February 18, 2011
As Leahy posted in last night's Three Stars, Montreal Canadiens defenseman James Wisniewski(notes) took one for the team against the Edmonton Oilers ... and then hit the ice with his face lacerated by a speeding puck. No need to tell you this one's a little gruesome.
It looked bad on the ice. After the jump, see how bad it looked when Wisniewski's injury appeared on Facebook.
Montreal lost another defenceman, James Wisniewski, seven minutes into the game when Taylor Hall's(notes) shot rode up Wisniewski's stick and the puck smashed into the left side of his face. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance. He had a gruesome picture on his Facebook page showing a deep cut in the orbital bone area. The bone could be broken.
If so, it's another blow for the Canadiens, who played without Hal Gill(notes) and Jaroslav Spacek(notes), Josh Gorges(notes) and Andrei Markov(notes) on the back end. The last two are out for the season and there are reports Spacek's lower-body (knee) could be very serious, too.
The Canadiens didn't release a medical report on Wisniewski, but he accompanied the team on the charter flight to Calgary after the game.
From the aforementioned Facebook page comes the image on the right, which the official James Wisniewski Fan Page said was given to them by Wiz's wife, writing, "She says he is doing fine and is in good spirits. James and Nicole thank you all for your support."
This image comes in the same month as the infamous (and grotesque) photo tweet of Toronto Maple Leafs player Darryl Boyce's lacerated nose, which was one of the first times a significant injury had been self-photographed and released to the public on a game night by an NHL player.
These instances are, of course, another indication that social media is pulling the curtain back on the dressing room door between the players and fans, and skipping the media as a middleman. (And that social media has more value to the player/fan relationship than what movies Bobby Ryan's(notes) attending and BizNasty's adventures in Las Vegas.)
But what we've seen from Boyce and Wiz, we don't see on most broadcasts or on NHL.com. It's a break in protocol, but one that fans are obviously down for, given the popular response. Can't imagine the NHL will crack down on these types of image releases, because all they do is reinforce the sacrifices these men go through to play this game.
That is, until someone tweets an image the NHL disagrees with, or calls its medical treatment of players into question, of course.