Joking that he’s now “better looking again,” Minnesota Wild enforcer Zenon Konopka’s sense of humor appeared to be intact after 30 stitches were needed to close up a gash to the bridge of his nose suffered in the Wild’s season-opening 4-2 over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.
Konopka, a veteran of 93 NHL fights, surprisingly did not suffer the gruesome injury as a result of some on-ice fisticuffs — something he did engage in early during Saturday’s game. Instead, the gash was the result of a high stick in the second period.
Star Tribune reporter Michael Russo described the aftermath of the high stick by colorfully illustrating the scene by writing that Konopka’s “nose leaking blood like a faucet.” Still, the bruiser claims he doesn’t even know if his nose was broken or not, saying his nose has been broken so many times it’s hard to tell anymore.
But what makes the injury as amusing as a ghastly injury can possibly be is how Konopka first displayed his injury to the interwebs: By tweeting a photo of his mangled face while holding his pet rabbit.
Cute bunny. Said Konopka about how these kind of injuries that would make most folks crumple into a ball of human misery but is taken in stride by NHLers: “This isn’t a first-time thing,” he said. “Puts me up over 550 stitches [in my face] now. You live and learn. Some of the old lessons you never really learn.”
True enough. And to illustrate it, Konopka was back in the lineup on Sunday evening for the Wild’s 1-0 win over the Dallas Stars. A warrior’s mentality, eh? Sure is good to have hockey back.