Tag:NHL Concussions
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 3:24 pm

Sidney Crosby ruled out for weekend's games

By Brian Stubits

The world was waiting for Sidney Crosby's return to come this weekend. The media flocked to Pittsburgh for the long-awaited day to come. Eye On Hockey blogger Adam Gretz was on stand-by (he'll still be at the game on Friday).

Alas, arguably the game's biggest star will not lace them up against the Stars on Friday, or the Hurricanes (in Carolina) on Saturday.

Yes, the home game on Friday Nov. 11 was the one everybody was predicting for his return. Signs were pointing to it. GM Ray Shero said in an interview before the Penguins went on a long road trip that he wanted Crosby to return on home ice. He had been practicing and reportedly doing well with the contact he was receiving. Pens beatwriter Josh Yohe put the odds at 2/1 Crosby would return for this game.

So if Crosby is out (which he is, coach Dan Bylsma announced as much on Thursday) the question everybody moves onto next is when? Well, a quick glance of the schedule shows a home game on Nov. 15 against the Avalanche. After that the Penguins don't play at home again until the week of the Thanksgiving when they have a three-game homestand.

Judging by the way Bylsma is still not putting a timetable on Crosby's return and insists it's up until the doctors clear him, my guess is that the Tuesday game is a no-go, too. My best bet would be the three-game homestand starting on Nov. 21 with the Islanders. But with Crosby being essentially day to day after this long struggle with post-concussions symptoms, it will be a guessing game every day.

Meanwhile, I hope this doesn't deter fans from tuning into the game anyway. This will be one of the best matchups of the weekend as the top teams in each conference face off. And for those media members still around for the game, there's always James Neal vs. Dallas.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 20, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 3:26 pm

Penguins to get Orpik back; Kennedy concussed

By Brian Stubits

The Penguins training room is looking more like an infirmary these days. In the beginning part of the season they have been without Sidney Crosby, Brooks Orpik, Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy for one or more games.

At least they will get one of the back for Thursday night's battle with Montreal. Orpik will return to the lineup the team announced. Also, a banged up James Neal -- the NHL's leading goal scorer -- is expected to play. That's the good news.

Of course there is bad news, too. Malkin's day-to-day approach will still have him out against the Habs as he is waiting for his knee to be completely ready. It continues, though, with Kennedy being diagnosed with a concussion, obviously meaning he's not playing. Finally, rookie defenseman Brian Strait, who hasn't played much in the early going, won't be available for a few weeks due to a hyperextended elbow.

Then add to the mix the suspension of defenseman Kris Letang and, well, the Penguins are just a little bit short against Montreal.

In Orpik the Pens get back a defenseman has been a fixture on their blue line since 2003-04. He has been a plus player each of the past five seasons while helping out a lot with the penalty-killing duties. Although Pittsburgh has been alright in that department without him; they have only given up one power-play goal while they have scored three short-handed.

Kennedy's loss will hurt as he has been growing into a more integral part of the Penguins offense. In the six games he played to start the season, he had five points (2-3). Now, with a concussion, there's no telling for sure when he might return. Pittsburgh knows all too well how that can go.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 2:49 pm

Andy McDonald sidelined with another concussion

Am1By: Adam Gretz

Since joining the St. Louis Blues during the 2007-08 season Andy McDonald has been one of their most productive players when he's been in the lineup, something that's proven to be a problem over the past three seasons. After being limited to just 58 games last season due to a concussion, he suffered another head injury during St. Louis' 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

After initially being examined by the trainers and cleared to return to the game on Thursday, he started to experience headaches. It was announced by the team on Monday that he will now have to be placed on injured reserve due to a concussion that he apparently suffered at the end of the second period when he was hit by Dallas' Vernon Fiddler.

In three games this season he's scored no goals and been credited with two assists.

Here's what general manager Doug Armstrong had to say on Saturday, via Norm Sanders of the News Democrat:
"He came back and passed all the protocols necessary to play the game," Armstrong said. "He was complaining of some headaches and not quite feeling right, so we thought we'd send him back to St. Louis.

"There's a definite protocol that teams follow now and he saw the physician on hand. Andy said he felt good and felt ready to go. All the proper hurdles were covered and he said he was ready to play.

Concussions have been a problem for the Blues over the past two seasons, as this will be the second one for McDonald over that stretch. David Perron, one of their promising young forwards, has not played in a game since last November due to his recovery from a concussion of his own.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 2:50 pm

Isles' DiPietro out indefinitely with concussion

By Brian Stubits

At what point do you begin to feel sorry for Rick DiPietro? I mean, if there were ever a goalie that fit the old saying "if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all" it's him.

The injury-riddled goaltender for the Islanders is out again. He did not dress in the Islanders' romping of the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-1 on Thursday night after taking a puck to the head in practice the day before. On Friday the team announced he's going to be out for longer as he suffered a concussion on the play. There is no timetable for his return.

As we have learned, there's no idea to know how long it will be until DiPietro might play again. Concussions are finnicky that way.

"You feel for him. The last couple of years it's been a lot for him," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said when asked about his fellow New York-area netminder. "When you are hurt that much it's also really tough on you mentally to all the time having to start over and rehab"

Yesterday we detailed some of the struggles that DiPietro has undergone. In the past three seasons, he has played in only 39 games. For the non-math whizzes out there, that's only 13 games per season. When you consider he has a contract for $4.5 million a year (that runs through 2021), that's nearly $350,000 per game played in that time.

Good thing the Islanders were carrying three goalies on their roster, huh? Al Montoya was a somewhat surprising opening-night starter, but he has been terrific in the Islanders' three games, giving up a total of four goals. There's a completely capable backup behind him in veteran Evgeni Nabokov.

I don't know about you, but I feel for the guy and am almost at the point of rooting for DiPietro. The expectations on him were placed mighty high when New York drafted him No. 1 overall, made room for him by sending out Roberto Luongo and then gave him a monstrous contract.

His injury woes are almost beyond jokes at this point. The way I see it, I'd like to see DiPietro remain healthy long enough to play extended time. If he falls flat on his face then, that's on him. But I'd just like to see him get the chance one way or the other.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com