Standing in the New York Islanders locker room after an offseason scrimmage on June 30, Kyle MacLean’s upper lip swelled with each passing second. Despite the stitches attempting to close the cut, his wound continued to leak blood.
Being on the receiving end of an errant high stick isn’t a pleasurable feeling. But scoring on the ensuing penalty shot — which was delayed a minute since MacLean had to first apply a towel to his face to temporarily halt the bleeding — sure was fun.
It was a highlight-reel goal, too, as MacLean, after briefly losing control of the puck as he crossed the blue line, recovered and made a nifty deke before burying the biscuit. But the goal will never show up in a box score. And the 19-year-old center is fine with that.
All that matters to MacLean is that his team of prospects won the scrimmage on the closing day of this year’s Islanders development camp, which he attended as an invitee, and that he was able to leave it a smarter hockey player than when he started.