Capitals forward Matt Hendricks’ severed ear enters the pantheon of grotesque hockey injuries

This is the ear of Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, all nice and stitched up. It wasn't always like that. In fact, when an Alex Ovechkin shot ricocheted off the glass in practice on Saturday, the puck caught Hendricks in the ear and he "quite surprisingly began bleeding profusely from his right ear and the surrounding area," in the words of Mike Vogel of the Caps blog Dump 'n Chase.

This is because Ovechkin's shot ripped the top of Hendricks' right ear in half.

Click here to see the severed ear of Matt Hendricks as a plastic surgeon worked on it. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH AND YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. SERIOUSLY, IT'S NIGHTMARE FUEL.

Via Vogel:

"It hit me and it was kind of surprising," says Hendricks. "It felt like somebody came up and hit me in the head with a baseball bat. It stunned me. I realized I was bleeding and pain was setting in. I knew it wasn't good. I was pretty upset. I was thinking of all the worst possible injuries I could have had and I was hoping that it wasn't going to be that bad." [...]

"The immediate thing I did was to go to a mirror to see how bad it was," Hendricks remembers. "It wasn't a pretty sight, that's for sure. The trainers — Ben [Reisz] and Greg [Smith] — they did a great job taking care of me right away.["]

The rest of the story is rather inspiring: Not only did Hendricks man up and play in Sunday's matinee against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he took a nasty hit from Zbynek Michalek and played the most ice time of his career to that point: 16:32. No wonder Dale Hunter digs him.

So who ya got: Matt Hendricks' severed ear or Darryl Boyce's ripped up nostril?

We'll go with the BoyceNose for the simple fact that we held in our sneezes for roughly a week after seeing it for the first time.

Of course, there was also this previous Hendricks effort, from HBO "24/7" in 2010:

If hockey gore is what you're into, here's the Total Pro Sports gallery of gnarly hockey faces.

s/t to Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog