Jeff Petry with bloodshot eyes
(Screenshot/ CBC)

Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman Jeff Petry was the talk of social media Wednesday evening. The veteran blueliner returned to the lineup in Game 2 against the Golden Knights after missing the past two games with a hand injury.

Petry replaced Brett Kulak and slotted back into his usual spot with Joel Edmundson on Montreal’s second defensive pairing. The Habs struggled without Petry in Game 1, losing to Vegas by a 4-1 score.

Petry’s return in Game 2 was big news, but it was his physical appearance that really caught everyone’s attention. TV broadcast cameras showed Petry with scary red bloodshot eyes prior to Game 2 puck drop at T-Mobile Arena.

A doctor who regularly analyzes professional sports injuries provided his expert opinion on what he believes happened with Petry. MD Brian Sutterer thinks Petry may have “Subconjunctival hemorrhage”, which is when blood spots appear on the white of the eye.

Here’s what Sutterer tweeted:

“The differential depends on what other symptoms he’s having, if any (itching, pain, vision impairment). If painless, subconjunctival hemorrhage is one possibility. It’s tearing of small vessels beneath eye that can give this appearance, and can occur after trauma/sneeze/cough/BP”

Sutterer also published a video on YouTube explaining things in further detail.

The Canadiens later confirmed that “bilateral subconjunctival hemorrhage” is what Petry is dealing with. According to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, Petry has no pain or vision issues. Just some burst blood vessels and pooling.

Here’s the Cleveland Clinic’s full definition of Subconjunctival hemorrhage:

“Subconjunctival hemorrhage is the term for a broken blood vessel on the surface of the eye. The clear membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white of the eye is called the conjunctiva. It has many very small blood vessels that break easily. When a break happens, blood can leak under the conjunctiva. When this happens, the blood causes part of the white of your eye to turn bright red. The red spots caused by subconjunctival hemorrhage can look scary. But most cases do not cause any symptoms or need treatment. It is most common in older people, but it can happen at any age.”

Bloodshot eyes aside, it’s great to see Petry back in the lineup for the Canadiens. The 33-year-old is Montreal’s most relied on blueliner and has collected three assists in 10 playoff games thus far. Petry hadn’t played since Game 3 against Winnipeg after getting his finger stuck in a camera hole.

Petry logged 20:47 of ice time and had an assist to help lead Montreal to a 3-2 victory in Game 2. His bloodshot eyes may be a big distraction to viewers, but luckily they didn’t appear to impact his play on the ice.