Andrew Alberts #41 of the Vancouver Canucks skates in front of the bench with the puck against of the Florida Panthers on January 9, 2012 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Canucks 2-1.
(January 8, 2012 - Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America)

Canucks’ Alberts (concussion) knows career might be over

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Plagued by post-concussion symptoms, Vancouver defenseman Andrew Alberts knows his nine-year NHL career might be done.

Alberts, 32, was concussed on a hit from Calgary’s Brian McGrattan in late December, one that ended his season entirely and left him with daily headaches nearly five months later.

Here’s more, from the Vancouver Sun:

Alberts, who suffered a serious concussion with the Boston Bruins in 2007, was off skates for 2½ months after the McGrattan hit. He started skating in mid-March, but a comeback was aborted less than two weeks later when Alberts’ condition badly deteriorated. He says now he pushed too hard in his desire to at least practice with teammates before the end of the season.

He has had conflicting recommendations from three different neurologists, but has settled into a pattern of light daily workouts in the morning, consisting typically of about 15 minutes of cardio and some light lifting.

“Basically, the approach is try to stay active instead of sitting around doing nothing,” Alberts says. “I’ve talked to three different neurologists and all three had a different opinion. I’ve challenged my body a little bit because you get sick of just sitting around doing nothing. I did nothing for the first 1½ months and almost started to feel worse.

“I usually get through a 35- or 40-minute workout without a headache, but the headaches come a couple of hours later. Headaches can last an hour … or the rest of the day. You never know. It’s random.”

As far as his playing future goes, the prospects look dim. Alberts turns 33 on June 30… the day before his one-year, $600,000 deal with the Canucks expires. Considering he took a pretty significant pay cut just to come back to Vancouver after the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — he made $1.225 million annually on his previous contract — the prospect of landing another deal, especially given his health concerns, seems remote.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.