Mike Smith doesn't have a concussion, Tampa Bay Lightning says, but Matt Smaby does
Tampa Bay Lightning trainer Tommy Mulligan said goaltender Mike Smith does not "right now" have any symptoms of a concussion."No headaches, no memory loss, no fatigue, none of the classic symptoms someone would have, he doesn't have them," Mulligan said.
And while symptoms can crop up any time, Mulligan said, there is no reason to believe Smith sustained a concussion during Tuesday's game with the Capitals when he was run over by Brooks Laich.
Mulligan admitted there were questions considering Smith was off skates eight months last season recovering from post-concussion syndrome, and Smith stumbled several times on the ice Tuesday before taking himself out of the game in the second period. But as Mulligan said, "I know there is questions about his skating and falling down, but he had an issue with his skate. That could explain it as opposed to him being loopy or anything."
Neither Mulligan nor coach Rick Tocchet could put a timetable on Smith's return. Mulligan says the best way to describe it is day-to-day as Smith undergoes stretching, chiropractic and massage therapy.
"When he's comfortable and has full motion and can tolerate if there is any pain, he can get back out there," Mulligan said.
Coach Rick Tocchet said he spoke to Smith today, "And I wasn't too worried. It wasn't a concussion and I think he'll be fine. ... Too bad. He was playing some good hockey for us. He needs a little rest here to get himself back. He's going to be fine. I just don't want to rush him."
Tocchet also confirmed defenseman Matt Smaby did sustain a concussion Saturday when he fell after being tangled up with Philadelphia's Danny Briere and slid into the side boards.
"I stopped myself with my head," Smaby joked, and added, "I don't feel too bad as far as concussions go."
Smaby, who said he also had a concussion on one of his conditioning assignments at AHL Norfolk, said he passed his baseline neurological test and will see how he reacts after a workout this evening. Tocchet said he expects Smaby to be ready some time next week after some "hard skates."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Tocchet said he is sticking with is revamped lines that includes left wing Ryan Malone playing with Steve Downie and center Paul Szczechura. Tocchet said he is trying to spread his best players throughout the lineup, and not just load up the top two lines. That line got credit for keeping Washington's Alex Ovechkin in check. But Malone admitted it might limit his offensive chances. "But it doesn't matter," he said. "The main thing is we won the game, and we'll keep going until adjustments have to be made, I'm sure." ... As for left wing Alex Tanguay's limited power play time, that is more a matter of production. Tanguay, with zero goals and two assists in his past six games after getting two goals and three assists in the prior five games, admitted he is a bit frustrated. "It hasn't been easy," he said. "I certainly think I'm playing better than my stats have shown. But this is a team game, and the team is kind of like me. We go hot, we go cold; one period good, one period bad. Consistency is something we have to find, and that's what my focus is right now." ... The home-and-away games with the Panthers today and Saturday are a big deal, Tocchet said because of thet teams' proximity in the standings and Florida's disappointing loss to the Capitals on Wednesday. He called the Panthers "an angry hockey club. We have to be focused tonight. This is a big weekend for both hockey clubs. It's almost a playoff style game." ... Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, back in the lineup after being scratched for Saturday's game with the Flyers and half the game with the Devils (he played Sunday because of Mattias Ohlund's illness), said he has to look at tonight's game as the start of a new season. "That's what I have to think. I have to think it's not a half season, but the beginning. Forget how you played and start again. Just play hard. That's all that matters." Meszaros has three goals, eight points, is minus-13 and hasn't had a point in 11 games. "I thought this was going to be the year I was going to get started again," he said. "But I guess not."