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Ericsson plays three days after appendectomy

Sunday, 05.31.2009 / 12:16 AM / 2009 Stanley Cup Final: Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

By Larry Wigge - NHL.com Columnist

"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

DETROIT -- Jonathan Ericsson is the latest hockey player to wonder at the world of medicine.

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."
Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres