More than any other sport, hockey players play through pain.
There’s been plenty of documentation of NHLers who need to get surgery immediately after the playoffs are done, simply because they continued to play despite having broken bones, pulled muscles or torn abdominal muscles.
But one of the toughest guys would have to be Douglas Critch.
Sure, most people probably have never heard of him, but the Newfoundlander played an amazing tournament within the past month.
At some point in Game 2, the Newfie goalie went down to make a save and injured himself. He thought he had pulled a muscle, and continued to play. He ended up leading the team to the championship.
Afterwards, he went to check out the problem, and according to this CBC story, it turned out he had “four broken ribs and a punctured lung, and that air had begun to seep into his spine, a rare development that puzzled doctors as far away as Toronto.”
That’s just nuts. I had a bruised rib once, and it made for a little laboured breathing, but Critch had four broken ribs.
I’m guessing it didn’t hurt that much, or else he would have went to the doctors earlier. But give the kid credit for playing through pain.