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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

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp