May 27, 2010, 7:45 PM EDT
It’s no secret that hockey players will fight through some gruesome injuries and often take crazy health risks to play in the playoffs. Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd needs only to look back at his Stanley Cup winning run with the Carolina Hurricanes – and his former teammate Erik Cole’s courageous Game 7 return despite a serious neck injury – to justify coming back earlier than he normally would.
NHL.com reports that Ladd is shooting for a Game 1 return from an “upper-body injury” that some believe took place after he collided with burly San Jose Sharks defenseman Rob Blake during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
And, it is Cole’s emotional return back in 2006 that keeps flashing back into Ladd’s mind as he fights to come back and be a part of his second Stanley Cup Final in five years. Two weeks may seem like the blink of an eye to the outsider, but Ladd knows it provides plenty of time to heal for a hockey player intent on playing.
“I think you find that there are a lot of different scenarios and its pretty tough to keep a guy out a situation where you are playing for the Stanley Cup and all a guy wants to do is help,” Ladd said.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is listing Ladd as day-to-day and says he should make an appearance in this series. But Ladd’s teammates are even more positive.
“Nothing will keep him off the ice,” said Dave Bolland, who shares checking-line duties with Bolland.
Ladd stated an intention – though by no means a guarantee – to try to test out his injury in Friday’s morning skate. The rugged winger contributed 17 goals and 21 assists for Chicago during the regular season and has 2 goals and 1 assist so far in the playoffs.
We’ll pass along updates on Ladd (and other injury situations) as we hear more about them building up to Saturday night’s Game 1 contest.
- Penguins blow three-goal lead, Columbus evens series 45
- NHL suspends Matt Cooke for seven games 68
- Ducks’ Getzlaf (upper body) isn’t available for Game 4 (Updated) 3
- Two years after winning the Cup, the Kings’ ‘mix’ comes into question 39
- Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4 15
- MacKinnon, Johnson and Palat named Calder Trophy finalists 11
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 43
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 56
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 49
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 86
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (136)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)