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Erik Karlsson was reportedly seen limping after Game 6

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers - Game Six

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators arrives for the game against the New York Rangers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Great sports performances can become mythologized when a player fights through injuries.

Kirk Gibson’s home run was basically a sappy Hollywood baseball movie come to life. Patrice Bergeron was just one of the many hockey players who’ve won big despite jarring injuries. Curt Schilling may or may not have been embellishing his bloody-sock heroics, but it’s easy to understand the temptation.

So, maybe it’s wise to apply a grain of salt along with a bag of ice here, but Ottawa Senators superstar Erik Karlsson was limping in the locker room after scorching the New York Rangers in Game 6, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

As you may recall, Karlsson raised some eyebrows when he revealed that he had been playing against the Boston Bruins with two hairline fractures in his heel. While the Swedish defenseman said that he expected to be fine by the time the second round began, there were plenty of theories to the contrary. Midway through the series, Mike Milbury wondered if the Rangers needed to go after Karlsson considering his challenges.

Here are some theories on his current condition, in case the Senators/Karlsson are a little less transparent as they head into the Eastern Conference Final.

  • Karlsson is hurting, but maybe doing a little better than we believe.
  • It’s as bad or worse, yet he’s just that good.
  • He’s taunting us and playing things up a tad.
  • Some combination of those above points?

Then again, there’s also this theory, which may make you break your coffee cup.