match the impressiveness of 1963-64 in game six of the finals.

Baun was injured late in the game in front of Toronto’s net. He left the ice, not expected to return. But return he did, and remarkably scored the goal that won the game in overtime. The Leafs went on to win game seven and the Cup, but still did nothing about their comically misspelled name.

                                                                                              Seriously Canada, it’s like you’re not even trying.

This would all be a relatively uplifting topic for a sports film if anyone outside the frozen north cared to make a hockey movie, but that’s not the whole story. You see, Baun left because he thought he had injured his leg, but came back because the training staff froze his leg so he couldn’t feel anything.

It turns out Baun hadn’t just got a stinger, the snap he says he heard was his ankle breaking.

So to recap, Bobby Baun broke his ankle, froze it, and returned to score a game-winning goal and give the most nonchalant interview by any man in history with a broken limb. I have no reservations about calling Bobby Baun one of the toughest athletes ever because I think it’s safe to say in that situation most of us wouldn’t be Bobby Baun. We’d be Nancy Kerrigan.

Rubin: Thoughts and Reflections on the Boston Bruins

Boston has rallied to win three games in a row against Montreal, but can they close out their opening round series on Tuesday?

By Dan Rubin 

I claim to be a hockey guy.  Anybody who knows me knows that I usually throw the stat out there that I’ve been calling hockey games for almost six seasons as a play-by-play or color commentator. I never played the game, but I’ve studied and digested it within an inch of its very fiber. I like to think, maybe even arrogantly sometimes, that I know the game of hockey.

But I hate the NHL playoffs. I hate them because they prove time and time again that all the stat crunching, highlight watching, and game-viewing I do means nothing.  I can’t predict anything about the playoffs, can’t figure anything out, and for the life of me, will never be able to understand why things happen.  It’s what makes the NHL the greatest and most frustrating sport on the planet.  It takes us so-called “experts” and proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we know nothing.

I had just finished saying, “Nathan Horton couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat in the clutch,” when he banged home the double-overtime winner on Saturday night.  If that’s not a perfect indicator of the playoffs, then I don’t know what is.

So what have I learned through the first five games about these Boston Bruins?

 Observation 1 – Would the Real Tomas Kaberle please stand up?

I know I’m not breaking any new ground when I say that Tomas Kaberle has been a major disappointment for the Bruins.  The Bruins acquired him thinking he’d produce on the same level as when he scored 10 points for Toronto in the 2002 playoffs.  They also thought they were getting a guy who scored 67 points in the 2005-2006 season, 58 points in 2006-2007, and 53 in 2007-2008.  He’s a guy they’ve coveted for a couple of years but couldn’t quite get.  I’m pretty sure the Bruins viewed Kaberle in the same way the Boston Red Sox viewed Adrian Gonzalez.  They saw his abilities and their current situation and immediately drooled at the prospect.

But Kaberle has just nine points in his 24 regular season games as a Bruin and he’s done legitimately nothing in the playoffs. He looks lost, uninterested and a lot like J.D. Drew out on the ice.

In Game 5, his inability to start a clear with a behind-the-net pass to Adam McQuaid resulted in Jeff Halpern’s goal. I don’t know what the problem is, but this is not a guy who should be on the third defensive pairing.  They got Kaberle to play alongside Zdeno Chara, to break up opposing defenses.  He hasn’t done that.  I’m not saying the Bruins don’t want to go back in time and not make this trade, but I think they doubt why they got him.  I know I am, and I have no idea how he got his two points.

Kaberle needs to have a solid output in Game 6 or the if-necessary Game 7 to help the Bruins advance.  Otherwise, he’s in danger of becoming just another player in line with the Eric Gagne’s of the world.

 Observation 2 – Brad Marchand and Tim Thomas are clearing mantle space for hardware

I don’t care how this makes me sound…

A couple of months ago, I was playing NHL 10 on the trusty PlayStation 3.  In that game, Brad Marchand is a minor league winger for the Providence Bruins.  By a rash of injuries, I had the option of calling him up to the big club or trying to sign Todd Bertuzzi.  I hate Bertuzzi to the point I won’t even sign him in a video game, so I called up Marchand and installed him as my second-line left wing.  Four games later, I had two hat tricks and like five more assists.

It’s not NASCAR, so you really can’t learn a lot from video games.  But I’m saying that I’m not shocked that Marchand is doing what he’s doing.  They should just hand him the Calder Trophy and get it over with.  I wouldn’t even have a ceremony in Las Vegas on NHL Network or anything.  Just give him the trophy.  Let him score his goal, then during the celebration just have Gary Bettman walk on the ice, say, “Here, this is yours” and walk off.  The guy’s a machine, and he scores at the right time.  At age 22, he has a 20-goal and 20-assist season this year.  He’s a game breaker, and if he continues to develop, he’s going to become the superstar the Bruins don’t have right now.  Seriously – every team has a player that just puts the puck in the net.  The Bruins have a couple of guys, but none are really mentioned in the same breath as the Steve Stamkos and Drew Doughty’s of the world.  Marchand, in a couple of years, could be that guy.

As for Thomas, he’s a different story.  Marchand is on the rise; Thomas is on the tail-end of his career.  But when they hand Marchand the Calder, they should bring the Vezina Trophy out there and rename it the Tim Thomas’s 2010-2011 season Trophy.  This is a team that without Thomas wouldn’t be a #3 seed threatening to get out of the first round.  He’s the best goalie in the world right now, and yes, I’m including Ryan Miller in that group.  I don’t think there’s a single goalie I’d take over Thomas, and this is a guy that should be on a decline.

Before coming to the Bruins at age 30, Thomas played exactly zero seasons of NHL hockey.  He fought his way up the ranks, starting out in the double-A equivalent ECHL before honing his craft in Finland.  Since coming to the Bruins, his save percentages have gone: .907, .917, .905, .921, .933, .915 (last year when he was hurt), and .938.  He’s had better save percentage numbers than Miller over that same stretch, save for last year’s injury-riddled season.

What’s more is that Thomas always, and I mean ALWAYS, makes the big save.  Last night, in overtime, gassed with fatigue, he made an acrobatic stop on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush.  You ever have those moments when you realize you’re winning a game?  That was it for me.  That was like when Ty Law ran back the interception for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVI against St. Louis.  Sometimes, you just know.  That moment – I knew the Bruins would win, I just wasn’t sure how.  Before the playoffs, the consensus was the Bruins could go as far as Thomas could lead them.  Right now, Thomas is making a case that it could be pretty far.

 Observation #3 – Norv Turner, Meet Claude Julien.  Claude, Meet Norv.

My biggest concern going into the playoffs was that the Bruins had one major weakness against every other team in the playoffs – coaching.  It’s no secret that I’m not a Claude Julien fan.  It’s actually no secret that I thought he should’ve been fired after last season’s playoff collapse.   And it’s no secret that I thought he bungled having Tyler Seguin on the roster to the point where a lot of fans and experts doubt the kid’s abilities at the current moment (really – many people I talk to say Seguin isn’t ready.  That’s because Julien had no idea how to use him and how to bring him along to get him playoff ready).

That’s still my biggest concern.  During Game 4 in Montreal, the Bruins called their timeout when the Habs took a 3-1 lead.  During that timeout, Claude said nothing.  I compared the look on his face to the one where Norv Turner calls a timeout and looks around in the huddle for the San Diego Chargers.  It’s the look that says, “Hey something bad is happening.  I’m not really sure what’s going on.  Think I can get an order for fries to go?  Where am I?  Who are all you people?”  It’s the look that says, “I have absolutely no idea what to do right now.”

Julien isn’t known for being a master motivator and he’s not known for being an offensive coach.  He’s known for coaching staunch defense and brutal hockey.  His teams are big, lumbering oafs that get easily knocked off by teams with speedy, athletic forwards.  He can be easily outcoached in that regard.  So I was very concerned when Boston drew a motivated Montreal team that is, well, speedy and athletic.

But this is where I’ll admit I really know nothing.  The playoffs aren’t as much about coaching as they are handling the players.  At this stage of the game, there is no such thing as a system or a play by design.  It’s about heart and grit.  It’s what’s making the Washington Capitals so good right now.  You don’t have to coach the team so much as keep them desired.  But where Washington is motivated by an insane head coach who is every bit as flashy as his star player (Bruce Boudreau and Alex Ovechkin are truly a match made in hockey heaven…or maybe hell.  I haven’t decided yet), the Bruins are self-motivating at this point.

After the timeout, Claude said nothing, and I think at this point, he doesn’t have to.  The Bruins are a team with players like Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand.  They have guys who are gritty and hard-nosed.  They have guys in the locker room like Shane Hnidy might not play but get this team up in practice.  Coupled with the fact that this is a Montreal series, and the Bruins are actually playing with a ton of emotion.  Maybe it is coming from Claude, since we don’t really know what happens behind the curtain, but in this series, I don’t think he’s doing anything other than just putting the combinations on the ice.  And in this series, that’s all he needs to do.

If the Bruins advance, it might be different, and they may fall flat on their face.  But I think the players are motivating themselves and are cooking on all cylinders at this point.

 Observation #4 – The Mute button on my Remote Control is getting a Rolex for Easter.

Jack Edwards needs to go away.  I don’t care what anybody says or how much trouble I get in with boss-man Matt Noonan for saying this.  Jack is by far the worst hockey announcer I’ve ever listened to.

He’s unprofessional, unknowledgeable, and I think he’s just looking down at Wikipedia for a list of hockey terms.  He uses the term “dangle” for everything, even though it only refers to a simple toe drag.  Every rebound is “juicy,” which makes him the only person I’ve ever heard say that and being a “homer” is just boorish and stupid.  He’s not Johnny Most or Tommy Heinsohn and, more importantly, he’s just not good.  I’ve heard reports he’s a great guy, and I love that.  I love that a good guy got a break, but much like that “Boom goes the dynamite” guy, that doesn’t mean he deserves this job.

The Roman Hamrlik “GET UP” thing is just gross.  His constant belittling of the opponent and the referees is over the top, and anybody who actually knows something about hockey can’t enjoy this guy and be self-respecting.  I’ve talked with several hockey people – fans, coaches, other players.  They can’t stand him.  He’s not a hockey guy.  And the only fans that do like him are the same ones who buy the “French Canadiens French Kiss” T-shirt, then go get wasted at The Harp before going to the game.  Coincidentally, they’re also the ones who think it’s funny to chant “Yankees Suck” at a Bruins playoff game, and that’s just pathetic.

I don’t care how many people I just alienated, and I don’t care how many people are going to flood Noontime Sports with hate mail for that.  Jack Edwards – I broadcast hockey.  My family broadcasts hockey.  We do it particularly well, and I have samples for you to listen to (shameless self promo, I know) to back it up.  Honestly, go away.  Or just listen to Doc Emrick, who is the greatest hockey announcer around right now.  The guy makes me honored just to listen to him.  But please stop with this mindless drivel.

 Observation #5 – It Ain’t Over Yet

Game 6 is Tuesday in Montreal.  I’m thinking there’s going to be a Game 7 because this series owes the game of hockey, its fans, its pundits, and its tradition a seventh game.  I’d love the Bruins to end it, but I think it’s coming back to Boston.  And if nothing else, just remember that this is only the first round, and we still have a month of this to go before Lord Stanley finds a home.  Get your Maalox ready and strap in.  It’s going to be a wild ride.