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Spooner (concussion) could return during Bruins road trip

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There was a positive development at Boston Bruins practice Sunday.

Ryan Spooner, previously listed as out indefinitely with a concussion, was back on the ice skating with his teammates ahead of Monday’s game with the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

The Bruins are at the beginning of a four-game road trip that includes three games in four nights with stops in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters that Spooner will not play Monday, however he left the door open to the possibility of the 25-year-old center returning to the lineup two days later in Calgary.

It’s likely that when that happens, Spooner will return to his role in the middle of Boston’s third line.

“When he’s healthy, he won’t lose his spot because of injury — unless something really changes quickly here,” said Cassidy. “But that’s the plan.”

Ekblad suffered concussion on a ‘real cheap shot from behind’

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The losses continue to pile up for the Florida Panthers. So, too, do the injuries.

Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe confirmed post-game that the club’s cornerstone defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion on a hit in the second period from Gabrel Dumont. Ekblad left the game and didn’t return. Per the Sun Sentinel, the club also lost forward Denis Malgin to a concussion.

There was no call on the Dumont hit on Ekblad, whose head was slammed into the glass, causing him to fall back to the ice.

However, Rowe had some stern words about the incident.

“I thought the hit on Ekblad was dangerous. We’ll leave it up to the league to review it and see what they think,” he said, later calling the hit “a real cheap shot from behind.”

Ekblad is only 21 years old, but already has a concerning history when it comes to head injuries. During the World Cup prior to this season, he suffered what was first described as a mild concussion before that was changed to a neck injury.

He also went through concussion protocol last year after a hit from Matt Hendricks.

Just more bad news for the Panthers, who surged to a two-goal lead in the first period versus Tampa Bay, but lost 3-2. Ondrej Palat scored the winner with 2:23 remaining in regulation.

The Panthers now have only two wins in their last 10 games.

According to Sports Club Stats, the Panthers now have a 0.6 per cent chance of making the playoffs.

Enstrom out indefinitely with concussion from Sestito hit

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More fallout from Wednesday’s wild Pens-Jets game.

One day after Pittsburgh enforcer Tom Sestito was suspended four games for boarding Tobias Enstrom, the Jets announced that Enstrom is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered on the hit (per Illegal Curve).

Enstrom immediately left the game, a 7-4 Pittsburgh win, and went to local hospital to be checked for a concussion and facial fractures.

This is a tough blow for Winnipeg, a team desperately clinging to fading playoff hopes. The Jets head into tonight’s action five points back of St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but need to leapfrog both the Kings and Blues to get there. What’s more, Winnipeg has played 68 games to Los Angeles’ 66 and St. Louis’ 65.

The Jets were already down a regular defenseman, as Tyler Myers continues to recover from lower-body surgery. It’s likely that Mark Stuart, who was scratched against Pittsburgh, will draw in to replace Enstrom on Saturday, when the Jets host the red-hot Calgary Flames.

 

Penguins say Hornqvist is dealing with a concussion (but Letang is not)

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Concussions are once again a concern for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who shared some good news and bad news about such injuries following Wednesday’s physical 7-4 win against the Winnipeg Jets.

The good-ish: Pens Inside Scoop (of the team website) passed along word from Mike Sullivan that Kris Letang isn’t dealing with a concussion or anything related to the stroke he suffered in the past. It’s a “hockey-related injury” that he’s currently rehabbing.

So, that seems fairly positive, but the Penguins didn’t provide a timetable for Letang’s return, so we will see.

The not-so-good: Patric Hornqvist, however, is dealing with a concussion. There is at least one element of mild optimism:

The Penguins’ trip continues from March 10-15, so that implies that there’s a chance Hornqvist will only miss four more games (or maybe fewer).

Naturally, concussions can be difficult to gauge, so his outlook could easily change.

Bruins’ Ryan Spooner out indefinitely with concussion

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The Boston Bruins announced some unfortunate news on Tuesday: Ryan Spooner is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Spooner had generated 10 points in his last 13 games, even showing some early chemistry on a third line with Frank Vatrano and Drew Stafford. CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty also notes that Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy had just spoken glowingly about the Bruins’ good health of late.

“Full health is important this time of year. You want to field your best lineup as much as possible, and to have depth to move guys in and out of the lineup to create some competition, which is good,” Cassidy said. “When guys know they have nobody pushing them to get in the lineup, you would hope they wouldn’t get comfortable, but it’s human nature sometimes.”

Well, uh, they don’t need to worry about getting too comfortable. Here’s a peek at what the Bruins’ lines might look like:

The Bruins promoted Austin Czarnik from the AHL in Spooner’s absence.