"I've got a scar to show where they cut me and my side is still a little sore. But there was no way I wasn't going to play in my first chance at being in the Stanley Cup Finals."
-- Jonathan Ericsson on playing just three days after undergoing an appendectomy
Less than 48 hours after the 6-5, 206-pound defenseman left Detroit's morning skate and underwent an emergency appendectomy Wednesday afternoon -- hours before the Red Wings clinched Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against Chicago -- he was back at practice Friday. By Saturday night, he was in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Pittsburgh, playing 16:47 in 19 shifts while going plus-1 with one shot on goal, three hits and a blocked shot in the Red Wings' 3-1victory.
"I couldn't believe how good I felt," the 25-year-old defenseman said. "I was strong, not sluggish at all ... though I'm a little tired right now."
Once Ericsson got medical clearance, it was all about overcoming the pain.
But pain to this rugged defenseman is less than missing a chance to see his teammates play, when you consider what he did to watch the Red Wings play a few hours after his surgery.
"They told me that usually you spend the night there (in the hospital), but I didn’t have anywhere to watch the game so they took me in a wheelchair to the car," Ericsson said. "My girlfriend drove me to Joe Louis Arena, and I kind of stumbled in the locker room and watched the game in here."
Missing one game is one thing, but ...
"I don't care if I've got a scar to show where they cut me and that my side is still a little sore," he said. "But there was no way I wasn't going to play in my first chance at being in the Stanley Cup Final."