Expert: KO doesn't mean 'worst' concussion for Pens' Orpik
Brooks Orpik does not remember anything that happened after the national anthem at TD Garden on Saturday night.
Coach Dan Bylsma confirmed that and Orpik's symptoms of headaches and neck soreness on Monday.
Orpik, a defenseman, is on injured reserve with a concussion, though Bylsma and Penguins general manager Ray Shero said the Penguins' longest-tenured player was “quite well” since Boston's Shawn Thornton jumped him during the first period Saturday night.
“He left the game on a stretcher in a pretty scary state,” Bylsma said of Orpik. “ ‘Quite well' means he's up and around.”
Losing consciousness, as Bylsma said Orpik did for at least 30 seconds, is no indication that Orpik has “the worst kind of concussion,” a leading neurosurgeon told the Tribune-Review.
“Here's one thing we've learned in recent years: A lot of times, concussions when you aren't knocked out are worse because they offer problems for a long time,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, co-director of NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Ill.
“Sidney Crosby was a great example.”
Crosby, the Penguins captain, played in only eight games from January 2011 to March 2012 because of lingering concussion symptoms that included light sensitivity, disorientation and also headaches and neck soreness.
Orpik, per club policy on injured players, has not been available for comment.
Bailes, a longtime concussion consultant with the NFL Players Association, said that were he treating Orpik, he would probably “wait a few days” before administering a cognitive baseline test that players must pass to receive return-to-play clearance as part of NHL protocol.
“But other people may vary on that,” Bailes said.
Orpik was one of three Penguins defensemen not to miss a game. That group is now comprised of rookie Olli Maatta and veteran Matt Niskanen, neither of who figured in July they would be playing for the Penguins at this point.
Maatta has played the last month with Kris Letang, the only remaining healthy top-four defenseman because of injuries to Orpik, Paul Martin (foot) and Rob Scuderi (ankle). Prospect Brian Dumoulin was recalled from the AHL on Monday.
Orpik was third among all defensemen with 92 hits — nearly matching the combined total of Niskanen and Deryk Engelland (103). The Penguins defense corps was credited with nine hits in a 2-1 win over Columbus on Monday night.
“He brings that physicality for our whole team, not just on defense,” Letang said.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Steelers notebook: No-huddle gets limited use vs. Texans
- Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control
- Snapshot in time: Comparing Cowher, Tomlin drafts
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Steelers’ defense rebounds after shaky 1st quarter, forces Texans into mistakes
- Texans coach O’Brien still cherishes time at Penn State
- Robinson: Big Ben on pace to break Favre’s record — for sacks