Salo a game-time decision for Game 6

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Canucks defenseman Sami Salo is a game-time decision for Tuesday night's Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Salo blocked a shot in the groin area late in the first period of Game 5 on Sunday in Chicago. After writhing in pain on the ice for several minutes, Salo was taken to the hospital for fear of a ruptured testicle.

But Salo was on the ice Tuesday morning, although he was unavailable for comment after practice. Coach Alain Vigneault said the team does not discuss injuries and would not comment on his availability for the game.

Chicago leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Unlike other injuries, this one isn't one the Blackhawks would try to exploit if Salo plays.

"I'm going to give him a free pass on that one," Chicago winger Patrick Sharp said in a serious tone. "It's funny for everyone looking on the outside, but for the players I don't think it's very funny."

Blackhawks agitator Adam Burish was willing to joke about it, but he took the same stance.

"I don't want to cross that line," Burish said. "I can't imagine what that would feel like.

"If he plays tonight, that guy is an iron man. Maybe I will rub up against him so I can get some of that toughness, because how you can play through that blows my mind."

Burish then reconsidered.

"I'm not going near that thing," he said. "What if it pops? I don't know."

Salo's teammate Shane O'Brien was pretty emphatic that testing Salo in that area would be pretty low.

"That's gutless, I would say, if you did that," O'Brien said. "That's guy code, isn't it?

"The Stanley Cup is the best thing to win in the world, but I think you draw the line there if a guy gets one in the family jewels. But who knows, Burish, that rat, he might try to do it."

Burish and O'Brien have been engaged in a war of words for much of the series.

When informed that Burish agreed that it would be crossing a line, O'Brien scoffed.

"You're going to trust Burish, eh? That's your first mistake," O'Brien said. "If he did rub up against him, that would be Burish's first hit of the series."