During the first period of yesterday’s thrilling overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein suffered a fairly typical hockey injury: He had the top of his ear lobbed off by an opponents stick.
This being an important divisional game - and hockey being a sport in which non-mortally wounded players keep playing - Klein refused to sit out the rest of the game. After the team’s medical staff reattached Klein’s ear (one wonder how often they've done this), Klein returned to the ice and scored the game-winner in overtime.
Klein received some well-deserved, albeit somewhat understated respect from his coach, Alain Vigneaul. "Good for him. He lost a piece of his ear, and they sewed it back,” Vigneaul told reporters during the press conference after the game. “Say what you want about hockey players, but they are tough."
Tough? Tough is passing a test you haven’t studied for. Tough is running a mile after eating at Taco Bell. Tough is stubbing your toe and shaking it off. This is something completely different than “tough.” I don’t even know how this individual functions. In a post-game interview, Klein’s ear was actively bleeding down the side of his face:
Tough? Psychotic? Whatever you think, definitely don’t make fun of this dude’s hat.
Photos by Bruce Bennett / Getty Images