The line “Real men play hockey” from the famous song was born for a reason. Hockey is rightfully one of the most spectacular sports, and to some extent this is influenced by its risk of injury. Constant power moves, natural damage that comes from taking the puck on yourself, hooks and hits with a stick – all this was and remains an integral part of the game. Today's match between the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights was another illustration of that.
The teams demonstrated extremely effective play with elements of a thriller. The Canadiens led 2-0 in the first period, but in the second 20 minutes the reigning Stanley Cup holders turned the tide of the match by scoring several goals. By the way, Ivan Barbashev had a hand in this. The Russian forward assisted Jonathan Marchessault on Vegas' third goal of the match and thereby scored his 200th career point in the NHL championships. This meeting was also partly an anniversary for Barbie – the 450th.
At the end of the period, Ivan again declared himself, but from a different position. Everyone knows that the Russian striker feels confident in power struggles, but there are still players who underestimate his abilities. At the end of the second period, after which the teams left the court with a draw score of 4:4, Barbashev powerfully met the Canadian defender of the Canadiens, Arber Dzhekaj. From this hit, Ivan’s opponent collapsed epically on the ice, and then was forced to leave the locker room prematurely due to injury. The match ended for him – the Canadian did not play in the third period. It is noteworthy that Dzhekai, who loves to hit and destroy everyone, is noticeably superior to Barbashev in anthropometric data, but this fact did not save the Montreal player.
Another – albeit creepy, but more effective – episode happened at the end of the third period. The teams were probably already thinking about overtime, but the moment with the participation of Pavel Dorofeev changed everything. The Russian striker of “Vegas” climbed towards the goal and met on his way a barrier in the form of Brendan Gallagher’s stick. The Canadian forward for the Canadiens made a sloppy play and hit the young Golden Knights forward right in the jaw. Dorofeev, by inertia, tried to continue the attack, but then fell on the ice and grabbed his bloody face.
The result of the collision was the loss of several teeth by Pavel. The Russian immediately pointed out the injury to his teammates and the referee, and after an initial examination by the club doctors, accompanied by them, he was forced to go to the locker room and end the match early. The footage is really not for the impressionable. The teeth and, probably, their fragments were sought out and collected from the ice by Dorofeev’s teammates, after which they handed over what they found to the Golden Knights medical staff.
For Montreal and Gallagher personally episode ended sadly. The Canadian was sent off for four minutes, and Vegas, during the resulting numerical majority, scored two more goals, which led the reigning champions to victory. Fans of the “knights” on social networks even joke that Dorofeev should be credited with two assists for his lost teeth and the fateful majority.
Joking aside, but good health to Pavel.