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Sami Salo: Tough guy of the year?

“Balls of Steel!!”

That was the cheer that rang out last night at GM Place as Sami Salo took the ice. While the Canucks ultimately lost the game and the series, seeing the courage and the toughness on display by Salo was inspiring.

Especially when you consider what he went through just to play last night:

“The doctors gave me a couple of shots before the game. It was pretty good,” he said of the testicle that came just short of being diagnosed as ruptured, after a blocked shot slipped under his protective cup in Game 5.

“The general was fine,” he joked. “The first battalion was down.”

That’s right, he was given a couple of shots in the direct area of the injury.

Salo played nearly 20 minutes of ice time, and says he wasn’t limited by by the injury. Players for both teams were in awe of his toughness, including Chicago’s Adam Burish stating that he would try and rub up on Salo during the game in the hopes he can have some of that toughness transfer over.

Shane O’Brien sums up the situation perfectly, as only he can:

“He came off, he wasn’t bleeding or anything,” said O’Brien, who figured Salo must be OK. “But Sami couldn’t move for the whole intermission. He was in tremendous pain. I’d rather take it off the face.”