Generally when a player is listed with an upper body injury in the NHL, it means he's battling something rather common, be that a shoulder sprain, a tweaked wrist or even a concussion.
But the upper-body injury that kept new Dallas Stars forward Lane MacDermid out of the most recent game is a little more dramatic. He couldn't try to build on a two-game goal-scoring streak because he coughed up some blood.
Yes, you read that right, coughed up blood. Mike Heika has the still sketchy details from the morning skate.
Asked if it was potentially a lung or internal injury, Gulutzan said: "It’s just like a little bruise that he has to let heal. I’m not exactly sure where it is. It’s an upper body. But at the end of the day, he’s coughed up a little bit of blood. He just has to let it heal. And it’s nothing serious. I know that and it’s something that’s lingering. A little bit before, he had the same problem. So he’s got to sit out at least here seven days and see where he is. So it’s just a matter of time in letting it heal. There’s no rehab or anything like that for it."
Pardon me here for a minute, and I'm no doctor, but that sounds entirely unhealthy. Just spitballing with my complete lack of medical training, I can think of a handful of things that might cause that - from a busted rib to a pulmonary contusion to some other sort of bleeding higher in the airway - none of which are any fun at all.
And the quote from Gulutzan is amazing in the way it both a.) attempts to categorize it as an "upper-body injury," since that's the most hockey thing ever and.) is so very low key. I mean, it may really be a minor injury, but I for one would be completely weirded out if I or any person I knew coughed up any blood at all.
So in conclusion, ow. Professional hockey players are totally tougher than me. MacDermid may be out a few more games, and... yeah. I understand that completely.
The other news out of the morning skate was that there is no news. The lines will be the same, down to Kari Lehtonen making his 19th consecutive start, and Jordie Benn will be a scratch on defense.
Here is what the team ran with in their 5-4 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks:
Ray Whitney-Jamie Benn-Alex Chiasson
Matt Fraser-Cody Eakin-Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom-Vernon Fiddler-Erik Cole
Antoine Roussel-Tom Wandell-Ryan Garbutt
And on defense:
Trevor Daley-Stephane Robidas
Brenden Dillon-Alex Goligoski
Aaron Rome-Philip Larsen
The Kings have just strafed the Stars with shots in the last several meetings, forcing some all-star performances out of goalie Kari Lehtonen just to keep the games close. That's not uncommon for the Kings - they tend to dominate most teams on the shot count - but the Stars need to keep it a little more in control tonight if they want to turn this into a little winning streak.