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Boychuk has “concussion symptoms” after massive Neil hit


As per Joe Haggerty of CSN New England: Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk missed practice on Monday and is currently listed as day-to-day with “concussion symptoms”.

That was the official diagnosis from B’s head coach Claude Julien after the defenseman absorbed a fierce hit from Ottawa’s Chris Neil on Saturday:

In a related move, the Bruins have recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk from AHL Providence. He could replace Boychuk, who is reportedly feeling “a little foggy” following the hit — given current concussion protocol, Boychuk may be held out of the lineup for Tuesday’s rematch against the Senators.

On Monday, Bodnarchuk skated on the third defensive pairing at practice alongside Adam McQuaid.

UPDATE: More from Haggerty on Boychuk’s condition:

It appears very unlikely that the ultra-durable Boychuk will be available for tomorrow night’s rematch against the Senators, but the B’s coaching staff hadn’t yet made that determination.

“With Johnny we’re dealing with post-concussion symptoms and he’s day-to-day,” said Julien. “But he’s already feeling much better.”

Both a source close to Boychuk and his own teammates seem to think his issue wasn’t a serious injury like the one that’s kept Nathan Horton out for over a month.

It’ll be interesting to see how Boychuk’s handled in light of Boston’s history with concussions. Patrice Bergeron missed almost a full year with a concussion, Marc Savard’s career is potentially done because of one and Horton is out indefinitely with no timetable for return.

Alex Steen’s concussion recovery troubles continue

Alex Steen
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Blues forward Alex Steen has had his struggles this year recovering from a concussion. He’s missed 26 straight games and the Blues miss his offensive punch in the lineup.

Unfortunately for Steen, his recovery isn’t seeing any stark improvements and he’s champing at the bit to find a way to get healthy. As Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, Steen will be heading to California to get the same kind of treatment Paul Kariya had for his concussion problems.

“I’m trying to get myself back on track here,” Steen said. “It’s hard to explain what I’m going through. I … don’t want to get into too many details about it, but it’s been on and off. I’ve tried everything in my power to get back on the ice.

“So, I’ll be heading (to California) and (be) leaving the team and leaving St. Louis for a couple of weeks.”

This doesn’t sound very promising for Steen with how he’s doing. Going away for two weeks to see if he can get things figured out is a good step. As for banking on Steen coming back to the help the Blues in the playoffs, that would be a risky proposition.

We know that concussions are tough to figure out and considering he’s going to the same place Kariya was treated, that sounds foreboding. Here’s to hoping it works out better for Steen than it did for Kariya.

Are the Blackhawks rushing back from concussions?

Niklas Hjalmarsson

Some troubling news out of Chicago today as the Blackhawks announced a trio of players — Jonathan Toews, Steve Montador and Niklas Hjalmarsson — won’t travel to California for this weekend’s games against L.A. and Anaheim.

The first two aren’t surprising. Toews wasn’t expected to travel and Montador is on IR — but the third is plenty intriguing.

See, Hjalmarsson played Thursday night against Dallas, his first appearance after missing seven games with a concussion. The 24-year-old Swede played just over 16 minutes against the Stars and his performance was described as “fine, steady” by head coach Joel Quenneville.

But Hjalmarsson leaving the team so quickly after coming back begs the question: Did he return from a concussion too soon?

The ‘Hawks faced a similar situation earlier this season with rookie center Marcus Kruger.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Kruger first suffered his concussion when Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland checked him in the head on Dec. 20. He missed one game, but returned against the Blue Jackets and endured some tough hits. His symptoms returned and he missed the last eight games.

Kruger eventually returned on Jan. 14 and has been a lineup fixture ever since.

The Hjalmarsson and Kruger incidents rekindle memories of the hit Brent Seabrook absorbed from Raffi Torres in Game 3 of last year’s opening playoff round.

The hit appeared to knock Seabrook out, but he returned to the contest…only to be held out of Games 4 and 5 after concussion tests determined he shouldn’t play. Seabrook then returned for Games 6 and 7 of the series, at which point the Blackhawks’ concussion protocol was questioned. Former NHLer Keith Primeau took major issue with how the situation was treated.

“He should not have returned to play [in Game 3],” Primeau told CBC. “It’s extremely dangerous. He’s going to need time to recover.”

“I was watching the highlights and I saw the hit and my head just dropped because it was so upsetting. And then to see him get hit again … it was just so frustrating.”

PHT Related

Did Jonathan Toews play five games with a concussion?

Blues injury woes continue: Russell out with concussion symptoms

Kris Russell

The hits just keep on coming in St. Louis.

Already without the services of Jamie Langenbrunner, Matt D’Agostini and Alex Steen, the Blues announced defenseman Kris Russell has been sent back to St. Louis to be evaluated by team doctors after suffering an injury resulting in concussion-like symptoms in Nashville on Thursday.

Russell, 24, has been a key part of the St. Louis blueline since coming over from Columbus in November. The slick puck-mover is third amongst all rearguards in goals (five) and plays over 17 minutes a night, often paired with shutdown defenseman Roman Polak.

It’s unclear how long Russell will be out of the lineup but, with him headed back home while the Blues embark on a Western road swing, it’s likely he’ll be out for at least Saturday’s game in Winnipeg and Monday’s tilt in Calgary.

What this does to GM Doug Armstrong’s trade deadline strategy remains to be seen. Former first-round pick Ian Cole has been recalled from AHL Peoria to replace Russell, and given the injuries up front — Langenbrunner’s out for at least three more weeks, nobody’s sure when D’Agostini or Steen will return — Armstrong’s primary objective could’ve been adding depth at forward (though he says he’s strapped by budget.)

But depending on the severity of Russell’s injury, Armstrong might look to add on defense instead. The Blues don’t have much depth beyond Cole, as we’ve seen in the past, going into the playoffs with a thin blueline is risky.

Report: Toews has a concussion

Jonathan Toews

After sitting out yesterday against Detroit, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will also miss tomorrow’s home game versus Dallas.

The ‘Hawks are calling it an upper-body injury, which predictably has reporters asking if it’s a concussion.

“It’s upper body, we’ll leave it at that,” said coach Joel Quenneville, as reported by Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.

However, a source tells that Toews’ injury is indeed a concussion, and another source says it was suffered against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 10.

If that’s the case, it raises the question, did Toews play five games with a concussion?

It’s worth noting that this wouldn’t be his first concussion. He missed six games in 2009-10 after being hit (spectacularly) by Willie Mitchell.