Even by a tough guy’s standards, the face of Senators winger Chris Neil has had a hellish month.
There was that errant puck that broke his nose and blackened his eye during a game in Los Angeles Oct. 9, then an elbow to the battered beak last week in Detroit.
On Sunday at home against the San Jose Sharks, as Neil was driving to the net late in the game, the stick of Zack Smith came up and cut him above the lip, toward the corner of his mouth.
“A fluke accident,” Neil said.
Trainers glued that cut shut so he could continue to play. The stick loosened a couple of teeth, but didn’t break any.
“In Detroit, I initiated the hit and (a Red Wings player) kind of caught me with a forearm shiver.”
Now, beneath the twisted nose he sports a grubby beard because he doesn’t want to shave near that cut. Neil isn’t a fan of stubble, but it’s the preferred option to scraping a razor blade near a cut.
“It’s been taking a bit of a beating, but it comes with the territory,” Neil says of his October