When Stars PR department announced in the press box last night that Adam Burish had left the game last night with a lower body injury and would not return, my first thought was "Oh great, this if the first game they're finally completely healthy" and it was followed by "wait, they're probably just resting him."
Coach Crawford confirmed as much to the media last night.
"He’s been playing with a lot of soreness here lately," said coach Crawford. "I think the doctors and trainers all thought that with the 4-0 lead it was a good opportunity for us to do that. We’ll see how he is tomorrow."
No different than an NBA game when a team is leading large late in the game and a coach wants to rest someone, but because of the nature of the game it comes with a more formal announcement in hockey.
The assumption might have been that after missing a few weeks with a fractured orbital bone that he suffered right after the All-Star break, Burish would have had time to heal his many foot and knee problems he alluded to just before the break. Evidently not.
He had not skated much outside of the games lately and has at times been seen this season in various states of limping and/or wearing a boot (when they can get him to), that he said on the radio "makes him look ridiculous."
Having Adam back in the lineup after the absence was a huge boost for this team. In a short time he has become one of their greatest emotional leaders and his personality and drive were made for this time of year. With games every other night he will not get a chance to rest much, so last night was a good opportunity.
It was a quintessential Adam Burish kind of day. His ex-teammates were at the White House, and he was fighting through the pain, trying to earn points for his new team. People actually asked me on Twitter if Burish went to Washington DC yesterday. They don't know Adam. He was preparing for battle with the only team that matters to him now: The Stars. Even if they didn't have a game I imagine he would have been with Dallas.
They need him on the ice and he knows it. Just know that he and several others that we'll find out about after the fact are paying the price, sacrificing and suffering right now to put two point up on the board for the Dallas Stars every night.