Sheffield Steelers players will tonight have to block out from their minds the full, sickening detail of the injury to centreman Jeff Legue.
The team goes into battle this evening against Coventry Blaze, hoping to secure a Play Off semi final place. They lead 3-2 from the first leg.
But they will be without Legue, who underwent a three and a half hour operation at the University Hospital, Coventry on Sunday.
Legue was accidentally hit in the face by a puck shot by linemate Chris Blight.
The puck smashed his cheekbone just below his ear - and also broke his chin. He has had two metal plates fitted.
The loss of the import means Tim Spencer, who has played much of the season on defence, is now likely to play on a forward line with Jonathan Phillips and Jason Hewitt.
Everybody in the side is going to have to pick up the slack caused by Legue’s horrendous injury.
None more so than the Nate DiCasmirro, Stefan Meyer and Rob Dowd line.
Centreman DiCasmirro hasn’t scored in his last 19 games.
While Dowd has one goal in five and Meyer one assist in the last four.
But coach Gerad Adams thinks they will come through tonight. “They are creating chances and it is only a matter of time until they start scoring.”
The coach is pleased to see that Max Larcoix has found his scoring form.
He has scored twice in the last three games and is now looking like the player he was before his season was also blighted by injury.
“We have switched Max to centre and he has played well there” said Adams.
“I am really happy for him because he has been hard on himself recently for not getting the goals he’d wanted.”
Last Sunday’s shakedown saw Fife Flyers beat Dundee Stars 8-4 on aggregate and Belfast Giants saw off Hull Stingrays 7-3 on agg.
This means that Saturday’s semi finals pitch together Belfast v Fife (1pm) and Braehead Clan against the winner of tonight’s Sheffield v Coventry match. This second semi will start at 5pm. If things go as Steelers want, ex-coach Ryan Finnerty will be up against his old team again, in Nottingham.