Marian Hossa is one of the Chicago Blackhawks leading scorers in the playoffs, having notched three winning shots so far this postseason. And then in game three, Hossa wasn't in the lineup for a team which desperately needed his help.
The reason Hossa wasn't playing in the game? He had an “upper body" injury.
An upper body injury where, his arm, his head, his shoulder? "I think that's self explanatory," said JoelJoel Quenneville, the Chicago Blackhawks coach.
While Quenneville's answer might be vague it is not unexpected; in fact it is “part of a long-running cat-and-mouse game NHL teams play on the theory that any information about injuries is a competitive disadvantage.”
The NHL changed its policies in 2008 saying teams, "no longer are required to disclose the specific nature of player injuries." Teams were required to announce if a player would miss a game because of an injury, and they were prohibited from providing "untruthful information" about the nature of an injury, but they wouldn't have to disclose the specifics that sports fans are used to."
NHL teams use the leeway they are given and usually will not completely divulge a player's injuries because they think it would give the other team the unfair edge in the next game.
Reporting injuries in the NHL is all part what Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland says is, "sort of secret society in the hockey world and the injury world."
Hossa returned in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals so whatever his "upper" body injury was it did not seem to affect his play on the ice.