Last Friday, golfer Rory McIlroy withdrew from a PGA event, citing wisdom tooth pain.
A week earlier, Steelheads defenseman Scott Todd took a puck to the face, went to the locker room and received 14 stitches inside and outside of his mouth. He returned to the game before the end of the period.
Needless to say, pain is handled differently in the golf and hockey worlds. Still, Todd is willing to give McIlroy a pass.
"I don't know, maybe it affected his swing," said Todd, who finished with a plus-1 rating in Idaho's 4-2 win over the Colorado Eagles on Tuesday night at CenturyLink Arena. "I just took a puck to the face, and you don't really do much with your face in hockey, so it didn't really affect my game at all."
Forward Neil Graham said Todd's toughness and never-say-die attitude make him one of the more popular players in the dressing room.
"Maybe I was a little surprised that he came back in the same period, but at the same time I knew he'd be back, knowing Todder," Graham said. "He even contemplated fighting at the beginning of the next period. But he didn't need to fight, just having him come back from a puck to the face, and going, 'Hey, I'm here. I'm back.' That was a boost for the guys."
Said coach Brad Ralph: "It was a pretty bad cut, but Todder, he's a team-first hockey player, and those guys do whatever they can to help win hockey games."
Ralph called the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Todd one of the pleasant surprises during training camp in October.
"He surprised me right from the get-go, and he continues to give us big minutes, and they've been hard minutes," Ralph said. "He's fought every tough guy in the league."
Although not necessarily not by design.
"(Fighting) wasn't on the top of my list of things to do when I was coming here," said Todd, who leads the team in penalty minutes (159). "But, I thought it might help me stick around here a little longer."
Todd is one of three players from training camp, along with Graham and captain Ben Ondrus, who have remained with the team the entire season.
"He's fought some big guys, tough guys," fellow defenseman John Ryder said. "Nobody likes that job unless they're extremely crazy, and Scott isn't. But you do what you can to help your team, and he's a pretty selfless guy."
Ryder found out how selfless recently, when he was asked to perform some community service. Ryder was asked to help out because he was on the injured list and the team intended to give the active players the day off.
"I was in the training room and I mentioned that I needed a polo shirt," Ryder said. "Scott was like, 'What do you need a polo shirt for?' I told him I was going to do a school visit and I was going to read to a little Catholic school. And he was like, 'What? Why didn't I get invited?' He was not happy about it."
Scott ended up accompanying Ryder on the visit.
"He's been the consummate team player, and he does the right things off the ice, as well," Ralph said. "He's a better person than I am."
Said Graham: "He's a big teddy bear off the ice, so it's surprising how tough he is."
NOTES: Austin Smith scored his team-leading 23rd goal in Tuesday's win. William Lacasse, Patrick Cullity and Tyler Gron (empty netter) also scored for Idaho (38-15-7), which improved to 22-4-4 at home. Josh Robinson earned the win after stopping 39-of-41 shots. ... The game was a potential preview of a first-round matchup in the first round of the ECHL's Western Conference playoffs. The two teams play again Wednesday night.