Photo credit: @recordsANDradio
One day in 7th grade, I was playing basketball at recess with some friends. After I missed a layup, one of my female friends made fun of me and I called her a not-so-nice word. She responded by tapping me on the shoulder and then kicking me in the business. The next three hours were spent in the nurse’s room, wailing and applying an ice pack to my nether regions.
On Tuesday night, Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks did everything I couldn’t back in middle school. His grit on full display for the 168th game in a row, Hendricks broke his nose during a second period scrum and didn’t miss a shift. Instead of yelping in the corner like a normal human, Hendricks had a superb game in which he put two shots on goal, had five blocks, and won three of four face-offs.
Spotted by the media after a practice in Tampa Wednesday, Hendricks showed off his stitches and guessed at how many times his nose had been recalibrated.
Matt Hendricks has stitches, broken nose after some chippiness in 2nd vs Fla. Asked him how many times he’s broken it: “Five that I know of”
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) February 13, 2013
When head coach Adam Oates was asked if he was impressed about Hendy’s toughness, he replied,”You know the hockey player reputation. I expect that from everybody.”
(Doesn’t make it any less dumbfounding to us normal people.)
Since becoming a Capital, Hendricks has had some gnarly injuries. Let’s review the highlights.
After taking cheap shots from now-retired Sean Avery after a fight, Hendricks’ sported a black eye and had his cheek burst open from a cut. Here’s him looking at the camera in 2010 during HBO’s 24/7.
During practice, an errant Alex Ovechkin shot ripped the top of Hendricks’ right ear in half. Hendricks explains via this Mike Vogel story:
“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.”
Hendricks didn’t miss a game. For a picture of how the ear looked ripped in half, go here (and make sure you haven’t just recently eaten).
Since turning a tryout into a full-time roster spot in 2010-11, Hendricks has led the team in fights, dropping mitts the 29 times. Not all of those bouts have gone as great as Hendy’s blind knockout of Steve Downie. On January 23, Hendricks and Jets heavy-weight enforcer Chris Thorburn did battle. Thorburn caught Hendricks with a few haymakers.
But that’s just another day in the office for The Paralyzer.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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