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Fractured teeth, double root canal won’t sideline Martin St. Louis on Friday

Martin St. Louis

Tampa Bay Lightning’s Martin St. Louis reacts following his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, March 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


Usually, a high-sticking penalty that draws blood yields a double-minor. That wasn’t the case last night, as referees missed a Zbynek Michalek high-stick on Martin St. Louis, even though the missed infraction cost him two teeth.

Cameras caught St. Louis fuming on the Tampa Bay Lightning bench after the missed call. It was with good reason, too. Not only did the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman go without a penalty - which would have been huge, especially since the Bolts only received one power play all game long - but St. Louis was forced to endure a painful dental surgery after the game.

Erik Erlendsson reports that the wayward stick fractured two of his teeth, forcing St. Louis to get a double root canal. There isn’t much of a chance for officials to deliver a “makeup call” in this situation, unless they allow a Lightning player to reenact a squirm-inducing interrogation scene from the movie “Old Boy.” (Note: that previous link isn’t for the faint of heart.)

Of course, St. Louis is expected to play in Friday’s Game 2 match, because he’s a hockey player. It goes back to the motto “hockey players are tough,” although somehow this is even more impressive than usual. There’s something about fighting through dental injuries that’s on a higher level of toughness, so kudos to St. Louis ... a guy who deserves far more Hart Trophy attention than he’s getting, by the way.