By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Through all of the advancements of modern hockey equipment, through all of the increases in speed and size and power of the players on the ice, through the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s and 2000s and 2010s, the one thing you still don’t see as a prevalent item in an NHL arena is a $2.50 mouth guard. It’s really quite incredible.
And Wednesday afternoon in Toronto, Bruins forward Nick Ritchie became the latest example of why players would likely benefit from adding that tiny piece of rubbery plastic to their fancy get-ups.
Ritchie tag-teamed a hit with fellow winger Anders Bjork at the end of the second period against the Lightning. Both Ritchie and Bjork delivered solid contact on McDonagh, to the point where some Lightning players took offense. A minor brouhaha ensued.
At some point in that scuffle, Ritchie realized that he wasn’t quite himself. Or, he wasn’t all of himself.
Ritchie realized he had lost a tooth.
After removing his jersey, Ritchie tried to retrace his footsteps — a search party which was made more difficult due to the arena lights being off. (Apparently, even with no fans in the building, the NHL still takes its game presentation seriously.)
But with Jaroslav Halak by his side, Ritchie’s search was successful.
Well, this isn't something you see every day. 🦷
Nick Ritchie was so determined to get his tooth back, he went out after the period was over while the Zamboni was on the ice to find it. 😂 pic.twitter.com/Q4eOuwkaOV
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 5, 2020
Ritchie will no doubt put that tooth under his pillow on Wednesday night, hoping against hope that the Tooth Fairy might be able to penetrate the force field that surrounds the NHL’s protective bubble in Toronto.