Blake Wheeler slams into open bench door at full speed, returns to game (video)
Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler’s upper body may be feeling a bit tender and really, really sore after crashing into the open door on the Dallas Stars’ bench during the third period of Tuesday’s game.
With 4:29 remaining in regulation and the Jets down 2-0, Wheeler was bumped by Colton Sceviour and struck the open bench door with a head of steam. Clutching his left shoulder while down on the ice, Wheeler did head to the dressing room for a few minutes before returning to the ice for a final shift. Insane, given just how hard he slammed into the door.
Unfortunately, even though the Jets did manage to score a goal in his absence, Wheeler’s toughness wasn’t enough and the Jets couldn’t score the equalizer before the end of the third period. But that doesn’t mean his coach didn’t appreciate his commitment.
“Those are the things that you can hang your hat on and improve going forward,” said Jets coach Paul Maurice, according to NHL.com. “You get a guy that takes a hit like that, that’s hurting the way he is and comes back out on the bench and gives you a jump.”
Given just how hard he slammed into that bench, which has virtually no padding whatsoever, Wheeler is lucky that he wasn’t injured more seriously. Nevertheless, what a tough guy.