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Backstrom on concussion recovery: “It’s incredibly frustrating”

Jan 19, 2012, 10:49 AM EDT

Backstrom Getty

Noted Washington Capitals blog Japers’ Rink has unearthed (and translated!) an article from Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet about Nicklas Backstrom‘s recovery from concussion.

Aftonbladet spoke with Backstrom — who hasn’t played since Jan. 3 after being hit in the head by then-Flames forward Rene Bourque — about his status, how he’s feeling and what the worst part of his recovery has been.

[Note: These are from an English translation of a piece that originally appeared in Swedish.]

— Backstrom’s listed as day-to-day (“as they say over here,” he noted) but hasn’t had much discussion with Washington brass about returning to the ice.

— He’d “be lying” if he said he’s feeling 100 percent, but claims he’s no longer suffering from headaches and nausea.

— Sounds like Backstrom’s been isolated from the team as he’s not even attending Caps home games at the Verizon Center, instead watching them from home.

That last note seems to have affected Backstrom more than anything.

“The only thing I can do is to just lie here on the couch and try to get better,” he said. “It’s incredibly frustrating, I get so restless, my body just itches to do something. But there’s nothing else to do but wait.”

Backstrom has 13G-29A-42PTS this season and is still Washington’s leading scorer despite missing the last seven games.

  1. capsfan36 - Jan 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Anyone else still think he is coming back right after the all star break?…not looking good.

  2. jpelle82 - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    its a shame….concussions are ruining hockey

    • drewsylvania - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      The guys who deliberately cause concussions should get one themselves. Maybe then they’d stop causing them.

      • hsnepts - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Like Pronger. He is part of the problem. Maybe this is how McAmmond felt.

  3. capsfan36 - Jan 19, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I truly feel if you injure someone intentionally and league feels that the player should be suspended, they should serve the suspension. And if the player they injured is not back in the lineup by the end of the suspension the suspended played should have to sit out until the player returns.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      i understand your frustration as a caps fan (pens fan here) but i dont think any reasonable person tag that kind of open suspension policy as fair in any way. if crosby returns and someone knocks his block off and he never plays again…does that guy never play again?

      • drewsylvania - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Well, there could be some sort of cutoff. But there are problems with the approach. First off, what does the league do for players who already have concussion histories? We hate Matt Cooke for his cheap shot on Savard, but Savard had already had a couple concussions. Having a concussion makes it more likely that you will have another. Do we suspend players for the effects of several concussions, even if they only caused the latest one?

        Also, teams could abuse such a rule. If “Monsieur Mediocre” gets boarded and gets concussed, his team might be tempted to keep him out of the lineup indefinitely, in order to keep the guy who cheapshotted him off the ice.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

        there’s just too many variables to adopt that kind of mentality. i think they should stop considering previous fines and suspensions into the decision on the number of games. if someone gives someone a concussion – set a certain number of games for first offense – lets cut out the pussy footing around and drop the hammer

  4. danphipps01 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Yeah, Drew’s got the truth of it. The nature of concussions is that they’re immensely variable and tend to build off one another. It makes it too hard to apply something sweeping like that without unfairly punishing a lot of guys past what’s reasonable.

    Still, I will say this: five games for a blatant headshot is fucking pathetic. Shanahan doesn’t seem any more willing than anyone to actually take a hardline stance, which is unfortunate, because that’s exactly what we need – hardliners. My thought is, clear headshots and boarding hits start at five games, doubling every subsequent time they happen. If a player has a history, let him suffer for it. Third time nets him twenty games, automatically. Yeah, that’s a hell of a long time and a lot of lost salary. Maybe that might, you know, convince them not to do it. Suspending a jackass like Torres or Bourque for five games or less isn’t going to stop them. Suspending them for large chunks of the season might.

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