Reporting Connor McKnight
Brent Seabrook was decked Sunday night. Rene Bourque’s hit wasn’t clean and the result wasn’t pretty. Luckily, it may not cost the Seabrook and the Blackhawks as much as was initially feared.
“He seemed not bad after the game. Looked [like keeping him out of the game was] more precautionary,” Joel Quenneville said. “We’ll find out more tomorrow.”
While it’s guesswork to say Seabrook was concussed on the play, it’s not exactly a leap to put it in the conversation. Worse, Seabrook has a history of concussions—three if you buy the team’s record keeping.
One came from a knee to the head ’09. Another when then-Ducks Defenseman James Wiseniewski torpedoed and Seabrook seemed out cold on his skates (You can find the video here: http://tinyurl.com/7d94twa Note the Ducks’ announcers questioning whether Seabrook was faking it. Unreal. Seabrook missed a pair of games after). One more when Vancouver’s favorite goon, Raffi Torres, took a cheap shot in last season’s playoffs.
Quite the history.
If we’ve seen anything in the NHL this year, it’s a rise in concussions. With 20+ players missing time with concussions or symptoms thereof, it’s tough to miss.
“It comes down to respect,” Jonathan Toews said. “You hit guys when it’s a clean situation. Head shots and head injuries aren’t going anywhere if we’re going to keep making plays like that. And that goes for everybody around the entire league.”
The Hawks went 2-3 in the five games they played without Seabrook this season. That stretch came after Seabrook lost an edge, slid into the boards and came out with the dreaded “lower body injury.”
The fortunate thing in this is timing. The Hawks head to Pittsburgh on the 20th and host the Canadiens on the 21st but then it’s five days off for the Christmas break. Play resumes the 26th with a home date against the Blue Jackets.
What’s more to worry about is Seabrook’s long-term health. A history of concussions only makes things worse as more are suffered. Just look to the Blackhawks’ next opponent, the Penguins, to see how devastating concussions can be to the future of a player and organization. Exhibits A and B: http://tinyurl.com/446qeky http://tinyurl.com/74z8mcy
Sunday night’s 4-2 win over the Flames marked Joel Quenneville’s 600th NHL win. He’s the second fastest coach to reach 600. Scotty Bowman did it in 1,002 games; Quenneville took 1,114 games.
He’s got some work to do to be considered legendary, but maybe this tale from Kim Jong Il’s days as a pro golfer will help to inspire. tinyurl.com/7f33372