bleed for super fan 99 over here.
At most, we may hear the old hockey cliché about a player having an injury to their "upper body" or "lower body" -- and that's only if team acknowledges the injury at all. Even when players are obviously hurt and have missed games, coaches still insist that everyone is day-to-day.
Of course, it's a different story once a team has been eliminated. When their season is over and there's no further reason to protect a player's status, teams will often reveal a long list of injuries and other health problems - many of which fans hadn't even suspected.
This year has been no different, as several star players revealed that they'd been playing hurt during the postseason. Here are some examples of what we've found out about each of the eliminated teams.
Washington Capitals - Nicklas Backstrom had various bumps and bruises from everyone accidentally walking into him all the time, which was to be expected given that he became invisible as soon as the regular season ended.
Philadelphia Flyers - In a strange coincidence, all three of our goalies had badly torn rotator cuffs in their "fishing the puck out of the net" shoulders.
Chicago Blackhawks - Chris Campoli was playing through some sort of problem with whatever part of the eyeball it is that's supposed to tell the difference between white and blue uniforms in overtime.
Detroit Red Wings - Not completely sure what was wrong with Mike Modano, but man, does that guy's locker reek of ointment.
Tampa Bay Lightning - Martin St. Louis experienced intestinal problems after a sudden increase in fibre intake, which can happen when you end up eating somebody's stick blade every second game.
Phoenix Coyotes - Ilya Bryzgalov ended up with a sore throat from disguising his voice while leaving daily voicemails to Gary Bettman saying "Y'all wouldn't have the guts to move these here Thrashers to Winnipeg".
Pittsburgh Penguins - Apparently Sidney Crosby may have had some sort of concussion; it's odd that nobody in the media ever mentioned that.
Montreal Canadiens - Carey Price seemed really fatigued against the Bruins, according to the teammates who stood around watching him make a dozen consecutive saves while occasionally shouting "A little help here, guys?"
Buffalo Sabres - Suppose it's not really an injury per se, but Tyler Myers' neck seems to have developed its own gravitational field.
Nashville Predators - Mike Fisher spent too much time hanging out with his wife's country music friends, and had to be placed on the injured reserve with a bad case of achy breaky heart.
San Jose Sharks - Strangest thing, but Ben Eager came back from the penalty box in Vancouver this one time with his eyes dangling out of his head like a cartoon character.
Anaheim Ducks - Teemu Selanne suffered from badly pulled stomach muscles after laughing hysterically for half an hour when asked if it was true he'd be interested in finishing his career with the Jets.
New York Rangers - Not sure of exact diagnosis, but these days every time Sean Avery speaks he comes across as extremely mature and likable so clearly there's something seriously wrong with him.
LA Kings - Drew Doughty's head exploded after learning that NBA fans apparently think it's a big deal when somebody gets poked in the eye or plays through a sore finger.
Edmonton Oilers - Our best players were once again unable to compete in the playoffs because of serious chest problems, in the sense that that's where the Oilers logo is located.