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Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly played with cracked ribs, scored four goals in four games anyway

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Because it’s the Cup.

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

When Ryan O’Reilly came to St. Louis from the Buffalo Sabres, the first thing he told Doug Armstrong was “let’s go win a Cup.” He made good on that suggestion tonight, with the Blues taking game seven from the Boston Bruins 4-1. O’Reilly scored in the last four games, and he finished the playoffs with 9 goals and 16 assists, and the lead in points.

During the Dallas and San Jose series, his play looked a little rusty at times. He didn’t score a goal against the Stars, and only had one goal and one assist against the Sharks until game six, where he added three assists to his point total. His face-off percentage could’ve been better as well, often coming in beneath 50%.

Some Blues fans wondered what injury O’Reilly had, and would it be revealed after the playoffs concluded. We got our answer tonight, and it explains a lot: a cracked rib.

“Against Dallas, I kind of cracked a rib.”

As the playoffs progressed, the rib healed up and O’Reilly’s face off win percentage and goal scoring returned more to a regular-season level.

If he played that well against the Bruins with a cracked rib, lifting the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup probably didn’t feel like anything at all.