Is the NHL's concussion protocol failing the players it's supposed to protect?
Is the NHL's concussion protocol failing the players it's supposed to protect?
23 May, 2017, 12:01
"The Concussion Spotter made a determination that the event and the player's response on the ice did not trigger the criteria in our concussion protocol that would have required or mandated a club to remove a player from play", Daly told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun.
It's likely. He practiced on Tuesday, going through the full workout and said he was "checked out" by a doctor after going head first into the boards in Monday's 5-2 win by the Capitals.
It's that kind of thing that the National Hockey League had in mind when it made the changes to the program prior to this season.
The NHL revamped its policies entering this season by implementing a staff of Central League Spotters, positioned in the NHL's Player Safety Room in NY, who can remove a player if he displays any symptom or sign of a concussion. One of those visible signs is "slow to get up". That's a shorter time for clearance than most National Football League players get when they suffer a concussion on Sunday then return the following Sunday, and that always seems insane when it happens. But that amount of time when play is still going on is the equivalent to an eternity.
Crosby finished the shift, then stayed out for part of another and jumped back on the ice for a faceoff with two seconds remaining in the period. "The (offensive) explosion we had in the third period (of Game 5) was a confidence boost and then we played a very good game tonight". The first two? The "06 Oilers he beat and the 2012 Los Angeles Kings, who got 15 points during their run from Williams". Marc-Andre Fleury stoned Ovechkin early, and the Penguins ripped off four goals in the first 23 minutes and never looked back.
"Since about Game 3, we've had a calmness about what we are doing", Trotz said. The protocol is right there in black and white.
If that evaluation happened, it didn't take place immediately.
What the Penguins need to do if they want to take the next step in becoming the first Stanley Cup champion in almost 20 years to repeat is pretty clear.
The decision raised questions over the NHL's concussion protocol even though it was followed to the letter.
Concussion Legacy Foundation co-founder and CEO Chris Nowinski is certainly taking aim at the NHL's limited concussion spotters, calling the policy "a poorly written policy that should be amended" as quickly as possible. Despite this sluggish recovery, though, the spotters didn't pull him from the game. As soon as they start to trail, their shot selection deteriorates as they start firing the puck on net from everywhere as opposed to setting up better opportunities.
The early dominance of the Caps "D" set the tone for a night in which Pittsburgh's high-flying offense, which found success even without Crosby and Conor Sheary earlier in the series, had no time to get into a rhythm. It was supposed to take team personnel off the hook. On the bench he was in obvious distress and the PPG Paints Arena turned into the world's largest waiting room, 18,000-plus waiting to see if Crosby would take that long walk down to the dressing room for examination by the medical staff. And all of that is completely understandable under the circumstances. Sometimes you need those big saves to spark the team. Just as troubling as the lack of pucks they've sent Holtby's way over the last two games is where those pucks have come from. Which is exactly why a dispassionate, unbiased person who is both literally and figuratively removed from the situation is empowered to make those decisions. Crosby's linemate Patric Hornqvist appeared to brush Carlson just enough that all three crashed into the boards, landing in a pile.
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