Bob Gibson once pitched on a broken leg. Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds played football after breaking his leg. Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning joined these two in the pantheon of sports MEN last night in Boston.
Five minutes into the second period, Stamkos took a slapshot to the grill and went down like a ton of bricks. He quickly got to his feet, holding his face as blood was pouring from the wound, and skated to the locker room. Incredibly, he was patched up, put on a helmet with a metal cage, and returned to the ice just 10 minutes later.
Although Stamkos and the Lightning lost game 7, his courageous performance last night will be remembered as one of the all-time great “playing with pain” moments in sports.