The NHL’s first round of the playoffs concluded with a very exciting overtime finish between Washington and Toronto — it was the 18th overtime game in the first round, a new league record — as the Caps finished off the upstart Leafs in 6 games. The end of the first round signals much more than 8 separate handshake lines and 8 final teams moving closer to the Cup, it means it’s time to reveal the insane injuries that these players fought through during their respective series.
Let’s start out West, with one of the more badass moves this year.
Joe Thornton, as announced by the Sharks suffered both a torn ACL and MCL prior to round one. He's headed into surgery today.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 24, 2017
Derrick Rose and Jay Cutler sure could learn a lot from Joe Thornton…but in all seriousness, having suffered a severely strained MCL in my athletic days, it is incredibly painful to perform even basic movements. Multiply that by about 1000 and we’re at Thornton’s pain level. The tweet only mentions that it was prior to round one and never mentions when, meaning Thornton has been playing, practicing, moving around on this injury for at least 4 weeks.
Karlsson playing with two hairline fractures: “I’ve been playing on shots [injections] and by Thursday it should be back to normal."
— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) April 23, 2017
I am all aboard the Erik Karlsson train, dude is silky smooth on the ice and is an absolute game changer. It was revealed after his Sens team defeated Boston that he has been playing with two fractures in his heel. Looking at him play, you’d seriously never guess he was hurt. He contributed 6 points (all assists) in the first round and recorded an average time on ice of 30:24!
— B-Frank (@bfranklin1993) April 24, 2017
The last is a sad story of yet another blogger going down in the line of battle. Sadly, a few weeks ago, I suffered a broken foot. You honestly never would have known as I kept to myself and continued my “first in, last out” blogging effort including a live blog of the Hawks Game 4 debacle which saw Chicago get swept for the first time in my lifetime.
There will undoubtedly be more injuries revealed as we go on and there is already speculation about quite a few players including Artem Anisimov and Jonathan Toews. This is always a really interesting time of year because you see just how much the Stanley Cup means to these guys, the level of pain they are willing to play through and how these series are absolute battles. If you didn’t watch the first round, please do yourself a favor and watch a game. Specifically an OT game, there is no rush like watching playoff overtime hockey.