Two games into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Joe Pavelski has been nominated as the frontrunner for the ultimate playoff warrior in the opening round.
During Game 1 of the Sharks first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights, Joe Pavelski opened the scoring in a rather unorthodox fashion: he redirected a Brent Burns shot with his mouth that took of some causailties in the form of his teeth.
There was no time to celebrate, as Pavelski, who didn't fall to his feet, skated right off into the Sharks dressing room to receive immediate attention from the training staff.
To no one's surprise, the captain joined his teammates for the second period, wearing a shield attached to his visor helmet to protect his face from further injury.
In between Games 1 and 2, Pavelski headed to the dental chair to get some work done.
During the second game of the series in which the Sharks fell 5-3 to even up the series, TSN analyst Mike Johnson, who's doing work for NBC this post-season, pointed out Pavelski's misfortunes in the form of multiple lost and damaged teeth.
That's right, six of Pavelski's teeth were damaged, including three that were completely dislodged.
Eddie Olczyk received a text from Pavelski himself on his visit to the dental office.
“Tough as nails, take a puck to the face like that and didn’t go down. Only missed maybe a shift at the end of the period and played the rest of the game. There’s no other word for it, just – he’s a warrior," said head coach Peter DeBoer following Game 1."
Pavelski added an assist to in Game 2 to give him two points in the series.
Sharks fans are hoping that Pavelski will continue to add to the scoresheet and come away with more points than missing teeth as they look to get back to the promise land for the first time since 2016 when they were defeated by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.