The Detroit Red Wings took the Ottawa Senators to a shootout following a 1-1 standoff over sixty minutes plus extra time; impressive, considering the on-ice distraction many probably had trouble shaking away.
The game had barely begun when Red Wings forward Drew Miller was struck in the face by a skate blade; he was rushed off the ice with multiple lacerations to his face, stretching from his forehead to his cheek. The skate avoided his actual eye, but the scene was pretty horrifying regardless — and sure enough, he’s got the battle wounds to support it.
The team confirmed, via Ansar Khan of Mlive.com, that Miller received somewhere between fifty and sixty stiches to close the gaping face gash; he’s hoping to get on the ice with the team in tomorrow’s matchup against the Boston Bruins, although there’s been no word yet as to whether his doctors will clear him.
The injury was a complete accident. Senators rookie Mark Stone swung his leg up when he tripped on the ice, and Miller happened to skate into Stone’s foot — subsequently colliding face-first with Stone’s skate blade while the knife-like shoe was still in motion. Stone’s foot all but sliced its way up Miller’s face; while I’ll provide a link to the video here, it seems kinder to provide the option of avoiding the visual altogether.
Luckily, Miller avoided serious injury. Fifty to sixty stitches seems like they’re far from ‘non-serious’, but skate blade injuries have resulted in far worse consequences for the victims. Just this season, Dallas Stars defenseman Patrik Nemeth was sliced by a skate blade deeply enough to hold him out for nearly the entire season, and goaltender Clint Malarchuk may be best remembered as the Sabres netminder who nearly died when his carotid artery was severed by another player’s skate mid-game. For Miller, an enormous scar is a small price to pay when you can be back on the ice within days; it wasn’t a pretty injury, but at least he’s fine.