Eric Belanger eschews appearance, reinforces hockey player stereotypes

Washington Capitals’ forward Eric Belanger took a high stick straight to the kisser on Friday night during his team’s 6-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s a motivational moment where we can all realize that we needn’t dress up and put gel in our hair when hitting the town during a hot weekend night. Instead, we should roll up our sleeves and attempt to beat the living daylights out of someone twice our size — that behemoth at the bar making nice with the girl you’ve had your eyes on since you stepped through the door. It’s your time time shine: You pound your Jameson like it’s the sweet water that it is, dropping a creased dollar into the acorn glass for the tip, and then sidling up next to your oblivious opponent who’s now whispering weightless compliments into your lady’s ear. You throw a haymaker, but it’s caught, not by your opponent, but by some invisible grip from the ether. You turn around — it’s the bouncer. Your plan is imploding, and you hope to be simply shown the door. But in an instant of improbable misfortune, the bouncer shows extra remorse for the brute, and allows him one free punch. You close your eyes, and somehow conjure a hint of bravery, whether from the slug of Jameson or legitimate adrenaline, you don’t know. The punch comes, and it’s with a force so miserable and heart-breaking you wouldn’t mind giving up the ghost right then and there. On the wavy and sweat-soaked floor, you turn to your side. A tooth — a molar you think — is lying at your feet. You’ve been cold-clocked, humiliated, but it was worth it. You tried. A qualified victory you’ll call it…

But in all seriousness, this is like icky gross! You’re telling me that once you lose a tooth as an adult it doesn’t grow back? Nooo! You’d have to get a fixed bridge or a dental implant or something? Forget that. I’ll never play hockey.

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