As the league tries to take measures to stem the tide of head injuries, the Chicago Blackhawks apparently are dealing with another one.
If you’ve asked, “What’s wrong with Kim Johnsson?” you’re not the only one. After mysteriously leaving a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 13, he hasn’t been seen much around the United Center. He didn’t travel with the team on the West Coast and didn't make the trip to Columbus for Thursday’s game.
In fact, the Hawks defenseman hasn’t been on the ice since leaving that game against the Flyers, according to coach Joel Quenneville. He has missed the past five games. Even some of his teammates were wondering what was up.
Sources indicated Johnsson was suffering from concussion like symptoms. Quenneville had been calling it an “upper body” injury but elaborated after practice.
“Sometimes when you try to pinpoint these type of injuries you don’t have a concrete answer,” Quenneville said. “You have to see how they present and go from there. I recall the hit. It was almost like one of those collision-type hits. That’s when it happened.”
The key word in that statement is “present.” Quenneville uses it when talking about players coming off a head banging. So it’s day to day for Johnsson, and until he does “present” better, he’ll stay off the ice.
The whole world saw Brent Seabrook get slammed into the boards, but he only missed two games. Johnsson’s “collision” was obviously much worse, but has had less publicity.
Dustin Byfgulien will play on defense for the fifth consecutive game.