CALGARY -- The Heritage Classic isn’t just any game, and James Wisniewski isn’t just any player.
Under 48 hours since being rushed to the hospital after being struck in the face by shot by Taylor Hall against the Oilers on Thursday night, James Wisniewski hit the ice with his teammates for practice at McMahon Stadium.
Despite sporting a world-class shiner with a nasty gash on his left cheek that required 22 stitches to sew up according to the man himself, a full-face mask was all that covered Wisniewski’s smile at practice.
“He looked pretty comfortable out there to me,” said Wisniewski’s power-play blue line partner, P.K. Subban
. “We all want to be a part of this game and he’s no exception.”
Even with temperatures dipping to -20 with the wind chill at ice level, the battered Habs defenseman braved the elements, giving his teammates a definite lift.
“Obviously it was great to seen him out there. We need him and if he can play that’s good news for us,” said captain Brian Gionta
. “He seemed fine out there, but I haven’t seen him since we got off the ice, though.”
A warrior in his own right playing with his own injury right now, Hal Gill was impressed but not surprised by Wisniewski’s toughness.
“We were all worried about him, but to see him join us out there this morning showed a lot about what he’s made of,” said Gill. “He’s a real tough kid, getting a shot like that really stings. James is out there with us because we need him and we need to get those two points tomorrow not because of this event, that’s for sure.”Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.comSEE ALSO:Healing Habs Habs Notebook - Feb. 18, 2011 Live cam from McMahon Stadium Wisniewski injuryYouth movement Look familiar, Paul?