Nick Bjugstad indicated Wednesday that his head injury was nothing serious and he would have dressed for Game 7 against the Islanders, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Bjugstad's injury appears to be nothing serious and he should enter the offseason with essentially a clean bill of health. Still in the middle of a six-year deal, the 23-year-old forward should retain a significant role with a young Florida Panthers squad in 2016-17. Bjugastd will look to remain healthy next season and to build off a campaign in which he tallied 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in 67 games.
Nick Bjugstad (head) will not play in Game 6 against the Islanders, Shannon Hogan of MSG Networks reports.
Bjugstad didn't travel with the team to New York initially, and skipped morning skate Sunday, so him not playing shouldn't come as a big surprise. The South Florida Sun Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov notes that Bjugstad is doing well, so it seems quite possible he will be available for a Game 7 should the Florida Panthers force it but Derek MacKenzie is expected to center the third line and Logan Shaw the fourth in his absence.
Bjugstad went face-first into the sideboards during the second overtime of Game 5, suffering a laceration to his head that forced him to receive stitches. Coach Gerard Gallant said Bjugstad was still going through concussion evaluations Saturday morning and wasn't able to travel with the team. Despite not traveling with the team, Bjugstad is still considered day-to-day, but we'll likely have to wait until closer to warmups Sunday before finding out his availability for Game 6.
The big Minnesotan has looked good to open the postseason, picking up three points, a plus-4 rating and seven shots on goal in two games. A first-round pick in 2010, Bjugstad hasn't been as prolific a scorer this year as fellow young stars Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, but he's got a 24-goal season and 116 points in 226 games under his belt, so he could be an instrumental piece of secondary scoring for the Cats this postseason.
Cavaliers 2016 NBA Finals Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear