DENVER, CO - JANUARY 14:  Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his goal against the New Jersey Devils to take a 1-0 lead in the first period at Pepsi Center on January 14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Matt Duchene day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms

Matt Duchene did not play in the third period of Colorado’s 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, and it was announced by coach Jared Bednar on Saturday that he is day-to-day after experience concussion-like symptoms.

Duchene was injured when he was hit in the head by Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba in the second period. Bednar said that Duchene was better this morning but not quite 100 percent. His status for Sunday’s game against the Boston Bruins is obviously not yet known at this point.

If he has to miss any time it would obviously be a huge blow to the Avalanche lineup. Not only is he one of their top forwards, he is currently their leading scorer with 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 13 games and is the only player on the team that has a double-digit point total. He had his first 30-goal season a year ago for the Avalanche.

There was no penalty called on the play, and at this point the NHL’s department of player safety has not made any comment on whether or not Trouba will face any potential discipline.

This is a look at the play.

 

Stars’ Sharp out with concussion symptoms following controversial OT loss to Kings

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The Dallas Stars lost to the L.A. Kings on Thursday, and they could also lose forward Patrick Sharp for a period of time to injury, too.

Sharp left the game with concussion symptoms, as per the Stars. He didn’t return. The 34-year-old forward was on the receiving end of a big hit along the boards from Brayden McNabb early in the second period and was put through concussion protocol.

As per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Sharp will be out for “a while,” according to head coach Lindy Ruff, who is already dealing with a host of injury problems up front. Stars forward Patrick Eaves also left the game with a lower-body injury and didn’t return.

The Stars lost 4-3 in overtime, as the Kings recorded their first win of the season, although the eventual winning goal was reviewed for possible goalie interference.

From the NHL:

At 1:20 of overtime in the Kings/Stars game, the Situation Room initiated a review under the terms of a Coach’s Challenge to review whether a Los Angeles player interfered with Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen prior to Alec Martinez‘s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.

Therefore the original call stands – good goal Los Angeles Kings.

Of course, Ruff didn’t agree with the league’s ruling on the play.

Crosby wants to be smart about concussion recovery (VIDEO)

The bad news is that Sidney Crosby‘s been down this road with concussions before. The good news is that he’s taken lessons from those tough memories.

Look, there’s no doubt that it’s going to sting for Crosby to sit out tonight’s season-opener for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

They’re raising their Stanley Cup banner, and even if you roll your eyes at Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin talk, there’s little sense denying the Washington Capitals’ position as one of the East’s favorites. It likely burns to watch such an electric game in street clothes.

That said, Crosby’s learned a thing or two since suffering that fateful concussion against David Steckel in 2011.

One might accuse the Penguins and Crosby of rushing back into things that time around, but Crosby’s saying all the right things about avoiding recurring symptoms this time around.

Now, that might be easier said than done – as he admits, every head injury is different – yet it’s heartening that the superstar is taking a cautious approach.

More on Crosby’s concussion situation and history

It’s a good sign that he’s at least practicing

Crosby insists the injury didn’t happen at the injury-heavy World Cup

His previous concussions inspire us to ask: “What if?”

NHL plans on fining teams who violate new concussion protocol

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 7: Dennis Wideman #6 of the Calgary Flames is helped up after colliding with Sam Gagner (not pictured) of the Arizona Coyotes during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 7, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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There are times when the NHL’s concussion protocols feel as toothless as its most rugged players. Perhaps that might change starting in 2016-17?

The league backed up reports that additional “concussion spotters” will oversee games in addition to team-specific ones, but this section of the press release shows the most promise:

Specified sanctions will be imposed on Clubs that violate the Concussion Protocol. Clubs that do not remove a Player who requires an evaluation will be subject to a mandatory minimum fine for a first offense, with substantially increased fine amounts for any subsequent offense. Additionally, any Player designated for a mandatory evaluation will not be permitted to re-enter the game unless and until he is evaluated by his Club’s medical staff and cleared to play in accordance with the Protocol.

Interestingly, the league also revealed that on-ice officials can call for a player’s removal if he shows “visible signs of [a] concussion.”

Perhaps these measures won’t be perfect, yet they feel like legitimate improvements after half-measures and tweaks that seemed ineffectual.

Granted, NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika notes that Gary Bettman discussed fining teams for violating concussion protocol in 2014 as well, so we’ll have to see about the follow-through with these tweaks.

(Critics may wonder if concussion-related lawsuits inspired these greater measures, but either way, progress is progress.)

While we may quibble with the way the NHL polices hits, helping players avoiding further injury could be a very nice step in the right direction.

Again, though, we won’t know for sure until we see the new measures in action.

Concussions have made Sidney Crosby’s career a story of ‘what ifs’

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 18, 2015 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It was announced on Monday that Pittsburgh Penguins captain is sidelined for the time being with a concussion. At this point we do not know much beyond that.

We don’t know when exactly it happened (coach Mike Sullivan said at some point in practice on Friday), how it happened, or how long it could potentially keep him out of the Penguins’ lineup.

Even without knowing the exact specifics, given how much time Crosby has already missed in his career due to a concussion it has to be a huge concern for both his health and his career.

Because of the previous issues, which all started during the week of the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh when he took hits to the head from Dave Steckel and Victor Hedman in consecutive games, we already missed the chance to fully see what Crosby was going to be capable of in the NHL during what should have been his peak years in the league. If you buy into the belief that scorers produce at their peak levels between the ages of 23 and 25 (and there is plenty of evidence to suggest they do) Crosby was only able to play 99 out of a possible 212 games during that stretch due to complications from injury and a half season lockout.

It has already helped make his career one of the all-time great “what-if” careers in hockey.

When he was on the ice during those seasons he was scoring at a pace that was at a completely different level from every player in hockey. For those three years he averaged 1.61 points per game. Among the players that played in at least 50 games during those three years, nobody else averaged more than 1.20 points per game. The gap between him and the No. 2 scorer (his teammate, Evgeni Malkin) was the same as the gap between the No. 2 scorer and the No. 49 scorer. It probably cost him a couple of more scoring titles, maybe an MVP award, and perhaps even another Stanley Cup.

When he finally returned, there was always the concern that it would be an issue going forward. When his scoring numbers started to drop (probably due to the fact he was simply getting older than anything else) there always seemed to be a discussion that the concussion “changed” him or the way he played.

But as he remained on the ice and was able to play full seasons, those concerns started to get pushed to the back burner, especially as he started to dominate the NHL again.

Over those three years he added another scoring title and MVP award to his resume, and then won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy this past season. He added to the list of achievements this September when he led Canada to a World Cup of Hockey championship.

Now that he has climbed back to the top of the hockey world and was in the middle of what might have been one of the most successful years of his career, he has another concussion.

And with that returns the concern for his long-term health and the impact it could have on him as a person and player.