As the Capitals took to the ice at TD Bank Gardens tonight (in their second ugly – emphasis on ugly- loss in a week to the boys from Beantown), the Bs were once again without one of their key offensive players. Marc Savard is still suffering from the lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome, months after being leveled by Pens goon Matt Cooke – who received not as much as a slap on the hand for the dangerous hit. These kinds of hits, along with the brutal head hits seen in several NFL games this past weekend, are once again bringing the issue of damaging concussions and how to prevent them to the forefront of both amateur and professional sports.
The renowned Mayo Clinic conducted a summit this week to further discuss this issue, which is becoming an all too common occurrence at both the youth and professional levels. The New York Times Slap Shot blog had comprehensive coverage of the summit, which brought together hockey officials, physicians and former players who’ve experienced the detrimental effects of concussions. For the pros, the Mayo Clinic wants to see a ban on all head contact in addition to the new league rule outlawing blindside hits. To protect the vulnerable heads of youth players, several new measures were recommended, including re-training coaches and adding education on head injuries to the USA Hockey curriculum. HM has seen several young players sidelined by concussions, a very scary injury. The Capital’s Karl Alzner recently spoke to Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog about his own experiences with concussions – some very serious stuff.
And now on to hockey parent meltdowns (Editor’s note: HM just suffered a hockey parent meltdown of her own after watching the Caps drop another game to a hot Tim Thomas and the Bruins – sloppy work boys). Hockey Calgary wants to keep hockey moms and dads from behaving badly at the rink by implementing mandatory anger management courses. From my own personal experience, if a kid on the ice is acting like a goon or mouthing off to officials, chances are the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Judging by some of the heated exchanges I've witnessed between parents during games (cough cough, especially some of those from the city of Brotherly Love), this program should be made mandatory for hockey parents in the States as well. Speaking of anger management, HM is off to get her blood pressure back in check after the 4-1 loss in which the Caps' power play continued to be a non-factor. Up next: The Atlanta Thrashers come to town Saturday.