May 7, 2012, 8:56 PM EDT
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and head coach Ken Hitchcock emphasized the fact that they didn’t want to discuss injuries after being swept by the Los Angeles Kings because they told Jeremy Rutherford that it would seem like making excuses. Still, if you subscribe to the reasonable theory that “everyone is injured” during the playoffs, then it’s merely a fascinating exercise, so we’ll make note of developments as they come in.
The first interesting bit is that Jaroslav Halak wasn’t the only prominent Blues netminder who wasn’t 100 percent in the playoffs. Rutherford reports that Brian Elliott was dealing with an ear infection during the semifinals.
It’s not as easy to assess how an ear infection might have affected Elliott, but perhaps it had some impact on his balance (they can in some cases). That makes for an unusual ailment, yet far from the strangest thing a player’s dealt with in the playoffs (Backes specifically denied issues with his appendix). One might assume that flying wasn’t exactly a “treat” either. Fighting through an ear infection isn’t on the same scale as many of the other injuries – not pains – that have made some hockey players’ toughness almost legendary, but it makes you wonder how “off” he might have been.
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