It’s true that Marc Savard has been back from that brutal concussion he suffered from a Matt Cooke hit last season, but few would deny the fact that he hasn’t been himself in those 21 games (two goals and six assists for eight points with a -7 rating and about 16 minutes of time on ice per game).
The full-fledged return of the “Old Savard” might have hit another speed bump during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, although the check itself isn’t generating anywhere near the controversy as last season’s hit. Penguins tough guy Deryk Engelland caught Savard with a big hit that ended up driving Savard’s head into the boards, leaving the star pivot “woozy” but without a headache.
Here’s the good news/bad news take on the situation. The good news is that Savard didn’t end up missing a shift during that game, despite laying on the ice for a few minutes following the hit. The bad news is that he used “concussion buzz words” such as “bell rung” and “dazed” when discussing his outlook, according to Joe Haggerty.
Click here for some Youtube footage of the hit. Here’s a snippet of what Savard said after the game; you can view a longer video of the interview via CSNNE at the bottom of this post.
“All I want to do, is make sure I gather my thoughts, you know, and everything came back together … fine,” said Savard. “I’ll monitor it and watch the rest of the day here, see how I feel a little bit … I was a little bit shaken up.”
For a normal player that wouldn’t signal much, but that could spell trouble for a player that’s experienced difficulty with post-concussion syndrome symptoms.
Savard rightfully admitted he was scared in the moments following the collision on the ice after appearing to just find his game this year 20 games into the season.
“I was [scared]. A little woozy, to be honest with you,” said Savard when asked how he was feeling. “We’ll see how I feel the rest of the day here tonight and stuff, because… I don’t know I haven’t seen the replay, it felt like he just got my head, so I don’t know.
As always, we’ll keep you posted regarding Savard’s health. Hopefully this is just a scare for the talented passer.
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As if the Colorado Avalanche needed another miserable element to 2016-17: Nikita Zadorov suffered a season-ending injury during the same practice that Erik Johnson returned.
Zadorov injured his ankle after being tangled up with Mikko Rantanen during a Monday practice, according to the Denver Post.
It’s unclear how much this lost season factors into the decision to shut the big blueliner’s year down. If they had a shot at the playoffs, would they have ruled him out entirely? Either way, he won’t be back until 2017-18.
Zadorov, 21, is a big defenseman with the pedigree that would inspire teams to imagine better things in the future (16th pick in 2013 by Buffalo). So far, that potential hasn’t really manifested itself in production, whether you judge a player by points, plus/minus or possession numbers.
He may be able to put it together at some point – again, he’s young – so perhaps he’ll remember this as a low point before he turns things around.
At the moment, it’s just another grim part of a bleak time for the Avs.
LA Kings Insider provided a mostly positive update about Jonathan Quick‘s gradual recovery from what’s been a season-long injury. Still, it’s difficult to get a truly concrete idea about the team’s plans.
Quick told Jon Rosen that “everything’s coming along really well,” but they didn’t give a hard date on when he may suit up again for Los Angeles.
(NHL.com and Rosen’s report remind us that the general aim is for “the first half of March.”)
The Kings were mulling over the possibility of recalling former Stars first-round pick Jack Campbell to attempt to ease the surprisingly large burden on journeyman goalie Peter Budaj, but Rosen reports that such discussions have been “tabled.”
Jeff Zatkoff has been a mixture of inactive and ineffective for the Kings, so what about getting help elsewhere for Budaj? That part’s a little fuzzy, though it’s clear that Budaj – Zatkoff is the duo for the moment.
Darryl Sutter backs that up, via Rosen:
But, according to a source, Campbell’s recall has been tabled, as it appears as though Budaj and Zatkoff will be the duo until Quick is able to return, and that no cut-off will be necessary as Quick is “on that path” towards being game-ready, according to Sutter.
None of this explicitly shuts down at least the thought of trading for goaltending help, though it doesn’t give you the impression that such a move is pressing for the Kings. They’re not laying out a deadline, whether it be a self-imposed one or the trade deadline itself.
Some of this seems a little unclear, though it currently follows the pattern of this season: it falls on Budaj, at least until Quick is back. Whenever that may be.
Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba has been suspended two games for his headshot on Ottawa forward Mark Stone, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Monday.
“Trouba steps up and delivers a high, forceful blow that makes the head the main point of contact, on a hit where such head contact was avoidable,” the DoPS explained. “The onus here is on Trouba to deliver a full body hit through his opponent’s core. Instead, Trouba takes a poor angle of approach, picking Stone’s head.”
The incident occurred in Winnipeg’s 3-2 win over Ottawa on Sunday. Trouba was given a two-minute minor on the play, much to the displeasure of Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher.
Stone didn’t return to the game following the hit but, according to the DoPS, “suffered no apparent injury.”
Trouba will now miss tomorrow’s game in Toronto, then Winnipeg’s next game following the bye week — on Feb. 28, against Minnesota. He’s eligible to return on Mar. 3, when the Jets host the Blues.
Trouba will also forfeit $33,333.34 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Ottawa made a minor move on Monday, agreeing to terms with d-man Fredrik Claesson on a one-year extension worth $650,000.
The deal is of the one-way variety.
Claesson, 24, has appeared in 19 games for the Sens this year, scoring five points. He’s averaging just 10:27 per game but has been a more regular lineup fixture regularly, having played in five of Ottawa’s last six games.
The Swedish rearguard has also appeared in nine games for AHL Binghamton. Since coming over from SHL outfit Djurgardens in 2013, Claesson has been up and down between Bingo and Ottawa frequently, though this latest deal would suggest he’s in line for a more permanent NHL gig.