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Tag:concussions
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:17 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:17 pm
 

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

Backstrom hasn't played since Jan. 3. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Washington Capitals made a pretty sound statement this week when they smacked down the Florida Panthers, the team they are battling neck-and-neck with in the Southeast Division. It would be a tremendous boost to them if they could get arguably their best player (yes, even compared to Alex Ovechkin) Nicklas Backstrom back to help them out.

That doesn't sound too likely.

Out since early January when he suffered a concussion from a hit from then Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque, Backstrom recently talked to Gefle Dagblad in his native Sweden about his recovery efforts and it's not promising. Thanks to Capitals blog Japers Rink, here is a translated version of what he had to say.

"I don’t know when I will be able to play again, but I hope I will be ready for the playoffs," Backstrom said. "I’m getting better, but it takes time."

Hoping to be ready for the playoffs is not what anybody wants to hear. Even a couple of months down the line isn't certain. Of course we know that timetables are virtually impossible to set with concussions, but you would hope that they were a little more optimistic.

More importantly, there is no guarantee that there will be a playoff season to get ready for. While the conventional wisdom is that the Caps should be fine when it comes to making the postseason, they really are in a dog fight with less than 30 games to go. You'd have to like their odds a lot more if Backstrom were back playing with the team.

Backstrom tried at one point to begin the comeback, but shut things down after three minutes of skating.

"Two weeks ago I tried to get on the ice for a practice, but I got off after three minutes. It didn’t work. I just wasn’t ready."

As for the hit from Bourque that put Backstrom out and landed Bourque a five-game suspension? Backstrom isn't a fan of it.

"It was an unnecessary hit," he said. "I feel like he could have just skated by me instead."

Before his injury, Backstrom was in the middle of another very good season for the Capitals. He had 13 goals and 29 assists in 38 games. On a team whose offense is down, he was one of the few still making things happen. Not to mention he is that all-important top-line center.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:02 pm
 

Hedman expected to return for Lightning vs. Caps

Hedman has been out since Dec. 27. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Tampa Bay Lightning haven't rebounded well from last season's Eastern Conference final showing. They have struggled for a repeat. But they did go into the All-Star break making some noise, winning four games in a row to keep them within sight of the Panthers and Capitals in the Southeast.

If they are going to cut further into their nine-point hole, it will serve them well to get the defensive corps healthy, particularly Victor Hedman.

Which is exactly what's happening after the All-Star break.

The Lightning hit the ice on Monday evening and Hedman joined them, without his no-contact jersey and all. Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times says that Hedman is indeed a go when the Bolts take on the Capitals on Tuesday.

The third overall draft pick two years ago, Hedman has been out since Dec. 27 dealing with a concussion. For a team that already struggles defensively and in goal with Hedman, his return is more than welcome as he is arguably their top defenseman.

His return comes at the right time for the Bolts. As mentioned, they have run off four consecutive wins, making Tuesday's game huge. If they are able to beat the Capitals in regulation, they will move seven points behind the Panthers and Caps for the division lead, but if they lose in regulation, their deficit becomes 11 points.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:56 pm
 

Crosby skates prior to Penguins practice (video)

By: Adam Gretz

Sidney Crosby was back in Pittsburgh on Monday and he hit the ice for a 45-minute skating session, along with injured teammates Jordan Staal and Simon Despres, before the Penguins team practice at the Consol Energy Center.

He had been in California visiting Dr. Robert Bray, a neurological spine specialist, for a neck injury that was reported to be to his C1 and C2 vertebrae. The Penguins issued a statement on Saturday evening that the injury had already healed and that the findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next couple of days.

It's been yet another bizarre chapter in what has surely been a frustrating year for the Penguins and their captain, while it also seemed to provide more questions than answers.

As for his appearance on Monday, well, this is what some of it looked like, and it seems that his hands still work quite well.



The Penguins return to action this week with back-to-back games against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday (home) and Wednesday (away).

Crosby has appeared in just eight games this season and he has been out of the lineup since December 5.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Crosby also had a neck injury
More Crosby news
More Pittsburgh Penguins news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:51 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 11:47 pm
 

Sidney Crosby had vertebrae injury

CrosbyBy: Adam Gretz

Sidney Crosby hasn't appeared in a game for the Penguins since December 5, and at this point there is still no timetable for his return. Which is pretty much business as usual. It's been assumed that his current absence has been the result of another concussion, but he was also reportedly dealing with an injury to his C1 and C2 vertebrae, according to Bob McCown of Sportsnet 590 the Fan and Elliotte Friedman of CBC.

Said Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, via Friedman, "Sid did suffer a concussion, but last week, the possibility of two fractured vertebrae (C1 and C2) was discovered. A third doctor is being consulted to determine the exact diagnosis."

The Penguins released the following statement on Saturday night, including that the vertebrae injury has apparently already healed: "The diagnosis of Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine specialist based in Los Angeles, is that Sidney Crosby had suffered a neck injury in addition to a concussion. Dr. Bray reports that the neck injury is fully healed. Those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days. The most important goal all along has been Sidney's return to full health, and we are encouraged that progress continues to be made."

Crosby had been in California this past week visiting Dr. Bray, so this news shouldn't come as a total shock (the fact he was seeing a specialist that deals with the spine, instead of a specialist that deals with concussions, should have been somewhat of a tip), but it does add a few more questions to the mix. Like, how didn't anybody know about this before?

What's interesting is that the injury was originally discovered, according to the Sportsnet report, when Crosby visited a specialist in Utah for an MRI after getting some advice from a friend ... New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Earlier in the day on Saturday Penguins general manager Ray Shero remained hopeful that Crosby will play again this season.

"We'll see, Hopefully, next week where he is after we get the reports from California," said Shero. "The thing with Sidney is we want to continue to look to see how we can get this under control and manageable ... hopefully we'll have him back here at some point soon."

This latest report may not change that, but it does simply add to what he has been dealing with, while the uncertainty continues to grow.

He appeared in eight games this season, scoring two goals and 10 assists after missing the second half of last season and the first part of this season due to a concussion.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 21, 2012 6:46 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 6:51 pm
 

Danny Briere suffers concussion in win



By: Adam Gretz


It's been a couple of hours since an NHL player was announced to be out with a concussion, so we were probably due for another one, just because that's the way it seems to be going this season.

The Flyers picked up a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon, but they were the latest team to lose a player with a concussion. The unlucky player this time: forward Danny Briere, as announced by general manager Paul Holmgren after the game.

Briere played just a little over 16 minutes in the win and was also on the receiving end of multiple hits throughout the game, including a couple from Anton Volchenkov (including the one shown above) and Mark Fayne, as well as a punch from forward Patrik Elias.

Concussions have been a major problem throughout the league, and few teams have dealt with as many as the Flyers. They're already playing without James van Riemsdyk and Chris Pronger, and have spent time this season without Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn. Pronger's season is already considered to be over, while it's not yet known how long Briere will have to be sidelined.

After the game he sent a text message to Sarah Baicker of CSN Philly that said, "I'm not too good right now. I don't even know what happened."

He has 13 goals and 17 assists in 42 games this season.

Along with Briere, the Flyers also lost Jaromir Jagr in this game as he left early with the same groin injury that has been bothering him throughout the season.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Pronger's wife: he has good days and bad days
Pronger out for season
NHL Concussions this season
More Flyers news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 21, 2012 2:23 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 2:56 pm
 

Evander Kane has a concussion

By: Adam Gretz

The NHL's concussion list continued to grow on Saturday with the news that Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane will be sidelined with a concussion, according to head coach Claude Noel.

The injury supposedly happened at some point during the Jets' 4-1 win over the Sabres on Thursday, but it's not known at what point in the game it occurred. Obviously, he's not going to play on Saturday night when the Jets host the Florida Panthers.

If he misses an extended period of time it's going to be a big blow to a Winnipeg team that is not only still fighting for a playoff spot, entering the weekend in the No. 10 spot, but also, surprisingly, still has an outside shot at winning the Southeast Division at the present time, trailing the Panthers and Washington Capitals by just three points. If the Jets are able to beat the Panthers on Saturday, they will move to within one point of the top spot in the division.

In 46 games this season Kane leads the Jets with 18 goals, and his 31 points are second on the team trailing only Blake Wheeler's 33.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:57 pm
 

Pronger's wife: He has his good days and bad

By Brian Stubits

Chris Pronger's season was shut down by the Philadelphia Flyers more than a month ago after it was revealed Pronger was suffering from post-concussion syndrome. It's been tough on the Flyers captain, not only dealing with the symptoms but also dealing with not playing.

With a lot of the concussed players, you hear about them having good days and bad days. It affects them so much each day is defined so starkly (and easily, unfortunately).

That's the case too for Pronger. His wife Lauren attended an event that both she and her husband were supposed to be at but Chris had to stay home as it was a bad day. Lauren talked with CSN Philadelphia about how tough it has been for her husband and family.

It's pretty tough to hear, particularly at the end of the video when you can tell that Lauren is doing her best to remain composed, saying that they would love to just have a couple of good days in a row.

Sadly, it's starting to sound similar to what Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard is going through with his post-concussion symptoms.

Tweets like the following are common for Savard to share.

There is a reason why you hear so much about concussions and all the steps to prevent them, because what these guys are going through can sometimes be the result.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:43 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 10:46 pm
 

Video: Skinner takes big hit, returns to game

By: Adam Gretz

PITTSBURGH -- On Tuesday night Carolina's Jeff Skinner was playing in just his second game back in the lineup after missing the previous 16 with a concussion.

That's why it had to be tough for the Hurricanes to watch as their 19-year-old star forward was on the receiving end of a punishing open-ice hit from Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik midway through the third period of their 2-1 shootout loss to the Penguins.

This is the hit that resulted in a two-minute minor penalty to Orpik for interference. 



Skinner stayed on the ice for a few seconds and was eventually able to skate off on his own power, and even showed some frustration as he went to the locker room, breaking his stick as he walked down the tunnel.

He remained out of the game for a few minutes before ultimately returning, and was even sent out for a shootout attempt by coach Kirk Muller.

"I saw him coming," said Skinner after the game. "I thought I could chip it and get by him, and when I realized I couldn't I tried to get my hands up to protect myself as quick as possible. I felt fine the rest of the game. Doctor talked to me, asked me some questions, we went through some tests and took our time and went back out there."

When asked if he felt if there was any contact with his head, Skinner said "I don't know. I looked at the replay when I was in the room and it didn't look like it. I think I got my hands up and if there was any contact I think my hands hit my head. I just kind of stayed down there and tried to collect my thoughts and not rush getting back up. It was a pretty good hit."

Of course, the penalty call on the ice resulted in quite a few surprising developments. When it happened in real-time, and without the benefit of a replay, it was almost as if there was an expectation that it was going to be a major penalty just because it was such a big, open-ice hit, combined with the fact there was a player down on the ice. But as the replay showed, it was not only a good body-to-body check, it also shouldn't have even been a penalty for interference as Skinner clearly touched the puck prior to being hit.

Orpik said that the referee apologized to him following the overtime period and before the shootout for making an incorrect call.

The reaction in the Hurricanes locker room after the game was one of relief (after some initial concern) after seeing one of their top-offensive weapons go down so hard in front of their bench, so soon after he was able to return to the lineup.

"Anytime something like that happens you hold your breath," said Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. "Orpik's a guy that's physical, and he's stepping up, and that's his game. There has to be an awareness of that, and it's one of those situations where on our side we don't like it, for their side they're calling it a clean hit. We're just glad that he came back and recouped in the room."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com