While the perception that NHL players are the most gruesome athletes in the world is often over hyped; the injuries that Patrice Bergeron played with throughout the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs prove he is one of the true gladiators left in the league. Fake toughness is found in all four major sports and it’s one of the most irritating things about the professional level. For instance, the notion that players who take stupid penalties or make bone-headed plays are simply “playing hard” is an insult to the actual hard-nosed athletes.
Unlike any other sport, injuries in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are confidential. Whenever a guy goes down he is escorted to the dressing room and later diagnosed with either a lower body injury or an upper body injury. Could you imagine how upset MLB fans would be if a starting pitcher was yanked in the first inning of a game and the only post-game explanation was an “upper body injury?”
However, that’s the way that hockey players roll.
In the case of Bergeron, his “upper body injury” was in fact a medley of cracked ribs, torn rib cartilage and a separated shoulder. Waiting until after the series to reveal the gruesome body blows, Bergeron also punctured his lung after the devastating Game 6 loss of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. Surely, if the Boston Bruins were able take home the illustrious Stanley Cup then the pain wouldn’t be as severe — winning always makes those wounds heal faster.