Malkin feeling concussion symptoms after last night’s hit


The Pittsburgh Penguins have a major star dealing with concussion symptoms and this time it’s not Sidney Crosby.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports defending NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin is dealing with symptoms including a “severe headache and mild disorientation” after his wicked collision with Florida’s Erik Gudbranson last night. They’re not anticipating that he’ll play tomorrow night and have no timetable for recovery.

This news is crushing for the Penguins for a multitude of reasons with the biggest being they know how long these kinds of issues can linger after seeing Crosby go through what he did for the better part of two seasons. While Crosby missed time, Malkin (and Jordan Staal) were able to lift their games so the team didn’t suffer badly without him.

Now it’s on Sid the Kid and Brandon Sutter to do the same for them while Malkin recovers, however long that turns out to be.

Reimer practices, still at least a week away

The slumping Maple Leafs have to be looking for any good news they can find right now. Well, the good news is their promising young goaltender James Reimer was able to practice during an optional skate today. He may not be ready to return yet, but at least he’s back on the ice. Any progress is a good thing, right?

The Leafs still aren’t officially saying what’s ailing Reimer, but they previously said he was suffering concussion-like symptoms. If we assume those are the same problems he’s dealing with, then we know that any timetable for a possible return can be termed as “tentative” at best. Still, Ron Wilson gave fans a ballpark update to work with today.

“He won’t be playing for at least another week to 10 days if everything goes smoothly,” Toronto’s head coach said.

Again, hockey fans have come to learn that anything resembling concussion-like symptoms can take a while to recover from these days. Yet whenever Reimer is ready to return to the ice, the Leafs will welcome the netminder back to the lineup with open arms. After a quick start out of the gate, the Leafs have lost their last six games (0-4-2) and have been giving up a ton of goals in the process. Some will say it’s the defense taking a step back, but Reimer’s stellar play has a way of making any defensive corps look a little better. All we know is they’re losing and giving up a lot of goals in the process.

In the meantime, the Leafs will have a busy week without their prized goaltender. Will they be able to keep their heads above water as he recovers? They’ll have to figure out how to earn a few wins if they want that playoff berth in April.

Danger: No one knows when Reimer may return

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The Toronto Maple Leafs said today that James Reimer will not be back on the ice this weekend. That alone isn’t news as the Leafs #1 netminder has been slowly trying to recover from “concussion-like symptoms.” But the problem is that it sounds like no one around the Leafs organization has any idea when Reimer will be back on the ice. When it comes to concussions, no news can be just as worrisome as bad news.

“He kind of hit a plateau in his recovery,” Coach Ron Wilson said, “so the trainers decided not to ask him to go on the ice.” With all of the concussion problems that have made headlines over the last year, a player leveling off in the recovery process and not returning to the ice could be a problem. These things aren’t as easy to predict as a broken wrist or a torn ACL—which is oftentimes the source of so much frustration.

Just ask the likes of David Perron, Sidney Crosby, or Jonas Hiller.

The good thing Wilson and the Leafs have going in their favor is that the team has been playing so well recently. Rookie Ben Scrivens only gave up a single goal in his NHL debut last night. Jonas Gustavsson has won three of his last four games as well, so there’s no real rush to get Reimer back in the net. When the team is 9-3-1 and sitting on top of the Northeast Division, it’s a little easier to remain calm about any injuries.

The minute Toronto starts experiencing goaltending problems though, the questions are going to get louder. But for now, no one knows when Reimer’s coming back—and there’s no hurry to rush him back.

Alfredsson update: Senators captain will miss at least 1 week

If you read between the fuzzy concussion-related lines of today’s first Daniel Alfredsson-related post, it was probably already obvious that the Ottawa Senators captain will be out for some time. The exact amount of time is still indefinite, but the floor is clear now: he’ll miss at least one week according to GM Bryan Murray.

Going by that metric, Alf will miss at least three games: a road contest against Boston (Nov. 1) and home games against Montreal (Nov. 4) and Buffalo (Nov. 5). If it goes beyond a week, the next concern would be a Nov. 9 contest against the Rangers in Ottawa.

As Joe wrote, the surging Senators will miss their captain. He has four goals and three assists for seven points in 10 games so far this season. Alfredsson isn’t the elite player he once was, but his defensive savvy and skills remain important to an Ottawa team that still won’t scare anyone on paper.

At this point, you’re probably aware that concussions can be a big mystery. We’ll keep an eye on this situation and pass along updates as the trickle in.

Add Daniel Alfredsson to the concussion watch list

All it took was an errant elbow from Wojtek Wolski to put Daniel Alfredsson out of action for Ottawa and now the Senators are being highly cautious with their team captain. The Ottawa Citizen reports that Alfredsson will be held out of action by coach Paul MacLean until he shows signs of being fully recovered from concussion symptoms. Alfredsson isn’t even traveling to Boston for the Sens next game.

At least one team is being careful about how they handle concussed players.

At 38 years-old, Alfredsson has had his share of other ailments, but dealing with a concussion is something no player would like to deal with at any point. With all the care the league is trying to take in treating concussions, Alfredsson being treated and watched carefully for what’s hurting him is a tough blow for a team that is roaring along in their play. Losing the captain for an unknown amount of time is no fun.

As for a timetable when he can come back, we know the routine on that by now, don’t we? The young Sens will have to keep it rolling along without Alfredsson, something that didn’t hinder them last night against Toronto in winning their sixth straight game.