‘Some guys look at me like I’m a science project’: Morgan Barron talks recovery from skate blade to face
LAS VEGAS –
Looking like an extra in a horror movie, Winnipeg Jets forward Morgan Barron said the reaction to his new-look forehead has been varied.
“Some guys have told me it looks better than they expected and some guys look at me like I’m a science project,” he said Thursday. “So I’m kind of getting both ends of the spectrum. But it feels pretty good actually.
“I think it feels better than it looks.”
Barron needed over 75 stitches to repair a nasty gash after taking a skate to the face in Game 1 of Winnipeg’s first-round NHL playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Sitting down at his stall after the Jets’ optional skate ahead of Game 2 at T-Mobile Arena, Barron looked like a boxer who’d been through a 15-round war the day before.
He was sporting bandages and a vertical stitch line to go with bruising, swelling and a shiner.
“The guys have been awesome about it,” Barron said. “I feel like I may as well make light of it. Obviously it was pretty fortunate the way things ended up.”
Goaltender Laurent Brossoit’s skate blade was briefly stuck between Barron’s head and visor during a goalmouth scramble that had several players sprawled on the ice.
After getting stitched up, Barron wore a full facial cage on his helmet when he returned in the second period of Winnipeg’s 5-1 victory.
“You talk about all in, man, that’s all in,” said Jets head coach Rick Bowness.
Barron said he was available for Game 2 on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena. He skipped Wednesday’s off-day practice to meet with training staff and watch some video.
The blade caught him near his eyebrow and along the side of the forehead, missing his right eye by a few centimetres.
“He’s used to the cage (from college hockey) but I don’t think anybody is used to playing with the cut he received the other night,” Bowness said. “Athletes take a lot of pride in their ability to overcome injury. Hockey players are really good at that.
“You see guys freezing hands, and ankles, elbows and everything else just to play in the playoffs. Morgan, he missed as many shifts as he was willing to miss. I give him full marks.”
Barron said some of his stitches will be taken out after a week and others will dissolve.
Goaltender blades tend to be sharper than other skates because netminders usually like more push power than gliding ability. Brossoit’s blade was wedged along Barron’s face for about a second or two.
“I remember kind of seeing it there but I didn’t want to panic because I figured jerking my head around would maybe make it worse,” he said. “I think I pushed it down with my glove.”
The six-foot-four 220-pound Halifax native immediately left the ice to get medical attention in the locker-room area.
“Honestly, coming off, I had no idea how deep it was or anything,” he said. “I thought it was just a little nick. Then once you get in there, their reactions (told me otherwise).”
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series was set for Saturday in Winnipeg.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2023.
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