Great sports performances can become mythologized when a player fights through injuries.
Kirk Gibson’s home run was basically a sappy Hollywood baseball movie come to life. Patrice Bergeron was just one of the many hockey players who’ve won big despite jarring injuries. Curt Schilling may or may not have been embellishing his bloody-sock heroics, but it’s easy to understand the temptation.
So, maybe it’s wise to apply a grain of salt along with a bag of ice here, but Ottawa Senators superstar Erik Karlsson was limping in the locker room after scorching the New York Rangers in Game 6, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
As you may recall, Karlsson raised some eyebrows when he revealed that he had been playing against the Boston Bruins with two hairline fractures in his heel. While the Swedish defenseman said that he expected to be fine by the time the second round began, there were plenty of theories to the contrary. Midway through the series, Mike Milbury wondered if the Rangers needed to go after Karlsson considering his challenges.
Here are some theories on his current condition, in case the Senators/Karlsson are a little less transparent as they head into the Eastern Conference Final.
- Karlsson is hurting, but maybe doing a little better than we believe.
- It’s as bad or worse, yet he’s just that good.
- He’s taunting us and playing things up a tad.
- Some combination of those above points?
Then again, there’s also this theory, which may make you break your coffee cup.
Patrice Bergeron says he may need offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia that he dealt with all year.
Bergeron missed the Bruins’ first three games of the 82-game schedule with a lower-body injury; however, he managed to play the next 79, plus six more in the playoffs as Boston fell to Ottawa in the first round.
Typically, a sports hernia is first treated with rest and physical therapy. Then, if that doesn’t solve the problem, surgery may be required.
It was a frustrating start to the season for the 31-year-old center. Bergeron had just 24 points in 49 games before the All-Star break, but he finished with a respectable 53 points in 79 games, including 21 goals.
Bergeron could win his fourth Selke Trophy in June. He’s a finalist for the award, along with Ryan Kesler and Mikko Koivu.
In other Bruins injury news, Brandon Carlo had a concussion and Torey Krug an MCL injury. Neither d-man was able to suit up for the B’s in the postseason, though Krug was close to returning.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid, hurt in Game 2 against the Sens, had a neck injury.
Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?
Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.
Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.
The NHL announced the three finalists for the 2017 Selke on Wednesday: Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks and the Minnesota Wild’s Mikko Koivu.
As a reminder, the award is phrased as being given “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” PHWA members are the voters.
From here, these are some great choices. Sure, you can advance your own suggestions (Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames, maybe?) but no one’s really glaringly out of place.
Bergeron is a three-time winner of the trophy, a player who tends to satisfy “traditional” types with his face-off skills and scoring output, while he’s such a perennial puck possession monster that fancy stat-leaning people may think of the nominees as Bergeron and two other guys.
The NHL does a nice job summarizing Kesler’s regular spot among nominees:
Kesler is a Selke finalist for the second consecutive season and for the fifth time overall. He finished third in 2016 with Anaheim and was a finalist in each season from 2009 through 2011 with Vancouver, capturing the award in 2011.
This is the first time Koivu’s been nominated. For some time, he was a favorite on “most underrated” lists, although he dealt with some struggles before Bruce Boudreau came along. He was a huge part of the Wild’s impressive work in the regular season.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these three nominees.
After a slow start to Game 2 of their first-round series on Saturday, the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators had a pretty chaotic three minute stretch in the second period that saw the teams combine for three goals.
Just one minute after Drew Stafford struck first to give the Bruins the lead, Ottawa’s Clark MacArthur scored his first goal since returning to the lineup following his recovery from a concussion to tie the game at one. The excitement in Ottawa lasted for just a couple of minutes because only two minutes after that Senators goalie Craig Anderson ventured out his net to play the puck, turned it over, and was badly caught out of position allowing Tim Schaller to help Boston regain the lead.
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You can see the sequence in the video above.
Patrice Bergeron added another goal for the Bruins later in the period to give them a 3-1 lead.