It should be a scholarly affair tonight when the Rangers host the ‘Canes at MSG.
New York coach Dr. John Tortorella (who diagnosed Mike Rupp’s torn meniscus as as “cranky knee'”) will match wits with Carolina coach Dr. Paul Maurice, a leader in the field of neurological research.
Maurice, after all, enlightened reporters today by explaining how Rangers defenseman Marc Staal didn’t suffer his concussion. From Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News:
That’s a rather interesting take. See, Marc has spoken publicly about Eric delivering the hit that concussed him. So to has Eric. “It’s tough for him, it’s tough for me and it’s tough for everybody in the family,” he told NHL.com. “They feel for Marc and they feel for me, being put in that spot.”
The rest of the Staals have weighed in as well. The family patriarch, Henry, said last month that “it wasn’t good” to see Marc get hit. Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan said last month that “I feel bad for both my brothers.”
Tortorella confirmed Marc suffered a concussion on the play. The only reason the Rangers didn’t disclose it immediately was to protect him, a move which came under some scrutiny after Marc returned to the lineup three games later. (He also played the remainder of the season and playoffs, which could’ve partly fueled Maurice’s comments.)
Heck, even Maurice has spoken about the hit on previous occasions. He told NHL.com he thought it was clean, but the result was bad. The big difference, though, between Maurice’s past statement and his current stance is that he never previously suggested the Staal-on-Staal hit didn’t cause the concussion.
It’s an odd stance to take. Especially when you watch the hit again…
…and wonder just what Maurice is trying to accomplish with these comments. Does he really believe Eric’s hit didn’t give Marc a concussion? Or is he trying to take the pressure off his captain, mired in an absolutely awful slump?
Whatever the case, I’m guessing Maurice will regret saying what he did. Concussions in hockey is already controversial subject — one that certainly doesn’t need coaches weighing in with their (highly unqualified) diagnoses.