Oh, he’s a hockey player alright.
Blue Jackets rookie Zach Werenski was a living embodiment of that phrase on Sunday after taking a puck to the face in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins.
With the Pens trailing 3-2 in the second period, Werenski got in front of Phil Kessel, who fired the puck right under the Blue Jackets defenseman’s right eye.
Werenski immediately hit the ice, grabbing his face, writhing in pain as play continued.
The Penguins tied the game moments later, much to the disdain of Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella.
According to the rulebook, if a player is injured and cannot continue to play, the play of game shall be stopped once the injured player’s team has possession of the puck.
The Blue Jackets never gained possession, but there is some gray area.
The rule also states: “In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained a serious injury, the Referee and/or Linesman may stop the play immediately.”
So Tortorella may have a legitimate complaint as Werenski clearly was not in any shape to continue playing as blood poured down from his face.
Though, that wasn’t going to be enough to sideline Werenski the rest of the game.
The defenseman–who scored a goal in the first period– actually returned in the third period wearing a full visor to protect his eye, which received several stitches.
After the game, Werenski showed off his battle wound with a selfie on Twitter under the caption “playoff hockey.”
Werenski’s right eye is nearly swollen shut with stitches showing and a piece of cloth stuck up his nose.
If that doesn’t scream hockey player, nothing does.