April 05 2013 12:03PM
Before Jake Gardiner had concussion-like symptoms, Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins defiantly said that Gardiner "wasn't in a concussion state" after sustaining a hit against the Rochester Americans.
James Reimer's agent last season tweeted out that Reimer was "symptom-free since April". It was disclosed that Reimer did, in fact, miss 18 games with a concussion last season, and six at the end of the season with a more mild "upper body injury" which was apparently not related to his previous concussions.
So forgive me if I'm wary about Joffrey Lupul's injury status after Lupul took a hit to the head and got up wobbly last night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Asked Carlyle if there are any concussion concerns with Lupul: 'No, that's a bad word. We don't use that word until we're 100% sure.'— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 5, 2013
Carlyle on why he's wary of saying any injury is a concussion: 'You guys report that it's this & it's that & we don't know what it is.'— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 5, 2013
I don't claim to be a medical expert. This sort of information is imported from South Carolina, where Jo Innes is located. Innes writes the excellent 'Quiet Room' blogs over at the Backhand Shelf and has shared her thoughts before on Lupul's back injury that kept him out of the lineup for two half seasons.
Okay, so according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (aka VERY SMART PEOPLE), "A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function"
So if you get hit in the head and are woozy after, then that could be a concussion. The NHL says you're supposed to get evaluated by a doctor if you show any of:
- Loss of consciousness
- Motor incoordination/balance problems
- Slow to get up following a hit to the head
- Blank or vacant look
- Clutching the head after a hit
- Visible facial injury in combination with any of the above
Here's the hit again:
Here's the commentary from Sportsnet Ontario:
Bowen: Lupul is very slowly making his way over to the Leaf bench.
Bowen: Lupul… is really—
Millen: He's out.
Bowen: —is really woozy.
Millen: He's out on his feet. I can tell you that.
Bowen: He just got to the bench and he missed the door by about three feet.
Here's a screenshot of Joffrey Lupul missing the bench:
Here's a screenshot of Lupul on the bench:
That second image may as well be a GIF and you wouldn't be able to tell. Lupul was not moving on the bench once he got in the doorway. After the hard contact to the head, Lupul displays symptoms 2, 3, 4 and 5 that Jo listed.
There's more from Jo:
So according to the league's own rules, Lupul had signs of a concussion (I guess, I haven't seen the video). The Leafs are the WORST for not admitting when someone is concussed. THE. WORST.
So does Lupul have a concussion? Beats the shit out of me. Maybe. Do the Leafs habitually lie about what's wrong with players? Yes. Are teams ever careless about letting guys play who shouldn't? Yes. Is it a miracle none of them are permanently brain damaged? Yes. Except they ARE because Derek Boogaard and Bob Probert.
Remember, Colby Armstrong somehow missed Leafs medical testing last year and played through a concussion. It's worth noting that AFTER all this and BEFORE Lupul missed practice today, Randy Carlyle pegged his chances last night of practising at 50-50, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.
Lupul will miss some games with an upper body injury, the team won't admit he has a concussion and he'll probably come back too early, is how I guess this plays out. We've seen it before with Gardiner, with Kadri, with Reimer and with Armstrong. It's not exactly news the Leafs are terrible at handling this sort of stuff.
Updated with some wisdom from Jeffler:
Reason to be worried about Lupul - when was the last time the Leafs were upfront about a concussion?— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) April 5, 2013
Reimer wasn't the same for a year despite Wilson calling it "no big deal". Armstrong played through one. Grabovski went on next shift...— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) April 5, 2013
Liles was described as "not serious", then signed to an extension almost to prove it. Gardiner has played through them— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) April 5, 2013
Even with the Marlies. Jeff Finger's career was effectively ended by one and nobody even knows that. Ranger's concussion this year kept mum.— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) April 5, 2013
I'm just scratching the surface here, but the point is the Leafs org has had a grocery list of poorly reported concussions in the past year— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) April 5, 2013
Kadri had one this year and played the next shift. Orr's career almost ended from one in a fight.— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) April 5, 2013