Is no news good news? There’s just no way of knowing that without some kind of report from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Within the final nine minutes of last night’s game against the New York Rangers, winger James Neal got knocked in the head with an elbow from Michael Del Zotto. Neal quickly fell to the ice, but was not knocked out; however, when he tried moving he appeared to be somewhat dazed. He left the ice to head to the locker room with the help of trainer, Chris Stewart, and line mate Evgeni Malkin, but did not return for the remainder of the game. The hit was questionable, but no penalty was asessed. Del Zotto was in front of Neal (behind the Rangers’ net) facing forward as he lunged and his elbow made contact with the side of Neal’s head.
Since the incident, nothing has been reported by the Penguins other than Penguins head coach, Dan Bylsma, commenting to the media in his post-game conference, “We’ll see in the next few days how he’s doing.”
With procedures in place to check for concussions, it is highly likely that Neal went to “the quiet room” to be further evaluated after the hit, but until we hear something from the Penguins organization, we shouldn’t speculate as to how serious the injury may or may not be. Hopefully the Penguins will be releasing some information within the next day or so and that Neal is ok.