Chiclets Anyone? Belanger Removes Own Tooth

Capitals' center took next shift

By Jim Iovino
|  Sunday, Apr 25, 2010  |  Updated 2:29 PM EDT
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Chiclets Anyone? Belanger Removes Own Tooth

NHL.com

Eric Belanger pulls out his own tooth on the Caps' bench.

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Eric Belanger doesn't really know how many teeth he lost in Game 5 Friday night at the Verizon Center.

It could have been seven. Maybe eight. But at that point, who's really counting?

Belanger suffered a gruesome injury in the game thanks to the follow-through on a dump-in by Marc-Andre Bergeron. The Montreal defenseman shot a puck into the Capitals' zone, and Belanger's face just happened to be in the way. Bergeron's stick went straight into Belanger's mouth.

"I felt my teeth shatter right away," Belanger said with some trouble while sporting a busted lip. "I knew I was in trouble, but what are you going to do? It's the playoffs. I came back and tried to help the team win."

That's right. Belanger didn't rush off the ice to the nearest oral surgeon. He simply went to the bench, at least one loose Chiclet from his mouth, handed it over to the trainer, and then took the faceoff ON HIS VERY NEXT SHIFT. Don't believe it? Watch the video below:

 

On Saturday Belanger admitted that he doesn't wear a mouth guard. It's not that he doesn't want to. He said it's because he can't.

"A few years ago I lost my top three (teeth)," he said. "Since then I wasn't able to wear a mouth piece."

So here he is again in a similar position -- he was to spend a great deal of Saturday getting some oral surgery ... enough to make him somewhat comfortable for the rest of the Caps' playoff run.

"It's the same memories all over again," he said.

"It was a long night, especially with the loss and the no-call on the play," Belanger said. "It makes it a lot tougher to digest this morning."

Something tells us the non-call isn't the only thing making it hard for him to digest these days...

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