The Loss May be Bigger than the 6 - 0

7th Woman's picture

When a hockey player is taken into the boards, real fans hold their breath for a moment. It only takes a few seconds for everything to change. The speed of the game, the force of the players, the fact that it is played on an unforgiving surface, all combines to make hockey what can be considered a dangerous sport.

We watched as Kevin Colley's Islander career was abruptly ended. We watched as Jason Blake lay motionless on the ice for what seemed like an eternity. But tonight we could not WATCH defensemen Chris Lee. We could only hear about it on a Florida sports station and follow along with Botta's Point Blank live blog.

At first, the announcers weren't even sure which Islander was hurt. It took a few minutes to confirm it was Chris Lee. This is a young man who has had some hell of a week. He's the same one who scored a goal for his birthday. Tonight, he may not even fly back with his team.

"Eleven Seconds" is a book, a true story no less, about a young hockey player who became paralyzed on the first shift of a particular game. The heart breaking story of his recovery to a life in a wheel chair was more than I could bear. I returned the book to my friend without having read past page 60. I couldn't read about it. These men have the possibility of living it.

We cannot take the danger of the sport we love for granted.

The 6 - 0 loss will quickly be forgotten. Any permanent damage to a young life will not.

So what was to be the premiere of our star goal tender and perhaps the only kick at the can by Josh Bailey became a disappointing night. The SOG were even, but the score sheet was not. Without the benefit of television, I didn't see Scott Gordon's demeanour behind the bench. I couldn't see how Bailey carried himself or Mitch Fritz's fight or DiPietro's attitude. But considering the technology the Internet offers up, at least I was informed.

And by Wednesday, I'm hoping I forget about the loss and Lee is perfectly fine.