Say What?

On Friday my team, Ssk, won a big game at home against the second best team in our league. It was a very competitive game. Our opponent, Bofors, is known as tough and dirty. We matched them slash for slash and hit for hit. The game had two fights!

You could tell the players were unsure what to do at first but once they got after it they really caught on quick. Fighting is frowned upon very strongly here. All four players have been suspended for at least one game and may receive more after the tapes are reviewed. A little harsh I think.

Near the end of the game as I was carrying the puck over the offensive blue line I was hit with a very high stick and was bleeding heavily from a cut on my cheek. I was sent for stitches right away. Getting stitches at the rink is not a new experience for me. However, this time it was unique. The doctor cleaned me up and as he got ready to put the first stitch in I asked ‘When do you put the freezing in?’

He looked at me with a surprised look on his face and answered, ‘We don’t use it here. Do they use it in the NHL? I could go find some if you want it.’

I think of myself as a pretty tough guy so of course I replied, ‘They do use it there but go ahead. Lets do it your way.’

I was shocked to discover it was much less painful without the freezing, even when they had to put a couple of stitches on my gums. The next day I had much less swelling then I had expected. Could it be north America has this freezing idea all wrong? Has anyone else had this experience before of getting stitches without the freezing? Can some doctors comment?

A really cool tradition in Sweden is one game per year the tickets are free. February first is that home game for us. I am really looking forward to it. The fans will all be chanting and cheering the whole game. One fan is the director and everyone follows his cues for which songs to sing. It’s awesome! It will be a fun night.

If anyone is going to be near Sodertajle that night come on by!

    • O.C.

      Well played.

      I knew a guy who stitched his own palm up once and took it out three weeks later. It was from the middle finger to the wrist in a “C” – was no big deal he said, just worried about infection (didn’t happen)- he was stuck in the bush when he opened it up.

  • vetinari

    Cowboy up big man. If a Swede can take it, A good old Canadian boy from Edmonton better just sit there and suck it up.Its not like your wife married you for your looks. Whats another scar or 20 gonna do to help that puss. Any other neat little things the Swedes do that we don’t? BTW the weather has returned to a balmy -5 here today. Unfortunately the Oilers got burned by the Flames last night 6-2. What a cluster%6$*. Do you remember when we didn’t suck. At 46 yrs young it seems that that time is fading away into a memory reserved for men with dentures and hearing aides.Keep well and next time just tell the trainer to put some ducktape on it. That will show them who is better.

  • vetinari

    I’ve always had freezing before stitches… chin, eyebrow, back of the hands, top of the dome… never tried it without freezing.

    As for the free tickets, what a great idea to show some fan appreciation!

    Do you know if any of the North American networks carry any of the European league games? My interest in the NHL, for some reason, has waned in year 3 of the Oiler’s build, and I need to get my fix somewhere.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Because you were being stitched immediately after being hit, you were still high on adrenaline and other strong hormones. I’m actually more surprised to learn that they use freezing in the NHL.

    So Struds, what’s your take on the Renney thing? Care to throw a voice of reason and knowledge into the fray, or shall we poke it away a 10 foot pole?

    • Jason Strudwick

      I didn’t see ithe incident, I only read about it so it is difficult for me to comment on it. As a player your emotions can get away from you in the form of a comment or action that you regret later. Hall is a player who is full of emotion which makes him so much fun to watch. As he ages he will learn to manage those feelings and to express them at a better time.

      I was lucky to play with Mark Messier early in my career. I learnt more from him than any other player or coach about being a pro. This included getting prepared to play, treatment of staff and team mates and emotion. He played with a lot of it but he handled it well so as to never show the other team if he was frustrated. He felt that is so important for players to keep frustration and dirty laundry in house.


        Thanks for your insight, Jason. I hope you read this and have time to reply again, because I was unclear in my original post 🙂

        Mostly though I’m wondering what you think about the possibility of Renney getting the axe. Or, if you’d rather not comment on a former coach/team, what do you think of the Buffalo/Nashville/Detroit approach to coaches as opposed to most of the rest of the league?

  • Cool Beans

    I had the same experience after moving to a South American country and going for dental work. They dont use freezing unless they have to. I had to get 2 teeth capped and a 2 toooth bridge all with out freezing and besides they vibration of the drill it didnt really hurt at all.

    I do think that we have been led down the road in the use of numbing and I would ask not to use it if possible.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Regardless of whether it was “right” or “wrong” according to the unwritten player-coach code, I loved Hall’s reaction to the empty netter. The dude has speed, size, skill, and on top of everything, he’ll block shots for you when you’re down by 3 with a half-minute left. I’d say he was justified in saying what he said, though he could’ve picked a better time to say it. We were all thinking it anyway, who pulls down by 3? Argh, Renney…

    Since the rebuild started I’ve always thought it would be Ebs named captain based on his age, composure, sportsmanship, etc., but after seeing Hallsy battle like that, I’m not so sure. The guy’s a fracking warrior, give him the C next year and see what happens.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I think it all depends on where the cut is. I had stiches in my elbow with no freezing and had little or no pain. I had stiches in the tip of my finger. Lots of freezing and lots of pain. If you ever cut the tip of your finger, crazy glue that sucker shut and carry on. Never ever get stiches in the tip of your finger. Had stiches in the top of my head once too. Had freezing, don’t recall much pain but that was over 20 years ago and I was an invincible teenager. Left a good scar too. Glad I still have a full head of hair!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I have received stitches twice without freezing: once in the nook of my eye between the eyeball and nose, and once on my forehead.

    For my eye, the doctor said that it would be too risky to freeze the area for such a small amount of stitches (2). It didn’t hurt; but I had to keep my eye open, so that way the skin was loose and easy to stitch, while she sewed me up and seeing that needle head for my eyeball was terrifying.

    For my head, I received 16 stitches in my forehead after a car accident without freezing. The doctor said the nerve endings had been severed and that freezing was unnecessary. He was right, I couldn’t feel anything anyway.

    Couldn’t say for sure if this had any impact on my recovery though.

  • Jason Strudwick

    The Swedes are great people. When you come for the world champs take the time to talk to some of them. They nearly all speak English and will be happy to tell you about their country and what to see.

    Over Christmas everyone had big paper stars with lights inside them in their windows. These are very cool and great tradition. We got a couple and will be bringing them home.

    A cool tradition on our team is that on your birthday you bring in cakes for the team to share! It is great. They have a cake called princess cake that is a very popular choice, it is good.

    Many European games are on tv here but I couldn’t tell you how to get them in north America. Maybe a european reader could tell us?

    3 days since I got cut and I am convinced that no freezing is the way to go. Swelling is gone and cut looks very good. Time for Canadians to suck it up!

  • Jason Strudwick

    Hey Struds,

    Just so ya know, there is a great bakery in town called the Duchess, that makes a good princess cake. However, they call it the Duchess, so when you are back in town and have a hankering…

  • Jason Strudwick

    Jason that is comical! I’ll tell you the Oilers could sure use your help right now with team tuffness, and defence. Those poor guys outside of Sutton are getting pushed around like dolls.

    What does your wife think about the gash?

  • Jason Strudwick

    Been stiched up twice with no freezing. Neither occasion was particularily painful but I did uncork and self administer a some pain killer.

    One set of stiches went well, the second did not. The Doctor was super nervous did a poor job which left me convinced that the freezing was more for the Doctor than for me.


    I’ve only had stitches with freezing (just below bottom lip), and oh my Christ does the injection of the freezing hurt. Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s no worse without.

    Have dislocated a bunch of fingers, though, and having them reset is better with freezing in the joint.


    Thanks for your insight, Jason. I hope you read this and have time to reply again, because I was unclear in my original post 🙂

    Mostly though I’m wondering what you think about the possibility of Renney getting the axe. Or, if you’d rather not comment on a former coach/team, what do you think of the Buffalo/Nashville/Detroit approach to coaches as opposed to most of the rest of the league?


    Just as a clarification, the game is free because sponsors have agreed to pay the club 1 Swedish krona, about 0.15CAD, per spectator, and even the some fans sign up to pay 0.015CAD per spectator.
    As the arena is quite small, 6130 seats, it won’t be too expensive for sponsors or fans.
    It’s allways a blast with with the fan club organising big “tifo’s” (look it up on YouTube) and the stands are packed to the rafters and the fans are singning the whole game.
    Can’t wait!