With every Stanley Cup Playoff series conclusion, there comes an annual tradition: the revealing injuries. Usually, this sacred piece of hockey lore happens during the team's breakup day, a day or two after the postseason series ends. For the Los Angeles Kings, it began right after Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, when Patrick Kane's hat trick goal in double overtime ended their season.
Kings captain and forward Dustin Brown admitted that he played through the entire Western Final with a torn PCL in his knee. He told reporters that he suffered it during Game 6 of the Kings' Western Conference Semifinal series with the San Jose Sharks. That means he played through six more games with the injury. Justin Williams, who scored the Kings' game-winning goal of Game 7 in that series, was playing through a "slight shoulder separation." Which means it sounds only slightly horrifying to this non-athlete.
Meanwhile, here were Daryl Sutter's words after Game 5 on his team's health:
Three, four guys that were game time after Game 6 in San Jose, literally. I think most teams are going to say that the farther you go. Also tells you how tough it is to win, how you need that. I know it's something that gets talked lots about. You have to stay healthy. Have you to be close to 100 percent, especially with your top guys. I know we weren't.
The Los Angeles Kings were a tough, elite champion in this league, and if they stay healthy enough in the next couple of postseasons, there's no reason to think they can't be again. But they can't do it again with guys like Brown looking less mobile and useful than they normally are.