Esa Lindell takes Sidney Crosby slap shot to the face
(Screenshot/ Fox Sports)

Hockey players continue to be absolutely insane.

Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell suffered a brutal injury in Saturday’s game against the Penguins. Lindell went down to block a 2-on-1 play between Penguins’ forwards Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.

As Lindell went down to block the pass, Sidney Crosby drilled him in the face from close range with a one-timer. The slow-mo replay seems to show Crosby’s shot knocking a tooth right out of Lindell’s mouth.

The reaction from goaltender Ben Bishop illustrates the seriousness of the situation. Bishop threw both his hands in the air as he witnessed his teammate taking a puck to the face. Luckily, the trainer was alert and attended to Lindell quickly.

Lindell was helped off the ice and immediately went to the locker room. Lindell didn’t return in the first period, but was miraculously on the bench to start the second period.

Cameras captured Lindell on the Dallas bench wearing a full “bubble” face shield to start the second period. Taking a Sidney Crosby one-timer to the face is a recipe for disaster, so Lindell is fortunate to have avoided serious injury.

We know hockey players are some of the toughest athletes out there, but Esa Lindell is just another example of the sacrifices these players make on a nightly basis.