TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
Blogs

McKenzie: The hard truth is you can't cheat a concussion

Bob McKenzie
12/20/2011 5:58:10 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

It should come as no surprise that Toronto's Colby Armstrong initially tried to conceal his concussion from the Maple Leafs because no player in today's NHL wants to be concussed. They're afraid, afraid of how they feel and fearful for the consequences of not being able to play, maybe of even losing their job. They sometimes think if they ignore the symptoms and not admit to having a concussion, then they won't have one.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.

Because here's the cold, hard truth: you cannot cheat a concussion.

If you're concussed, you can't play through it. Oh, you can try, but chances are, as was the case with Armstrong, the symptoms eventually prevent you from even attempting to play. And if the symptoms are not that severe, chances are you are still either going to play at far less than your best or you're going to worsen the concussion and be out a long, long time.

In the wake of Sidney Crosby's concussion, it would seem more players are taking the prudent approach and erring on the side of caution on return to play protocols. But we're kidding ourselves if we think players don't try to conceal concussion-related symptoms, especially in-game and in the heat of battle.

Part of the problem is that concussed players can and do pass baseline and impact testing, suggesting to them and perhaps their club that they're fit to play. But the best and most reliable test is the player knowing himself whether he's symptomatic or feeling not quite right.

If you think this is an issue in the NHL, consider how much more prevalent it is in the American Hockey League or ECHL or junior or college hockey, where a spot in the lineup is even more precarious. It happens. A lot.

Whatever the level of hockey, though, the concussion still wins.

Look at the players who have missed the most time in the NHL with concussions. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 18 months. David Perron, 14 months. Sidney Crosby, 10 months. Marc Staal, three months and counting. Each one of them took a hit that obviously concussed them and all of them, to varying degrees, played after the initial contact.

And there's the hard reality of what happens to players who play when they've been concussed. They can try, but they won't win. Because you can't cheat the concussion.

Bob McKenzie

Podcasts

TSN 1050: TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: Hour Two- April 17

Dave Naylor and Jeff O'Neill are joined by TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, TSN Blue Jays Analyst Dirk Hayhurst and Nets Broadcaster Ian Eagle.

TSN 1050: TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: Bob McKenzie- April 17

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie joined the program to talk about the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

TSN 1050: TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: Hour Two- April 10

Dave Naylor and Dave Feschuk are joined by Bob McKenzie, Jason Strudwick and Don Meehan to talk about the struggles of the Canadian NHL teams.


More Podcasts

Follow Us!

There's a new Twitter feed that will make you a real TSN.ca insider! Follow twitter.com/TSN_Sports_Buzz to get updates on the latest blogs, best videos and more!


More about TSN on Twitter...

Vote IN the TSN KLONDIKE NHL POY SHOWDOWN!


Game 4: Bruins at Red Wings (TSN)

Tonight at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt

Game 4: Avalanche at Wild (TSN2)

Tonight at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt

Joined in progress on TSN after BOS-DET game


NHL on TSN Broadcast Schedule


Western Conference

(1) COL 2, (WC) MIN 1 (1) ANA 2, (WC) DAL 2
(2) STL 2, (3) CHI 2 (2) SJ 3, (3) LA 0


Eastern Conference

(1) BOS 2, (WC) DET 1 (1) PIT 2, (WC) CLB 2
(2) TAM 0, (3) MON 4 (2) NYR 2, (3) PHI 1


Playoff Schedule/Game-By-Game Breakdown

NHL on TSN Playoff Fantasy Tracker


Thomas Scoffin owns a bronze medal from the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics and at 19 he is right at home when it comes time to make the big shot. More...

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television