During a playoff game Wednesday night, Tampa Bay Lightning winger Martin St. Louis took a stick to the face that resulted in three broken teeth. He finished the game and after it was over paid a late night visit to the dentist -- on the road -- for a double root canal. He made it back to the hotel at 4:00 in the morning.
Without missing a beat, the 35-year-old was back on the ice when the next game started less than 48 hours after he absorbed the blow. Showing no ill effects from the incident, and still incensed that no penalty was called, he delivered two points to help lead the Lightning to a 5-1 victory that wrested home ice advantage away from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Playing through pain. Talking with actions instead of words. Wearing wounds like badges of honor. That is what hockey players do, and that is a huge part of why I love the game.