Martin St. Louis
Between games in Stanley Cup playoff series, most players rest, recuperate and get ready for their next contest.
Tampa's Martin St. Louis, however, spent his time getting repairs done after being hit by a stick in Game 1 against Pittsburgh. He had to get a double root canal performed and spent hours in a dentist's chair just a day before taking the ice in Game 2.
And he responded with a goal and an assist helping the Lightning even their best-of-seven series with an emphatic 5-1 victory. He also stepped up scoring both goals for Tampa Bay in a 3-2 loss in Game 3 of the series.
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During Game 2 of the first-round series between the Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes, Red Wings forward Johan Franzen was sent face first into the boards courtesy of a hit from Shane Doan.
Franzen received 23 stitches to close up a facial wound and underwent concussion testing. He missed the rest of the first period and most of the second - and for most people that would have been the end of the night.
However, Franzen returned to the ice to finish the game and despite missing a practice in between, he was able to take the ice in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series.
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Kesler became an early Conn Smythe Trophy candidate during Round 2 against the Nashville Predators, emerging as Vancouver's most complete player during the stretch.
During the series he had five goals in three games. Two of them were game winners, one in overtime. He was on the ice for 11 of Vancouver's 14 goals and finished the series with 11 points while playing 25 minutes a game.
Kesler lost a tooth and needed stitches to close a gash on his chin after being hit in the face with a puck in Game 5. He returned to score his second goal of the night in a losing cause.
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The Ultimate Warriors
In sports, there are few athletes tougher than hockey players.
Over the course of a season, they endure more hits, punches and injuries than anyone else. And they do it all on a thin piece of steel 1/8 of an inch thick at about 40 km an hour.
That being said, the NHL on TSN's No Guts, No Glory title honours the elite within this special group - NHL players who have demonstrated uncommon courage by putting themselves in harm's way for the greater good of their teams.
This year, we ask you to pick between these three playoff warriors who answered the call of glory - Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. And watch the NHL on TSN later in the playoffs as we reveal the winner.
Who deserves the annual honour? Who else is worthy of being mentioned? Send your emails with your thoughts!
The Responses So Far
"St. Louis for sure. He is a leader, a mentor and hardest working player on the ice - and one of the shorter players. No fear - all heart."
From Tim McGee
"Johan Franzen. Hands Down! All the evidence you need is his mugshot! And he has a sense of humor indicating that he was not that pretty before the 21 stitches!"
From Andrew Weeks
"Chris Kelly should deserve a look. Crashes face first into the net...the next game he scores the tying goal and sets up the overtime goal. A lot of guts, and a lot of glory. He should be noticed."
"I vote for Martin St. Louis. He is what pro hockey is about, guts, glory, passion, dedication...I can go on forever. He is a huge package of dynamite wrapped in a small frame by NHL standards. Go Marty! and Go Bolts!"
"Franzen is the complete package for right wing men, he can hit and take an hit. As we saw when he received that no call cheap shot from Doan. But he showed them UP... by playing the rest of game and helping the team sweep the Yotes. Now how about that for some hard nose playoff hockey. Franzen has the guts and sure has the glory!"
From Carol Kennedy
"Marty St. Louis has a heart of a lion in a very small frame. He's tenacious, determined, tough as nails, and never gives up. Any team would love to have this guy. Who says that size matters?!"
From Kim in Tampa Bay
"Definitely - Marty St Louis deserves this. He never backs down, sometimes it seems carrying the entire team on his shoulders. And he is terrific as a person off the ice too!"
From Paul and Jane
"Martin St. Louis – pound for pound no one is tougher and no one has more heart. Add in tremendous talent an a touch of class and voila! No one is more deserving!"
"Johan Franzen! One of the ballsiest, most underrated players in the league. Gotta love the Mule!"
From David Cybul
"Face plant into the boards and coming back in the same game to score, trumps double root canal and coming back the next day. Franzen 1, St. Louis 0."
Previous winners of the NHL on TSN's No Guts, No Glory honour:
2009-10: Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals | Keith Tkachuk, St. Louis Blues
Veteran Keith Tkachuk lost five teeth and underwent seven root canals after taking a puck in the mouth from the stick of teammate T.J. Oshie. Nicklas Backstrom blocked three shots without his stick against the Tampa Bay Lightning to earn a standing ovation, as well as the No Guts, No Glory honours.
2009 Playoffs: Matt Walker, Chicago Blackhawks
After blocking a shot in a game against the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of the 2008-09 playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Matt Walker went to the bench in pain. He took his glove off and looked down to see his finger bent in ways it shouldn't be, went to the locker room to get adjusted, and came back to finish the game.
2008-09: Stephane Robidas, Dallas Stars
A loose puck had broken Dallas Stars defenceman Stephane Robidas' jaw in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes. He missed only one shift after the incident and went on to play more minutes than any other skater in that game.
2007-08: Martin Straka, New York Rangers
Martin Straka sprawled in front of a shot by Boston's Zdeno Chara and knew when it hit him that it had broken his finger. But the Rangers were killing a penalty and Straka could not simply skate off the ice. He stayed put, and even threw himself in front of another shot by Chara before play stopped.