Hockey players are a dentist’s dream.
Between flying pucks and wayward sticks, there are plenty of opportunities to keep a dentist busy.
But what happened to Calgary Flames forward James Neal on Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks seemed bizarre, even by NHL standards.
Canucks defenceman Alex Biega was trying to swat at an airborne puck during the third period in Vancouver, missed and caught Neal in the mouth by mistake.
And thanks to good camera work from CBC, it was possible to watch Neal’s teeth fly out of his mouth in slow motion.
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One immediately fell to the ice and a couple more flew up after hitting his shoulder as he turned and grabbed his mouth.
An on-ice official had to collect the teeth off the ice while Neal went to the dressing room to get repairs on a cut mouth.
CBC was quick to point that the wayward upper teeth likely were fake, but still … they went flying out of his mouth. And another trip to the dentist will need to be scheduled.
“That’s why there are dentists, right,” coach Bill Peters told reporters. “I think for every tooth he lost, they got a minor.”
Biega received a four-minute penalty for high-sticking.
And because hockey players are tough, in addition to prone to losing teeth, Neal was back on the ice before the penalty was over.