Byron Froese’s face hits the ice hard after clean hit; leaves game bleeding

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Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Byron Froese, 24, has quickly ingratiated himself to Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock with a hard-nosed style of play. 

In the second period of Toronto’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, the hardness of Froese’s nose got a stiff test when he was hit cleanly by Hurricanes forward Brad Malone and fell awkwardly, slamming his face hard against the ice. 

You can see the hit in question, and the fall which did way more damage, here:

Ouch! 

Froese left the ice and was getting repairs done on his face on the Maple Leafs’ bench. The Maple Leafs’ grinder looked kind of like an action hero at the end of a movie, like when the main character’s face is caked in blood and dirt after the battle is won, lying on the ground joking about what he’s going to do next – write a strongly worded letter, go to Disneyland, smoke some brisket – with whatever stock character happens to have survived the ordeal alongside him (my personal favourite stock character sidekick example is LL Cool J’s religious, but cool-under-fire bible quoting chef from Deep Blue Sea). 

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(Courtesy: Sportsnet)

Actually come to think of it, Froese’s face also kind of looks like the final image before the credits from the Hannibal title sequence…

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The gritty Maple Leafs winger has yet to return to the game following the incident, though he remained on the Maple Leafs’ bench. Froese ultimately returned for the third period, because hockey.