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Ben Bishop Loses Teeth On Shot, Finds Them In Mask

Watch hockey long enough and you think you’ve see it all, but even we gotta admit the sight of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop fishing his teeth out of his mask after they were knocked out by a shot on Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs was something new … and frankly, a little disgusting.

This is the shot that does it:


… and this is Bishop shaking out his mask and picking out pieces of tooth:


So what the heck happened?

Bishop didn’t appear to be entirely sure himself, saying he closed his eyes. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper guessed “the vibration knocked his teeth loose,” adding they were fake anyway.

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

The bottom of the opening on the mask can get pushed up into the teeth on a hard enough shot. It usually happen to goalies that wear their mask sitting up higher up on the forehead, which leaves that lower edge closer to the mouth. That used to include Chicago Blackhawks No.1 Corey Crawford, who would require a dentist to fix chipped front teeth at least once a season before switching masks a couple years ago for a different fit and opening.

It’s also more typical on shots that catch the bottom edge of the mask, pushing it up in a way that can leave goalies feeling like they’ve been punched in the mouth. Since neither seems to apply to Bishop, we’re left to just marvel at his toughness and temporary Bobby Clarke smile.

“I was shocked,” Bishop told reporters after the game. “I don’t know exactly what happened but I just felt both my teeth pop out. It’s throbbing a bit but we’ll take care of that … It wasn’t really super painful or anything like that … These guys in front of me lose teeth all the time, so I guess I just wanted to be like them.”

The only downside will be a trip to the dentist and a temporary lisp.

“They were already crowned, so at least I already had that going for me,” Bishop said. “It was throbbing pretty good. And my talking’s a little different right now. Other than that I was able to just stay with it.”

And have fun with it on social media by re-tweeting things like this, as Bishop did:

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  1. Jp

    As I have posted else where. These generic brand named masks are Ill fitting and made out of cheaper materials. Other goalies that I had talked to in the N.H.L and A in the past also lost teeth with the exact same masks and others; Corey Hirsch (Vancouver) Cristopher Nilstorp (Texas Stars), Craig Anderson (Ottawa), Carey Price (Montreal), Cederic Desjardins (Hamilton Bulldogs). And those are only the ones I’ve known. Add concussions, broken eardrums, stitches on foreheads and in mouths, fractured skulls, jaw injuries, the lists go on and on……… and it will continue.
    And why I know all of this? I make high end custom goalie masks in Vancouver and have had several in the N.H.L. Trevor Kidd, Kevin Weekes, Jimmy Waite, Mikhael Shtelenkov, etc……
    I model myself after the Greg Harrison masks that almost all goalies wore back a few years; Felix Potvin, Bill Ranford, Jim Casey, Pete Peeters, Andy Moog, Ron Hextall, Kirk McLean, just to name a few. And nobody got hurt like this in Pro’s.
    I model myself after his masks and I too have my trade secrets, but what I can say is the 3 most important ingredients in properly made mask;
    1. custom fitting
    2. materials
    3. placing it all together
    Once there’s cutting corners, ex; too light, mass produced, filling in spaces with foam, improper fit, this is the kind of stuff that occurs.

  2. JOe Feeney

    I would be interested in the type of padding and amount he was using in this mask. Did he use a chin cup or just the chin sling which brings th mask much closer to the teeth? I saw the same thing happen t pCary Price a few years ago, and he only had the sling, no chin cup in his mask at the time, if I’m correct.