“In Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, Connor McDavid stepped on Jared Spurgeon’s stick causing him to fall forward. McDavid’s chin/jaw/mouth made contact with ice and his head bounced up.
He looked stunned at first, but got up and skated off the ice holding on to his mouth.
The concussion spotter in attendance didn’t like what he saw. The spotter called down to ice level and had McDavid summoned back to the locker room to undergo the concussion protocol.
The young super star was clearly annoyed at having to leave to be checked out.”
This was always going to be the biggest challenge to the concussion protocol, overcoming player complaints about being removed from a game when they are sure they are fine. In this case, in appears as though McDavid was fine, but how many times did we hear players and others talk about how it’s better to be safe? I guess that only counts when it’s not you.
I can’t help but wonder, however, where the concussion spotter was for Matt Calvert earlier in the season. You remember him, the guy in Columbus who got hit in the head with a slapshot, required 36 stitches and returned to score the game winning goal later in the game? There was a lot of talk about how him being a “hockey player”, and the toughness involved, as he came back to that game, then played in two more games before missing 5 straight with what was unofficially a concussion. (Officially an “upper-body injury”) He passed the concussion protocol in the immediate aftermath of taking a slapshot to the face, but didn’t a few days later. How much of that concussion was a direct result of playing right after a hit to the head like that, and should it have been caught sooner?
We may never know, but both of these instances beg the question over the concussion system and how effective it will really be.