Bruins Forward Patrice Bergeron played in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Monday despite serious health issues including a broken rib and torn cartilage. Bergeron suffered yet another injury in the first period of game 6: a separated shoulder. If there were ever a toughest player award given at the end of the playoffs, Bergeron's efforts would make him a lock for that accolade.
As if the crushing 3-2 defeat of his team to the Chicago Blackhawks wasn't bad enough, later on Monday night Bergeron had to be admitted to a Boston area hospital for a punctured lung.
Bergeron didn't participate in the morning skate prior to game 6, but he appeared in warmups and played as long as he could in the loss. Though hockey players in general are known for their willingness to play through cuts, scrapes, and even knocked out teeth, playing though a punctured lung is a whole new level of tough.
Game 6 also saw Chicago Blackhawk Andrew Shaw stay out on the ice for the bulk of the game after being struck in the cheek by the puck off a Bruins slapshot. Shaw only took some time off to get stitched up, and he only dabbed at the wound a few times with a towel after it opened up during a scrum in which he lost his helmet.
Bergeron had 10 goals and compiled 32 points in the shortened regular season. He scored nine goals and managed 15 points in the postseason. Combined, he had a plus-26 rating this year. Far more impressive than his official stats, his incredible ability to block out the pain and contribute to his team in their final game was extremely admirable despite not being able to hoist the Stanley Cup before going to the hospital.