Gonchar, Lidstrom played with injuries, among others

It's been reported that both Sergei Gonchar and Nicklas Lidstrom played the entire Stanley Cup Finals while injured. Gonchar was injured after that controversial knee-on-knee hit from Alexander Ovechkin in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, causing him to suffer a partially torn right MCL.

Lidstrom had to have testicular surgery after Patrick Sharp speared him in the, well it's never specified in the Canadian Press Article, but I assume it was his testicles. His surgery caused him to miss the rest of the Blackhawks series, but of course he was back for the start of the Finals.

Both injuries would normally sideline a player for at least a couple of weeks, in Gonchar's case months, but both players were back after missing only two games. This information proves two things; hockey players are freakin' tough as nails (
HIS TESTICLES PEOPLE!!!), and NHL teams will go to unimaginable heights to keep player injuries secret. I mean, are NHL players so ruthless (other than Patrick Sharp evidently) that they would attack the Detroit captain's manhood if they knew about his, ahem, how can I put this, errr, LACK OF TESTICLES!!!

Apperantly, yes. Targeting of injuries in the NHL is commonplace, according to this article by Pierre Lebrun for ESPN. In his article, Pierre argues that disclosure during the regular season and playoffs is inconsistent, and that there are no definite guidelines for disclosing injuries during any part of the season. He also provides quite the interesting quote from Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jeff Finger,

I wouldn't say blatantly, but especially in the playoffs, if you know someone has a sore shoulder, or sore anywhere, you're going to make them pay the price, not necessarily try to injure them, but make them pay the price and not pass up an opportunity to give them a shot. Cleanly, of course.

Alrighty then, there's no argument after all. NHL player DO target injuries. How foolish of me to think that they would have some compassion! On the other hand professional sports are do or die, and every advantage a player can utilize has to be, well, utilized, especially in the playoffs where playing injured is the norm. What Pierre, and after reading his article I, would like to see is consistency from the NHL about reporting injuries in the regular season, where playing injured isn't so common, and the playoffs, where it is common occurence. In other words, the "upper body" and "lower body" injury, which can range from anywhere to broken bones to diarrhea, will suffice for the playoffs, but for the regular season, I want to know which testicle is the defunct one.

On a related note, Pittsburgh's Kris Letang also played the series with an undisclosed injury, and Sidney Crosby's jammed knee suffered in game 7 isn't even serious enough to warrant an MRI.


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