On Tuesday night in Detroit, Columbus forward Josh Anderson took a high hit from Wings d-man Brendan Smith.
The NHL’s concussion spotter removed Anderson from the game and, after being examined by Detroit’s team physician — the Jackets don’t travel with one — the decision was made to keep the 22-year-old out for the remainder of the contest.
On Wednesday, Columbus physicians examined Anderson, and concluded there were no signs of a concussion. All of which made for a state of confusion for head coach John Tortorella.
“That was the protocol – which makes no sense to me. Some doctor just pulls him out and says, ‘You’re concussed’ and then we come back here and he isn’t,” Tortorella said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “It makes zero sense. And I lose a pretty important player.
“(Anderson) was checked the following morning by our doctor. The spotter pulled him out, out of the game, and called down and said, ‘he’s not playing.’ We have diagnosed him not being concussed. Who diagnosed it (Tuesday night)? Was it their team doctor? I don’t know how it all works. It doesn’t make a whole helluva a lot of sense to me.”
Anderson said he did “a couple physical things in the room,” with the Red Wings doctor, adding that everything went well. He said he told the physician he wanted to return to play, but was held out for precautionary reasons.
The NHL implemented independent concussion spotters in arenas this season, along with an additional crew that watches games from league offices. All of them have the authority to remove players exhibiting signs of a potential concussion.
As for the second step, league rules state that if the visiting team isn’t traveling with a physician, the home team physician will be in charge of examining players removed from the game.
The Vancouver Canucks lost a key forward as they began a do-or-die road trip against the Nashville Predators, as Sven Baertschi won’t return to Tuesday’s game after suffering a concussion.
(Somewhat unusually, the Canucks specifically labeled it a concussion rather than an “upper-body injury.”)
Baertschi suffered the injury thanks to a check by Predators forward Cody McLeod, a play that did not draw a penalty.
Today already ranks as a tough day for the Canucks health-wise, as news surfaced that Anton Rodin underwent knee surgery.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without forwards Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin tomorrow at home to Calgary.
Head coach Mike Sullivan said today that Hagelin has been diagnosed with a concussion after being forced to leave Saturday’s victory over St. Louis. The 28-year-old winger was well enough to skate by himself this morning, so it seems unlikely that he’ll be out for too long. Hagelin was reportedly injured after taking a hit to the head from Blues forward Alex Steen.
Malkin has not played since Jan. 24 due to a lower-body injury, but he too shouldn’t be out for much longer.
“Geno will not play tomorrow,” said Sullivan. “He was in a non-contact jersey today, but we are very encouraged with his progress.”
Tomorrow will be the fifth straight game that Malkin has missed. The Penguins have gone 3-1-0 without him.
The Pens are also missing forward Conor Sheary, and they will for a while longer. Sheary is on IR with an upper-body injury.
Health problems have plagued the Stars all season, and that trend continued on Thursday as forward Jason Spezza was knocked out of action in a loss to the Jets.
Now, it sounds like Spezza will be out for the foreseeable future.
“Right now we really don’t have a time frame on it, but it’s more than days,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said, per the Stars’ Sean Shapiro. “I’ll just be honest. It’s an upper body injury that doesn’t have anything to do with anything old.
“It’s not a concussion. It’s going to take a week or two, maybe longer.”
The hit in question:
As mentioned above, it’s been a nightmare season for Dallas in terms of injuries. Only two players have appeared in all 52 games — Tyler Seguin and Devin Shore — while the likes of Cody Eakin, Patrick Sharp, Ales Hemsky and Jiri Hudler have all missed at least 20 games each.
As a result, Dallas has struggled with consistency and developing chemistry. It’s also been robbed of a projected lineup that was armed to the teeth with offensive ability.
The Stars are only three points back of St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but also need to leapfrog three teams — Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary — to get there. Being without Spezza, who sits third on the team in assists, will make that task more difficult.
In his second game back from a concussion, Patrik Laine has returned to his scoring ways.
The Winnipeg Jets rookie is now up to 22 goals on the season. He opened the scoring Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, blasting home a one-timer after being left wide open in the slot. Yeah, he’s not missing from there.
Slick pass from Bryan Little to set up the goal, too.
That’s a good sign for the Jets, who began tonight’s game four points out of a playoff spot.
That’s Laine’s first goal since returning to the Jets lineup, after being sidelined since Jan. 7. He made his return on Tuesday, recording an assist and three shots on goal in almost 22 minutes of ice time versus San Jose.