High up on Bryan Little's cheekbone -- left side, near his eye -- are the visible remnants of a fairly recent gash. And now that painful reminder has a couple of partners: an ugly cut across the bridge of his nose and a scrape on his upper lip that came Thursday night after a collision with Florida's Erik Gudbranson and the end boards.
This is the face many have seen before -- the face of sacrifice, of commitment, of the price to be paid. And if this were a month from now and Little and his Winnipeg Jets teammates were to find themselves in the postseason, it would be held up and glorified as the visage of a player battling in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Right now, that's still a big 'if', what with the Jets still staring up at eight teams in the Eastern Conference standings. But it's also not being melodramatic to suggest it's the hunger to get to the postseason that is driving this club right now through a three-game win streak.