Friday, 2 January 2015

Look Away, Children

The first Friday night of 2015 in this NHL season proved to be one that will be remember for how many cringes it induced. We're not talking about performances because those will be forgotten over time. No, we're talking about a couple of incidents that had fans turning their heads away from the action as things got a little gross on the ice. One was an accident as Claude Giroux almost had his season ended against the Hurricanes while referee Mike Leggo had to leave the game between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay after he had an unfortunate evacuation. One is far worse than the other, but both had that "oh my god" factor you don't really need in hockey.

Claude Giroux and Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk went into the corner after a puck, and only one player came out. As Giroux skated out from the corner, Faulks skate inadvertently caught the back of Giroux's leg, and Giroux went down. He tried to get up, but things looked grim as he lied on the ice. Dave Lozo grabbed the image to the right where you can see blood leaking through Giroux's sock. Immediately, thoughts of Erik Karlsson's injury came back, but, thankfully, there would be some good news at the end of the night on this story. The Flyers needed some good news based on the standings coming into 2015, and the hockey gods seemingly smiled on them today.

After the game, it was announced that Giroux suffered a cut to the back of his leg, but had no significant damage. Frank Seravalli reported that Giroux would be probable for their game against the Devils tomorrow, and that Steve Mason said that kevlar socks saved Giroux from some serious damage. I'm pretty certain that Mason isn't just pushing some kevlar sock manufacturer, so it might be time for the NHL and Reebok to consider making these socks mandatory.

Thankfully, Giroux is alright. If you're a little queasy with some blood, the next part of this article may not be for you. It ups the gross factor by ten. Or more.

Referee Mike Leggo is a respected NHL veteran official, having been with the NHL since 1996-97. He was chosen to work the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, so you know the guy has this refereeing stuff down. This past year, he worked his 1000th NHL game when the Oilers played the Kings at Staples Center on October 14. Mike Leggo is a true professional when it comes to his work.

Leggo was working the Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh game tonight when he was overcome by the urge to throw up. Officials do their best to keep themselves out of the limelight when ti comes to the games - including playing through illness - but Mike Leggo couldn't hold it in last night. Again, I warn you about this next image. It's not for the faint of heart.
Ok, that wasn't so bad, I guess, unless you were Mike Leggo. In any case, Leggo excused himself from the game after coming down with something at the 7:37 mark of the first period, leaving referee Paul Devorski to fend for himself. The NHL has released no information on what felled Leggo, but you can be sure this is one time it wasn't the mumps.

The first NHL night of 2015 with blood and vomit. We're in for a great second-half of this season based on the first Friday night of 2015!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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