It has been a very rough couple of days for NHL players and concussions.
It started Friday night when Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds took an elbow to the face from Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine. The hit, which didn't result in a penalty on the ice, led to Erskine receiving a three-game suspension.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was incredibly upset after the game, probably for a multitude of reasons -- one of which being losing a key player like Simmonds, who didn't play the final two periods. GM Paul Holmgren updated Simmonds' status at the time and said they would know more on Saturday. They did learn more and it wasn't good: concussion.
"It's disappointing," Laviolette said before Saturday's game. "We certainly could use him in the lineup right now. His ability to score, his physical presence, the roles and situations and the minutes that he plays on our team, we'll miss him."
According to coach Todd Richards after the game, Wisniewski suffered a concussion as well as back and leg injuries. It was a rough day at the office.
"It's awful to see a guy lying there like he was," teammate Jack Johnson said. "Your heart kind of stops for a minute. You could hear a pin drop in the arena. Once we saw him talking and move, it's a huge sigh of relief."
In nine games to start the season, Wisniewski has two goals and three assists for a Columbus team that is off to a 3-5-1 start, not bad for a team many thought would run away with the worst record in the league.
Unfortunately for Wisniewski, injuries always seem to find him. He has never played more than 69 games in a single season in the NHL and last season with the Blue Jackets he played just 48, diminished not only because of injuries but an early-season suspension, too.
The Anaheim Ducks are off to a great start this season, so the last thing they want to see is a shakeup to the lineup, but that's going to happen as young defenseman Cam Fowler took a big hit from Kings forward Jarret Stoll on Saturday night.
It's the exact type of hit that scares you to see, a player being hit from behind and shoved into the boards with his head down. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game he understood the penalty not being called on the ice -- the refs had a few other things to digest at that moment -- but feels Brendan Shanahan should be taking a look (via Eric Stephens at the Orange County Register).
"But surely, you know, I saw the numbers when Stoll hit him. It was right from behind. They have to have to look at that. He might be OK tomorrow or he might be out for a while."
They aren't saying the C word yet with Fowler in this case, but Boudreau certainly wasn't ruling it out either. Just based on the looks of it, I would be surprised if he weren't concussed.