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Blues, Avalanche line brawl leads to one of season's best photos

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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There was a lot of craziness that happened during the Colorado Avalanche's 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues Saturday, not the least of which was more than 120 minutes in penalties handed out in the third period.

There were kicked in goals that counted, a bloodied Kevin Shattenkirk, veterans picking on rookies, and a near line brawl in the video above. That all led to a rather lengthy penalty report on NHL.com.

With 2:08 remaining, several players paired off including Colorado's Brad Malone and St. Louis' Roman Polak. It was more of a wrestling match than anything, but it led to what is probably going to go down as one of the photos of the year.

Mark Buckner is the photographer who caught this moment at the perfect time.

HIS HEAD!  IT'S GONE! IT'S... IT'S JUST GONE! (Getty)
HIS HEAD! IT'S GONE! IT'S... IT'S JUST GONE! (Getty)

Polak has apparently been decapitated, but the rest of his body hasn't given up the fight. Meanwhile, referee Chris Rooney is either calling for a medic or is screaming in sheer terror of the scene. (Don't worry, Polak's head is still attached.)

To me, the look of sheer panic on Rooney's face really sells the whole thing juxtaposed with the nonchalance from the Avalanche bench and the fans taking cell phone pictures. And shout out to the little kid on the far right who looks genuinely concerned Roman Polak may have lost his head.

(h/t @HDHockeyVideos for the video)

 
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