Now That's Tough!
Update involving Washington Capitals forward Eric Belanger at the bottom.
Hockey players are known to be some of the toughest athletes in all of professional sports. Ian Laperriere of the Philadelphia Flyers has a knack of proving this point.
As if taking one shot to the head in a season isn’t enough, Laperriere, who needed 100 stitches and six new teeth to correct wounds from a blocked shot in November, took a second puck off the face this season last night.
This one required nearly 70 stitches and initially had Laperriere thinking he had lost his eye.
Laperriere has vowed to wear a visor the rest of his career.
Last night’s injury:
Laperriere’s post-game interview:
April 24 Update: Eric Belanger
While not quite on the level of taking two slapshots to the face in the same season, Eric Belanger demonstrated his own version of toughness last night during Washington’s loss.
After taking a high stick to the face, Belanger went to the bench and pulled his own tooth.
Following the game, it was reported that including the one he pulleds, Belanger lost seven teeth — yet he continued to to play.
This is what makes playoff hockey so great. No matter how much pain a player is in, as long as he is capable of playing, he will do whatever it takes to help his team.
There’s no sport like it. And there’s no championship as difficult to earn.