VANCOUVER, Canada — Much of the chatter before Game 6 between the Hawks and Canucks was about defenseman Sami Salo.
Would he or he would he not play after he was rushed to a Chicago hospital after the first period in Game 5 after getting hit with a shot in the groin area?
And if he did, would the Hawks go after him?
“I’m going to give him a free pass on that one,” winger Patrick Sharp said Tuesday after the pre-game skate. “It’s funny for everyone looking on the outside, but for the players I don’t think it’s very funny.”
Salo, one of the Canucks’ best defenseman, reportedly has a bruised testicle, although coach Vancouver Alain Vigneault wouldn’t detail his injury. All Vigneault would say was that Salo was a “game-time decision.”
“He’s so important for us offensively and defensively and on our power play,” outspoken Canucks defenseman Shane O’Brien said. “No one would say anything if he didn’t even skate today or took a couple days off or a week off. Sami has been here a long time and wants to win. He only knows how much it hurts.”
If Salo did play, O’Brien, never one to shy away from trash talk this postseason, wouldn’t be surprised if Hawks agitator Adam Burish went after him.
“That’s gutless, I would say, if you did that,” O’Brien said. “That’s guy code, isn’t it?
“The Stanley Cup is the best thing to win in the world, but I think you draw the line there if a guy gets one in the old family jewels. But who knows, Burish, that rat, he might try to do it.”
Told Burish had already said he wouldn’t, O’Brien had more to say.
“You’re going to trust Burish, eh? That’s your first mistake,” O’Brien said. “That that would be Burish’s first hit of the series if he did rub up against him.”
Said Burish: “I don’t want to cross that line. I can’t imagine what that would feel like. If he plays tonight, that guy is an iron man. Maybe, I will just rub up against him so I can get some of that toughness or something because how you can play through something like that blows my mind. I’m not going near that thing. What if it pops? I don’t know.”