There is nothing funny about hockey people being left in stitches. But the game's occupational hazard, most recently experienced by Islanders coach Jack Capuano late in Thursday night's victory over the Devils, long ago became virtually unavoidable in an activity featuring flying pucks, flailing sticks and razor-sharp skates.
"It's part of the game," said Islanders center Frans Nielsen, who guessed that he first had to be sewed up -- "somewhere in the face" -- around the age of 18, after he had begun playing without a full face visor.