Sportress of Blogitude

GAH! The ‘After’ Pic Of Matt Hendricks’ Torn Ear Better Than The ‘Before’ One (Photos)

Note to self: don’t stand around the net when Alexander Ovechkin is taking slapshots. Things could get a little messy.

We are afforded that valuable life lesson courtesy of the extremely grotesque and profoundly painful experience of one of Ovie’s Washington Capitals teammates, Matt Hendricks, who had one of Ovechkin’s patented powerful slapshots carom of the glass and drill him square in the ear during an off-day practice at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh last Saturday.

The violent blow caused Hendricks to bleed profusely from the area where the puck crashed into his head, leaving him cursing as he made his way to the bench and back into the locker room.

Some comments from Hendricks, via dump n’ chase (by way of @dcsportsblog):

“It hit me and it was kind of surprising,” says Hendricks. “It felt like somebody came up and hit me in the head with a baseball bat. It stunned me. I realized I was bleeding and pain was setting in. I knew it wasn’t good. I was pretty upset. I was thinking of all the worst possible injuries I could have had and I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be that bad.

“The immediate thing I did was to go to a mirror to see how bad it was,” Hendricks remembers. “It wasn’t a pretty sight, that’s for sure. The trainers – Ben [Reisz] and Greg [Smith] – they did a great job taking care of me right away.”

 Yikes. Hendricks was quick to credit the Penguins’ plastic surgeon and the Washington Capitals medical staff, who teamed up to bring the ear back to a, um, more normal-looking appearance, the evidence of their handiwork as seen above.

And now, the photo of the what Hendricks’ ear looked like prior to medical attention. But be forewarned: it’s not for the squeamish.

Sweet merciful crap! Looking at that mess of cartilage and flesh and gore is literally making the blood rush out of my head and extremities. I mean, his ear is almost dangling there, nearly ripped in half, as if with one quick tug, Hendricks would be known from this point forward as “One-and-a-Half Ear Guy” or something.

All kidding aside, let’s put it this way: despite the Novocaine used by the doctors, that gruesome image does not present the possibility in any way that the process of piecing back together his ear was a pleasant experience, which really should go down as the understatement of the day.

Still, typifying the toughness of the average hockey player, Hendricks was back on the ice less than 24 hours later, although the Caps equipment staff did make some modifications to his helmet to protect the healing, yet still-gruesome, injury. Hockey players, man. They are certifiable wackos. Brave and tough, sure, but completely nuts.