Alec Martinez suffered a frightening injury while playing for HC TPS in Turku, Finland during the lockout when a slapshot from Tappara defenseman Juha Leimu caught him directly under the visor in November. Coverage of that incident can be found here and here.
In Thursday’s game against Nashville, the Kings defenseman had his first near-scare of the regular season when a shot from the point rose on him and nearly caught him in the same area.
Alec Martinez, on the shot that he absorbed versus Nashville:
“Yeah, I don’t know if [Kevin] Klein was trying to get it on net or dump the puck in, but I saw it was rolling, so I knew it was probably going to come high and kind of had flashbacks when I got hit in the head. It ended up hitting me in the arm. Obviously, better than the face.”
Martinez, on the injury he suffered in Finland:
“I had a fractured orbital in three different places, and then my sinus on my left side was broken. I had five fractures. Just a slapshot that caught me right under my visor. I didn’t even see it coming until the last second. Obviously, it was pretty unfortunate, but the doctor did a pretty good job. I have two metal plates in now. I don’t know. It feels pretty good now. It’s been about maybe 12 weeks now since the surgery, so it feels pretty good.”
Martinez, on what taking a slapshot to the face feels like:
“At first, I was just kind of in shock. I remember everything. I just kind of dropped. I just saw the blood on my visor, and then I saw it in my hand, so I knew that it wasn’t good. It was kind of like the feeling of in shock, and then you’re a little bit numb, too. And then, obviously, it takes a minute or so and then it sets in, and obviously it didn’t feel very good. Like I said, I was fortunate enough. I’m just happy that it wasn’t my eye. I was fortunate to have a pretty good doctor there in Finland to get it done.”
Martinez, on his career-high ice time of 25:21 last night, and his comfort level thus far:
”Yeah, I feel pretty good. I started skating again, I think, I want to say around Christmas time. I was out for about six or seven weeks, maybe eight. I feel good. This is the most I’ve ever played at this level. It’s a lot of fun. It’s exciting. I just want to keep it going.”