After Dale Weise was temporarily knocked out of Game 5 following John Moore’s hit — which the NHL later deemed an illegal check to the head — Montreal head coach Michel Therrien announced that Weise will miss tonight’s Game 6… with a body injury.
Not a head injury.
For more, let’s go to the transcript!
Q. Is there any regret about having Dale come back given that the symptoms, obviously, came on after the game?
COACH THERRIEN: You’re presuming it’s a head injury.
Q. Am I not correct?
COACH THERRIEN: You’re not correct.
Q. I know you touched on it briefly, but can you explain the difference and what happened between the third period for Dale, when he was let back in the game, now not being able to play tonight?
COACH THERRIEN: Well, after the hit he went to meet the doctors, saw the doctors. He was feeling fine about finishing the game. For us, what is really important is player safety. This is important for us. It’s been like that all season long. It’s not going to change. For a player not able to play the next game, this is something that we could see on a regular basis. You can see [Derek] Stepan finished a game with a broken jaw, get an operation the next day, miss Game 4, and came back after his operation. So those are the things that you see at this time of the year. But right now he’s got a body injury. He won’t be able to play tonight.
There’s been plenty of gamesmanship throughout the Eastern Conference Final, so Therrien’s comments shouldn’t come as any huge surprise as the effectiveness of the “quiet room” and concussion protocol has been questioned repeatedly this postseason.
In Columbus’ opening-round loss to Pittsburgh, James Wisniewski had to be helped off the ice in Game 6 following a big hit from Tanner Glass, but returned in the second period. Wisniewski later said this to the Columbus Dispatch:
“My head didn’t feel great in Game 6. I said my back hurt so I didn’t have to do the 20-minute (concussion) protocol and go through that whole concussion process. I didn’t feel like going in and talking to the doctors for 20 minutes.”
Then there was Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was dealing with concussion symptoms while playing in Game 7 of the Colorado series and had to exit in the third period, clearly rattled from a collision that occurred in the middle frame.
As for Therrien, his comments might be troubling but they’re really par for the course. The issues are with how players can get around current head injury rules and regulations, and how easy it is for coaches to say “well, my guy said he was OK to return.”
Reason Habs won’t use word concussion is it starts NHL protocols. Say body injury and he can play next game. NHL has a big problem here.
— BrianWilde (@BWildeCTV) May 29, 2014