Hockey players make huge sacrifices to play the game that they love.
Tuesday morning, in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Sport Junkies, Caps defenseman Karl Alzner shared some insight into his life that is both humorous and sad. After a 14-year hockey career, the 28-year-old defenseman is unable to open jars.
Alzner revealed his plight during a discussion with John Auville about blocking shots.
“The ones that get you inside the knee usually don’t feel good because you can’t really do a whole lot,” Alzner said. “They just send that shooting pain down your leg and you start hobbling around a little bit. Those ones suck.”
“Sometimes where you get hit right in the hand, we have gloves on, but they only protect you a little bit,” Alzner continued. “You get them right in the hand, it’s pretty easy to break something. It’s kind of embarrassing, but my wife (Mandy) is the one who opens up all the jars in our house because my hands have been broken so many times from the shots. I’ve got pretty weak hands now.”
Alzner concluded that getting hit inside or outside the knee can cause a “dead leg feeling” which, in his words, “suck.” Meanwhile, a puck striking the hand can cause “long term” damage.
Alzner has blocked a total of 1,100 shots during his 574-game NHL career.
Yet despite all the rubber that has been sent his way, Alzner is the Capitals’ Iron Man, owning the franchise’s longest consecutive-games streak. On January 14, Alzner played in his 500th straight game and was congratulated by none other than Cal Ripken, Jr.
“Karl, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate you on playing 500 consecutive games,” Ripken said. “Hockey is an incredibly physical sport, and for you to play that many games in a row is a testament to your ability and your toughness.”
Now we know just how true that statement really is.
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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