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Gotta Be Hockey

Less than a week after appearing to die, John Tavares is back on the ice. He couldn’t . . . could he?

May 27, 2021

My parents used to always say “there’s a fine line between brave and dumb.” I’m not sure why. Did they believe their kids when we said we wanted to grow up to be Batman? Unclear, but I do know this:

John Tavares is walking that line.

On Thursday morning, less than six days after scrambling his egg over Corey Perry’s knee, resulting in one of the most horrifying concussion scenes in sports history, Tavares was back on the ice for a morning skate ahead of the Maple Leafs’ Game 5 showdown with the Canadiens. It is as innocent a clip as you will ever see—practically serene—but the context makes it clinically insane.

In case you needed a reminder, this is what Tavares looked like about this time last week.

We sincerely hope Tavares isn’t considering what we think he’s considering here. The Maple Leafs are up 3-1 in the series and are on home ice on Thursday. They have to win just one of their next three games to close out the series and advance to take on the Winnipeg Jets in the second round. Yet here he is back out on the ice, bruised brain and all, about to leave it all out there—his career, maybe even his life—for Game 5.

Brave or dumb? You decide.