Matt Calvert suffered an injury that would have put a number of players out of action, but the Blue Jackets winger came back from a 36-stitch cut on his forehead to net the game winner.
Taking a puck to the face and getting 36 stitches would stop most humans from completing basic tasks. For Matt Calvert, it ended up being the catalyst he needed to score the biggest goal of his season.
On Friday night, Calvert suffered a brutal-looking injury midway through the second frame when a rolling puck shot by New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden came up and into the Blue Jackets winger’s face. The shot caught Calvert in the forehead, sent him to the ice and the immediate result was worrying.
Blood pooled onto the ice before the training staff could get to Calvert, and he was rushing off the ice by the time he could get a towel to stop the bleeding:
While in the dressing room, Calvert received three-dozen stitches in an L-shape on his forehead. If you think that was enough to keep Calvert off the ice, though, you’d be far from correct.
Calvert returned to the game in the third period, and in his fourth shift after getting stitched up, Calvert made his presence felt.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella threw Calvert onto the ice when Columbus was shorthanded, at which point he and William Karlsson broke away on a 2-on-0. As the two broke down the ice, Calvert looked off Karlsson and unleashed a wrister that deflected off of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, eluded goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and found the back of the net:
Calvert’s goal would end up being the difference maker for the Blue Jackets, who won their third-straight game and fourth in five outings.
For Calvert, it was his second marker in 15 games and only the second game-winning goal he’s potted since the start of the 2015-16 season. No doubt a memorable one, too.
“I don’t think I’ve ever taken a slap shot to the forehead like this,” Calvert said. “I’ve had one graze off my face. But to be able to come back and contribute offensively like that and get the winner, it felt great.”
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