Pick It Up

28 May

I have no problem saying that hockey players are tougher than other athletes.  Sure each sport has tough guys and heroic stories, but those are exceptions.  This is the norm:

Steven Stamkos, you’re a BAMF.  He’s also 21 and in his first ever playoff run, and facing his second game 7 elimination situation.  What does he do with a slapshot to the face?

1. Fly off the ice.  Have you ever seen someone bail so fast?  Don’t let Stammer do an Irish exit on you at the tiki bar, you’ll never catch him.

2. Patch it, stuff it, cover it with a cage.

3. Back on the ice minutes later.  And not just sitting or skating, but getting in at the net, hustling to the boards and still being an impact player.

Keep in mind that last week, Lebron James played with a head cold.  Stop the presses.

We mentioned earlier in these playoffs about St. Louis’ overnight double-root canal.  In ’09, Jordan Staal became permanent #1 favorite Staal ever by missing only 1 game with a lacerated tendon in his foot.  He paid that price later and big time, but he was back in the game when needed most.  What’s your favorite play-through-the-pain hockey story?

Stammer talked to the media post-game [video], then told Gator to buy some glow-in-the-dark Aladdin Band-Aids and meet him in Tampa Bay.

Stamkos will get another chance – hopefully many.  I just can’t say enough how NHL players man up like no other group – from the 4th line guys right to the superstars.  Sure there’s diving and whining and selling calls; they’re not perfect.  But they have this kind of heart, and it’s beautiful. And it’s why, no matter who you root for, you respect when guys like this do things like this for their teams.

And since it’s summer for Stammer now, there’s this.  He and Gator are going to get along great.  Someone spit-shined his house, but didn’t even straighten the hangers in the closet.  Nice Ikea lamp on the patio too.  She can show him what the second sink is for.  Though based on all the following-up-the-stairs camerawork, she may have already been there.

I can be your hero, baby.

[Bonus: Totally singing “Never Say Never” by the Biebs while writing this.]

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4 Responses to “Pick It Up”

  1. Kristin May 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Hockey players are the best. It’s just a fact.

  2. laura May 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    I love him. broken nose and all. *sigh*

  3. Jimmy May 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Favourite play through the pain story? Ryan Smyth in 2006. Took a Pronger shot to the face, left, came back with 9 stitches and down a few teeth, and assisted on the game winner in triple OT. What a warrior.

  4. LR April 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Stevie is just too cute to be hit in the face. Ouch!

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