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Despite concussion history, Clarke MacArthur says ‘I’m going to play if I can’

Ottawa Senators forward Clarke MacArthur has again emphasized his desire to continue his playing career, despite another regular season derailed by a concussion.

It will, however, depend on what doctors tell him.

MacArthur missed all but four games in the regular season because of a concussion suffered during training camp. In January, it was reported that this latest concussion would keep him out of the lineup for the remainder of the season — more bad news that followed a 2015-16 campaign in which he played only four games.

In a surprising development, MacArthur was cleared and returned to the Senators lineup late in the season, just before the playoffs started. During Ottawa’s impressive postseason run, which ended Thursday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final versus Pittsburgh, the 32-year-old forward had three goals and nine points in 19 games.

On Saturday, he revealed to the Ottawa Citizen that he had been dealing with discomfort in his neck during the playoffs. He was also adamant it was nothing else other than a neck ailment, and that he will get an MRI to see what it could be.

As for his playing future?

“I don’t know what the play is,” said MacArthur, per the Ottawa Citizen. “I just want to take a week or two and see how I feel. I still love playing the game. I’ve got to talk to the doctors and take a week or so and see where I go.”

Despite a history of concussions, MacArthur has in the past stated that he wants to continue playing. He is about to enter the third year of a five-year, $23.25 million contract.

“If everything works out, then I’m going to play if I can.”

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    Sullivan: Chad Ruhwedel has a concussion

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with yet another injury on defense.

    Chad Ruhwedel left Friday’s Game 4 against the Ottawa Senators after getting hit into the boards by Bobby Ryan. The hit occurred in the final minute of the first period. Ruhwedel didn’t return and Pittsburgh played the rest of the game with five defensemen.

    Following his team’s 3-2 victory to even the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece, head coach Mike Sullivan announced that Ruhwedel has a concussion and will be evaluated when the team returns to Pittsburgh.

    Sullivan also didn’t want to offer his opinion of the hit, which officials didn’t penalize.

    “It’s not my job to evaluate how the call was made or not made,” said Sullivan. “You know, the referees are going to see it the way they see it, and they do the best job they can. We’re just going to play the game.”

    The Penguins have been without Kris Letang for the entire post-season, and Justin Schultz has missed the last two games of this series due to injury. In Game 3, Trevor Daley returned to the lineup, as Pittsburgh went with seven defensemen, including Ruhwedel and Mark Streit.

    Crosby couldn’t have been removed by concussion spotters

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    Even though he looked shaken up, and even though he was just diagnosed with a concussion, Sidney Crosby was not eligible to be removed from the game by concussion spotters after he went crashing into the boards last night in Pittsburgh.

    From USA Today:

    Crosby was slow to get off the ice after he became entangled with Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson in the first period of a 5-2 loss to the Caps in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. Under the current concussion policy, the league’s central concussion spotter only would have been able to force Crosby out had his head hit the ice or another player.

    “Depending on the mechanism of injury, ‘slow to get up’ does not trigger mandatory removal,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA TODAY Sports. “The protocol has to be interpreted literally to mandate a removal. ‘Ice’ as compared to ‘boards’ is in there for a reason. It’s the result of a study on our actual experiences over a number of years. ‘Ice’ has been found to be a predictor of concussions — ‘boards’ has not been.”

    Penguins coach Mike Sullivan confirmed after the game that Crosby was not evaluated for a concussion, while Crosby said he just got the wind knocked out of him.

    Irrespective of the league’s study, it seems bizarre that concussion spotters were powerless to do anything last night simply because Crosby went crashing into the boards, as opposed to hitting his head on the ice.

    Boards are pretty hard, too.

    Sullivan: Sidney Crosby wasn’t evaluated for a concussion after head-first crash

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    Sidney Crosby wasn’t evaluated for a concussion during Monday’s Game 6 between the Penguins and Capitals, despite a dangerous head-first crash into the end boards in the first period.

    That is according to multiple reports quoting coach Mike Sullivan, after the Penguins were crushed 5-2 by the Capitals, which forces a seventh and deciding game in this second round series.

    The Penguins captain and the face of the entire NHL has a history of concussions, including his most recent one suffered exactly one week ago when he was cross checked in the head during Game 3.

    On Monday, Crosby took a stick to the face in the first few minutes of the opening period. He went to the bench and received repairs but stayed in the game. Later in the period, Crosby went crashing into the boards after he came into contact with the left pad of Braden Holtby while chasing a puck near the Washington net.

    And yet, he remained on the ice to finish his shift and, despite slowly getting back to his skates, he stayed in the game — a development that raised plenty of criticism on social media for the league’s concussion protocol.

    Although, there seems to be somewhat conflicting messages between Sullivan and Crosby.

    Crosby, Sheary pass baseline concussion tests, will be game-time decisions

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins could have Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary back in the lineup on Saturday night for Game 5 of their second-round series against the Washington Capitals.

    Coach Mike Sullivan announced on Saturday morning that both players passed their baseline concussion tests and will be game-time decisions. Sullivan added that Crosby has “had a number of positive days.”

    Both players missed Game 4 of the series — which the Penguins won 3-2 to take a 3-1 series lead — due to concussions. Crosby was injured when he was cross-checked in the head by Matt Niskanen early in the first period of Game 3. Niskanen was given a five-minute major for cross-checking and ejected from the game but received no additional discipline from the NHL.

    Sheary was knocked out of the same game following a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist in the second period.

    Both players were full participants in practice on Friday, with Crosby taking his spot on the top-line between Jake Guentzel and Hornqvist.

    Sheary skated on the third line alongside Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust.

    Crosby has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight playoff games, including two goals and two assists in this series.