CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival will have to live with a swollen upper lip and some stitches for a bit, but he realized the price he paid for taking a puck to the face paled in comparison to what could have been.
“It’s obviously just a cut, nothing serious, nothing broken, no teeth missing,” said Rozsival, who practiced on Wednesday and is expected to play against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. “It could have been worse, so I’m pretty lucky.”
Rozsival suffered the injury during the third period on Sunday when the Edmonton Oilers' David Perron was attempting to knock the puck down the ice and accidentally struck it into the Blackhawks bench. The puck hit Rozsival in the face and sent him to the ground. He was taken to the dressing room and did not return to the game. He was unsure how many stitches he received, but said he needed about 30 minutes of medical work after the incident.
“The thing is I wasn’t watching the play,” Rozsival said. “I didn’t see the puck coming. It caught me by surprise. I kind of got knocked out, sucker-punched. But I’m glad it is what it is. It’s just a cut, and I should be fine.”
Rozsival said Perron reached out to apologize after the game.
“He sent me a text message just saying he’s sorry, I didn’t mean to do that,” Rozsival said. “I really appreciated it. It was real nice for him to reach out to me.”
Rozsival practiced with a full visor to his protect his face on Wednesday, but he wasn’t sure if he would keep it for games.
“I’ve never played with a visor,” Rozsival said. “To tell you the truth, I thought it would be worse than what it was. We’ll see how it goes if I’m going to need it or not. For today, it was just for the practice. I wanted to try it out.”
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was pleased to see Rozsival and his upper lip back on the ice already.
“We were definitely worried see a guy go down on the bench, definitely not expecting to get a puck in the mouth,” Toews said. “That can happen, I guess. A nice upper lip on him. It’s a good look for him.”