Despite the fact that the Boston Bruins won their first back-to-back situation of the season last week, defeating the Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks in consecutive nights, there was unfortunately a black cloud hanging over the wins.
Last Wednesday, Sabres forward John Scott went out on the ice and immediately threw an illegal head-shot at Bruins winger Loui Eriksson. Scott was thrown out of the game, and almost immediately suspended indefinitely by the NHL. His place in the league has since been in question, as many pundits are wondering why exactly someone with five points in five seasons would ever be needed by a professional hockey team.
Sadly, the result of the illegal blow left Eriksson with a concussion. He hasn’t seen the ice since last Wednesday, and this week Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed his injury hiatus will be lasting for the rest of this week at the very least.
“Every day you guys are going to ask about a concussion, and it is what it is,” said Julien. “He’s doing better, I guess. ‘I guess’ is because you never know. The one [piece] of good news is that he did show up this morning. He came by, and that’s usually good news when a guy can leave his home, and come by the [practice] rink.
“So we’re taking it day-by-day. Right now you’re probably not going to see him [in a game] in the next week, and you’re probably not going to see him skating in the next week. So we can put it at that stage for now.”
If there’s anything to learn from watching athletes deal with concussions, its that there’s no set timetable. Fellow Bruin Patrice Bergeron suffered a concussion during the 2011 playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, but he only missed a couple games. On the other end of the spectrum, Marc Savard was concussed in 2010 at the hands of former Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke, the effects of which have kept him out of commission for the majority of the last three years.
The only moderate bright side is that Eriksson doesn’t have a history of concussions, which will hopefully shorten the amount of time he’s off the ice. But as mentioned, there’s no predicting concussions, so we’ll just have to wait and see how long the Swedish forward takes to recover.