BOSTON -- It is never surprising to find out after the fact that so many players are hurting.
But sometime the degree is a shock.
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According to Joel Quenneville, Bryan Bickell played with a Grade 2 knee sprain since the end of the Los Angeles series.
It did not stop him from scoring perhaps the biggest goal of the season when he tied the game late in the third period Monday night in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
"I didn't think Bicks was even going to play in this series," said Quenneville. "He was in bad shape coming in but he gutted it out. He came up huge when we needed him and he was out there banging the entire series, hitting everything he could find.
"I have so much respect for the guys on both teams who played hurt in this series. Real admiration for what they did."
Sometimes it's obvious, like when the cameras show Andrew Shaw bleeding all over the ice, constantly wiping his down his stitches, and icing his eye on the bench between shifts.
But there are so many players this time of year who probably shouldn't be getting out of bed, and yet they're out on the ice giving everything they have left in the tank.
"It was nothing special," Bickell said. "You just do what you have to do to play. We play for each other and everyone wants to be out there. I'm no different than anyone else."
But it was still Bickell going hard to the net and getting open for Jonathan Toews with a minute left in the game, and it was Toews gutting it out again despite a concussion and various other maladies.
Toews, in particular continue to play despite taking three more shots to the head Monday night.
"It's a tough time of year but you don't want to be anywhere else," Toews said. "There's a lot of guys sitting home watching on TV and they want to be here playing in this game.
"We know what that's like. I didn't enjoy it very much the last two years. This is where we want to be, playing in the Stanley Cup Final and winning the Stanley Cup."
For some players as they held the Cup aloft and danced around the ice, there was little energy left for celebrating.
"I'm pretty much used up right now,'' Shaw laughed. "I don't know how much of this I can do. But it was worth all the stitches and everything else. It was worth all of it. This is the greatest feeling in the world and I never want it to go away."