Keith Ballard

Canucks’ Ballard on concussion: “I was sleeping 16-18 hours a day”


While Vancouver isn’t offering much detail about the concussion suffered by Daniel Sedin, the club did allow defenseman Keith Ballard to speak about his concussion — one that’s kept him out of the lineup since Feb. 7.

Based on what the 29-year-old rearguard had to say, it hasn’t been good.

“I had a lot of different stuff,” Ballard told the Vancouver Sun. “I had dizziness and a lot of headaches during the day. I was sleeping 16-18 hours a day and, when I tried to do some light workouts, I ended up getting real sick and I’d be in bed for four days.

“By around the end of February, we almost had no choice but to just shut me down and not do anything. At that point, I couldn’t get through a day without a lot of symptoms.”

Ballard thinks he suffered the concussion during Vancouver’s Feb. 5 game against Colorado, but didn’t start experiencing symptoms until playing against Nashville two nights later. He’s been off the ice ever since, only rejoining the team for the morning skate prior to Monday’s 1-0 victory over Los Angeles.

“Day 1 was today so I’ve got a ways to go,” he said. “I missed a month and a bit. It’s good to get back on the ice with the team but, as far as anything else goes, I’m not looking too far forward.

“I’ve been skating for a little bit over a week, at first just on my own and then with a couple of guys who stayed back on the road trip,” he continued. “Before that, I had a few bike rides and a few workouts. Now I need to get in some good practices with the team and get some contact. That’s the one thing I haven’t had at all.”

Ballard has played in 47 games this year (1G-6A-7PTS), averaging over 15 minutes of ice time.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.