Justin Williams has sacrificed his face to mark the opening goal of the Hurricanes against the Panthers


The question of whether an intact face is more valuable to a hockey player than a regular-season goal has haunted sports philosophers for generations, and it's now a question that Justin Williams, formerly of the Hurricanes, will often arise the near future.

After a little over five minutes of play in the first period, Brett Pesce shot a shot outside the free-throw circle. The puck was not about to reach the back of the net – or even the Panthers goalie, James Reimer – but headed straight for Williams' face. Williams, who had just made the pass for Pesce's shot from behind the net, did not have time to protect himself and took the puck up to the cheek. Fortunately for Carolina, the puck went down directly around Reimer's right leg for the first goal of the game.

Personally, I would prefer to preserve the health of all the bones in my face, but that kind of thinking is why my dreams in the NHL shattered in 2009.


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