Tocchet feels the pain of Crosby's broken jaw
By Josh Yohe
Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Every broken jaw is a little different. Hockey players are a little different, too.
It remains unknown how much time Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss with his broken jaw, but hockey history is littered with players who were able to play with the condition.
Former Penguins right wing Rick Tocchet, a significant member of the 1991-92 Stanley Cup champion Penguins, played late in the regular season and through the playoffs with a broken jaw. He missed only one game because of it.
“It happened on a delayed offside play,” Tocchet said. “Mario (Lemieux) caught me with a shot. I knew the next day that something wasn't right.”
Tocchet was struck in the face March 15, 1992, in Chicago and went to see a dentist the next day. His abnormally large jaw made it impossible for his condition to be diagnosed, so he was forced to go see a specialist.
“They said the jaw was broken,” Tocchet said. “The next day, it really hurt. It was almost like I couldn't bite down.”
Tocchet wasn't dealing with a shattered jaw, as some players have, and it appears Crosby's condition is more serious. Crosby required surgery while Tocchet did not.
Still, Tocchet was forced to play in significant pain, and he has some advice for Crosby.
“You can't just have chocolate milkshakes or anything like that,” Tocchet said. “The blender is about to become Sid's best friend. My mom came down (from Canada) and helped me out. Everything — and I mean everything — went into the blender. That will be what Sid has to deal with. You need to get good calories in you. Blend all the fruit and veggies that you can. I lost 7 or 8 pounds.”
Tocchet said Crosby might have to become more of a perimeter player if his jaw is still tender when he first returns to the lineup. Crosby typically spends much of his time in puck battles on the boards and in front of the net.
“I marvel at Sid because, unlike a lot of stars, he always is around contact,” Tocchet said. “He's always the first in the corners with (6-foot-9, 255-pound Boston defenseman Zdeno) Chara, and he's not afraid to mix it up. I love that about his game, but he might need to change it up a little.”
Tocchet, it should be noted, never changed his approach.
He fought Islanders forward Kris King immediately after returning and fought Washington defenseman Kevin Hatcher in the playoffs.
“King was taking some liberties with Mario, so I did what I had to do,” Tocchet said. “(Penguins coach) Scotty Bowman didn't talk to me for a week after I fought King because he was so mad at me for fighting with a broken jaw.”
Crosby won't fight anytime soon.
Tocchet just hopes to see him on the ice soon.
“He's the MVP, the best player in the game,” Tocchet said. “Hopefully his injury is more like mine, and he's able to play soon.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Physical Columbus team is a hit in playoff opener against Penguins
- Play of the game: Sutter’s goal completes rally
- Penguins notebook: Goc skates, tests ailing ankle
- Q&A with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
- Five years later, Crosby wants another Cup win
- Penguins coach Bylsma’s system will be put to test in Stanley Cup playoffs
- Penguins’ Malkin expects to play in Game 1
- Penguins notebook: Vokoun remains behind Zatkoff on goalie depth chart
- Blue Jackets confident as they wade into postseason
- Ontario Hockey League Otters, McDavid helping to revive Erie hockey
- How the Penguins once again will (or won’t) win Stanley Cup