With so many players heading for Europe during the NHL lockout, hockey fans who want to follow their favorites are scouring the Internet, checking out sports pages from across the Atlantic to find out just what is going on in all of those leagues that are actually playing games.
One headline from this weekend wasn't about hockey, but it should have reminded anyone who read it of the toughness that is so treasured on the ice. On Saturday in England, the Leeds Rhinos topped the Warrington Wolves, 26-18, to win the championship of rugby’s Super League. In the defeat, Warrington’s Paul Wood suffered a ruptured testicle as the result of a wayward knee from a Leeds player, early in the second half. Wood stayed in the game until the end, did some postgame interviews with reporters without disclosing his injury, then went to the hospital and had surgery to remove the testicle.
Wood’s tweet upon the completion of his surgery was about what you might expect from a wry NHLer: “Just coming out the hospital to go home… Seriously feel like I’ve left something?”
It’s too bad that the Super League's season is over, because with players as rugged as Wood, it would make a nice satellite-TV treat while the NHL is gone. Still, the Grand Final made for some interesting reading, as it turns out that Leeds stood as an 18-1 longshot for the championship before rolling through the playoffs, LA Kings-style. By the time the Grand Final rolled around, Leeds was a 7-4 shot, while Warrington was a 1-2 favorite.