Not the face! (Photo credit: Drew Angerer)
Much has been written about the Caps’ new commitment to shot blocking. Simply put: they’re blocking more shots than the Rangers, a team who talks about shots more than the cast of “Jersey Shore”. Through two games, the Caps have blocked 39 shots to the Rangers’ 30, and some of those those blocks have saved goals– or even games.
When you’re not wearing goalie pads, blocking shots takes some nerve. Ever wonder what it looks like afterward?
You’re in luck — former Cap Sami Lepisto took to social media yesterday to show us the results of a slapshot he blocked in the Blackhawks’ series against the Coyotes. Safe for work, unless your work objects to you looking at exposed knees and gnarly bruises.
Players sacrificing their bodies in the postseason is not a new phenomenon. Gruesome stories have already started trickling out of eliminated teams, like Patrice Bergeron’s strained oblique, and Ryan Kesler’s shoulder injury. A lot of your favorite players grit through the pain in the playoffs.
The Caps themselves were lucky to advance through a wild first round mostly unharmed, though there must be injuries we’re not hearing about. Brooks Laich’s leg could fall off on the ice, and he’d probably take ten shifts a night. In the past, we’ve seen Mike Knuble play with pins in his hand, and Eric Belanger pull out his own teeth on the bench, so we should consider ourselves and our team conspicuously lucky.
The Caps’ defensive system has found success in the playoffs so far, but with the team’s new commitment to shot-blocking and taking the body, we can be sure that at the very least, there are a few bruises like this in the locker room right now.
“It’s good to see,” Mike Knuble told DC101’s Elliot in the Morning last week. “You go into our training room after games, and there are five, six guys with ice bags on, and that’s always a good sign that a team is paying the price. It’s good to see guys paying the price and having the bruises as a result.”