Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Dental Series

If the series between Montreal and Ottawa hasn't seen its share of blood, sweat, and personal sacrifice yet, tonight's game will only go to bolstering that claim. We always hear about guys playing hurt, guys playign with broken bones, and guys in need of general repairs in the playoffs, and we often find out just how tough these guys are as they play through some horrific injuries. The Montreal-Ottawa series, though, is all about insurance costs as this series is turning into the "Dental Series".

Let's flash back to Game One. Rarely do we see facial injuries suffered by goaltenders, but Craig Anderson sported a brand-new look after Game One thanks to a Rene Bourque shot that was stopped by his mask. Here's Anderson before and after. See if you can spot the difference.
It's pretty clear that he's missing a tooth in the image on the right. Anderson, after the game, stated it was a solo incident since using his new mask, and he wasn't expecting to see any other dental work on his own mug going forward. Little did he know that his counterpart in the Montreal net would be the next to need some dental work.

In Game Two, Carey Price was injured in front of his own net when Ottawa's Guillaume Latendresse sent Montreal's Jarred Tinordi tumbling in front of price. What Price didn't see coming was Tinordi's skate. His skate caught Price square in the mask as seen here.
Price was down for a few seconds before casually skating to the bench and depositing the portions of two cracked teeth into the hand of the Montreal trainer.
Two games, three teeth affected, both in the mouths of the two starting goalies, each missing tooth coming from the mouth of the winning goalie. How weird is that? This kind of coincidence happens never, so to see both goalies losing teeth on rather harmless plays should have made a few people sit up and notice.

We move to Game Three, and the occurrance of teeth on the ice continued. Neither goaltender was involved Game Three's oral mishap, but the winning tradition continued. Jean-Gabriel Pageau took a nifty pass from Sergei Gonchar at the Caandiens' blue line, broke in on Price, scored his first NHL Playoff goal of his career, and ended up in the corner spitting teeth and blood out of his mouth. How did that happen? Let's go to the video!
You can see Pageau picking his teeth up from the PK Subban high-stick he took to the mouth. While Subban's defensive move was innocent enough, he still needs to be in control of his stick. You can see it slide up Pageau's stick and catch him square in the mush as Pageau gets the shot off that beats Price, and the corner that Ottawa chose to celebrate saw Pageau spit up blood and teeth in memory of his first NHL Playoff goal. I'm not sure if he wanted to remember it that way, but he now has a physical reminder nonetheless.
Of course, Pageau played a large part in helping Ottawa win Game Three, so the trend of losing teeth equating to a win continues. By the time this series is over, the Canadiens and Senators may need dentures if they keep this up! It should also be noted that Pageau not only scored his first NHL Playoffs goal, but he also scored his first NHL and NHL Playoffs hat trick!

Everyone says hockey players are tough. Not one of the players who lost a tooth or teeth came out of the game for his respective team. That's how much the playoffs and the Stanley Cup mean to these guys.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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