There’s a lot of guys who put a lot into it really banged up and played with a lot of stuff. That’s just how it is. They’ve got to play through that stuff. I thought they did a marvelous job. - Brad Treliving
CALGARY, AB -- Joe Colborne has always been a pass-first thinker.
But that might have been amplified with the Calgary Flames forward as he dealt with a lingering wrist issue, and a thumb injury sustained on a slash from Vancouver Canucks forward Brad Richardson in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I’ll be flying out to Vancouver here in the next day or so to see a specialist out there that we trust,” Colborne said. “We’ll have to see. I’m not sure what the final decision will be. I’m excited to get healthy again and actually want to go out there and shoot a puck again.”
The news was one note of many to spill out as the Flames gathered one final time before splitting for summer.
By the time the Calgary was eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round series, those in red were black and blue.
Colborne was downed. Josh Jooris also battled a wrist injury for much of the season. Micheal Ferland tore his oblique in Game 4 against the Vancouver Canucks. Jiri Hudler, via general manager Brad Treliving, battled neck and back issues triggered late in season. TJ Brodie, quietly, dealt with a sprained ankle.
Lance Bouma sustained a broken index finger blocking a shot in the third-last game of the regular season, forcing the physical winger to undergo surgery to repair the shattered digit. Now inside is a plate and eight screws.
“I’ve blocked a lot of shots so I know what it feels like,” Bouma said. “It didn’t feel any different than any other shot. I knew as soon I came down the hallway and I saw there was a little bend in my finger that it probably wasn’t good.”
Bouma returned to play in Calgary’s final two games of the series against Anaheim.
Paul Byron, however, could not.
Already nursing a tight groin that would eventually lead to a sports hernia, Byron was hit from behind during the Flames clash with the Boston Bruins on Feb. 16, jamming his wrist and breaking his toe.
Though he found his way back into the lineup for one more game, Byron ran out of time to recover and return to full duty.
"I couldn’t really walk so it was kind of a mixture of all three injuries hit me at one time," Byron said. "To see your season end that way, especially when you’re kind of day-to-day for two and a half months, it was tough.
“I can’t tell you how bad it was watching your team, especially the last game, losing there. The guys fought so hard the last few months and I’m incredibly proud of the effort we put in every day, as a team. I wish I could have been out there with them."
Others, like Sean Monahan, found ways to soldier on with other injuries.
Still insisting he was healthy through his final meeting with media, Monahan finally relented he had been battling more than just a few stitches in his bottom lip.
“I had a sore leg for a little bit and a couple other bumps and bruises but nothing too severe,” he said.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the malady was his groin and was accompanied by a back issue.
“There’s a lot of guys who put a lot into it really banged up and played with a lot of stuff,” Treliving said. “That’s just how it is. They’ve got to play through that stuff. I thought they did a marvelous job.”