Mats Zuccarello-An Accident That Hit Too Close To Home


With Mats Zuccarello‘s freakish accident revealing more than what it was, nothing should be taken for granted

Along the New York Rangers playoff run this season, several injuries were made known to fans. A significant part of the team’s offensive arsenal was the loss of Mats Zuccarello.  Who knows what kind of impact he could have done for the games of Rick Nash and Derick Brassard these playoffs.  He not only energized his teammates, but he draws the crowd every time he touched the puck.

However, the worst case happened that made fans drop everything and pause in silence.

Zuccarello took a puck to the side of his head from a Ryan McDonagh shot to the head in the Game Five victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.

In a sport like hockey, things like this are bound to happen. Surprised it has not happen more. There’s little room to move when you are scratching and crawling for a goal.

However, the accidental play that forced Zuccarello from the game, and ultimately made him unavailable for the rest of the playoffs, revealed itself to be far worse than expected.

That is a scary thing! To be left in a situation such as he did, it’s unfathomable. In an age where head injuries are finally being addressed and examined closer, understanding of the affects to one of the most vital organs of the human body should be treated with care.

The accident that occurred to Zuccarello hit close to home. If you have ever met a person who has sustained a head injury, you know they are not the same.

Back in the summer of 1999, a childhood friend of mine joined the military. He did everything right: followed instructions, looked after his fellow soldier, and gave unselfishly of himself time and time again.

One day, his platoon was on a training run in the hot Virginia sun, running up and down the foothills. Suddenly, he felt nauseous and lost consciousness, as he fell to the ground. It was revealed his head fell backwards, while sitting down, and impacted the ground below. He woke up in a nearby hospital where he had been diagnosed with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

The accident affected many of his motor skills, including speech and doing little things we take for granted, such as picking up a fork or writing our names. For the next six months, he had to undeergo therapy session after therapy session.

It was hard to see what had become of him. A once vibrant, motivating individual turned into a part of what he was before. But being around him, he’s served as a source of inspiration that he won’t let this beat him.

To this day, he is 90% of himself with a few limitations. However, he is always a welcome sight.

We, as fans, never know what long term effects, if any, this may have for Zuccarello. You just never know what he can or cannot do till you witness it.

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