DALLAS — With 11 stitches under the eye and four scratches on the cornea, Dustin Penner knows he caught a break.
A pretty big one on a team that hasn’t had many this season.
“It’s a little scary when it first happens,” said Penner, thankful that the puck that hit him in the eye Monday in Detroit didn’t do any serious damage. “That’s why I went down, because I couldn’t see. But slowly my vision came back.”
While Penner was laying on the ice he immediately thought of his friend Jordan Smith, a former Anaheim Ducks prospect, who lost the sight in his eye after being clipped with a puck in Portland.
“I was worried until the doctor came in and put some dye in the eye. He looked at it and said it was scratched, like an old set of glasses, a few abrasions on it, but lucky for me that part of the eye heals up quickly. He said 48 hours.”
Penner is not a visor guy, but will have to wear one for a week.
“I don’t like it. I guess it’s something you could get used to, but having that choice I don’t want to get used to it. Sorry, mom.”
While visors offer protection, it’s no secret they also cause injuries as well, funnelling upward-moving sticks into the face.
“There are times where the puck or the stick might have gone just in front of your face but the visor corrals it in.”