Heads up - the Rule of Threes is one victim away from completion.
Last Thursday the Canucks practiced at the University of British Columbia because Lorde took over Rogers Arena. No big deal, business as usual. Assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner hit the ice early with the other coaches, as usual, and one-by-one players joined them. Skating near the glass close to one of the nets, Baummer was hit in the head by a puck.
Looking around for whodunit, Baumgartner didn't see anyone owning up to it.
"No one was looking at me at all, I don't think anyone actually saw it," he said, suspiciously.
Normally kids are all about scrapes, scabs and blood, but the goose egg on Baummer's forehead swelled up so much it grossed out his son to the point of repulsion.
The swelling has gone down and Baumgartner now has a scab cut on his forehead, as seen below. As for suspects - "no one has owned up to it!"
One down, two go to.
Sunday in Arizona Bo Horvat hit the ice for warm-up without a helmet. It was his sixth straight game going without a bucket, but unlike the guys concerned with their flow, Horvat was trying to change his luck. After going pointless during a three-game road trip in Vegas, Arizona and Colorado, Horvat ditched his lid before the Canucks faced the New York Rangers at home on February 28th. He scored and had three points that night.
A new tradition was born and teammates took notice.
Horvat had three points over the following four games and was looking for more in Arizona Sunday night. He was once again helmetless for warm-up and was getting into a pre-game groove when he heard the dreaded PING.
"A puck rang off the post and all I had time to do was duck my head down," explained Horvat, post-game. "The puck hit me right here," he said, lowering his head and pointing to the mid-right side of his head.
It happens quick, but you can see Horvat starting to bleed his own blood as he leaves the ice.
He just nearly off the ice when the blood started to run down his forehead; a trail of sweat, blood and skatemarks ran from the ice to the Canucks dressing room.
Horvat was given five stitches and was on the bench when Vancouver took to the ice for puck drop. He didn't miss a beat, but the lesson was definitely learned.
"I'll never take warm-up without my helmet again," said Horvat, "for the rest of my career!"
Baumgartner said the same thing back in the day.
"I got hit in the back of the head by Nathan Perrott and it was bad," he recalled. "My head was all swollen at the back and I had to get my helmet on over it to play. That hurt for a while."
Baummer never took warm-up without his helmet again.
Practice, obviously, is a different story.
As for Horvat's culprit, he too remains at large. Could it be the same player who dinged Baumgartner? Perhaps he'll complete the trifecta in LA or Anaheim?
Two down, one to go.