Leafs Nation agonizes over Andersen’s suspected head injury

The Hockey Night In Canada television cameras picked up a couple of hits that may have done the damage.On the minus side, if the injury is indeed a concussion, it means Andersen, 27, could not pass the NHL’s concussion protocol after the first period. If so, this is not Andersen’s first one. Don’t read into anything,” he said.The problem for the Leafs is there is no replacement equal to Andersen. They watch games from the league’s Player Safety Room at the head office in New York. If the player “clutches his head” and/or is “slow to get up” after a collision, or has co-ordination or balance problems, or has a blank look, are three of the signs.The other is “lying motionless on the ice.”Andersen was involved in two collisions with two Sabres forwards during the first period of Saturday’s game. Even worse, the Leafs took Sunday off, leaving Leafs Nation an extra day to twist itself into agony over the state of goaltender Frederik Andersen’s health.After Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, during which Andersen left the game after the first period with a suspected head injury, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock refused to say anything about Andersen. This is not unusual for NHL teams during the regular season. There are also spotters at each arena, who are in communication with their counterparts in New York, although the call to medical staff at the game to remove a player has to come from the New York office.All of the spotters have received training in identifying concussion symptoms.The spotters are on the lookout for four signs after a player takes a direct or indirect blow to the head. There was no obvious big collision in the 20 minutes of hockey he did play but experience has shown this does not mean a concussion could not have occurred. While McElhinney has had his moments as the backup – the three goals he allowed on Saturday not being any of them – his résumé as a No. “We’ll deal with what I know and you guys can get paid to speculate. The only prevention is enough depth on the roster to replace the injured party and proceed as best you can.So naturally, when it looks as though the Toronto Maple Leafs may finally have to deal with a significant injury, it is at the position they can stand it the least – goaltender. There really is no such thing as a charmed life in the NHL.Sooner or later, in a violent game played at speed, the injury bug will get you. Many only have a doctor with the team full-time on the road during the playoffs.While Babcock admitted he was as surprised as everyone else when Andersen was pulled from the game, he did not second-guess a decision made by the opposing team’s doctor. But his .893 save percentage in 17 games last season with the Leafs hardly inspires confidence. Garret Sparks, 23, is playing well for the Leafs’ Toronto Marlies farm team and is expected to get the call if Andersen can’t play. He said no further information on Andersen would come until after the Leafs’ practice on Monday, following an expected examination of the goaltender on Sunday by the Leafs’ medical team.“Well, I’m not doing that because I don’t speculate about stuff,” Babcock said. He banged heads with William Carrier and in the other one, Evander Kane fell on him, although most of the impact appeared to be with Andersen’s shoulder. You guys do that.”“You guys,” of course, are the media.On the plus side of Andersen’s chances of playing in Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers, or at the very least missing a minimal number of games, was the fact he was seen leaving the arena in Buffalo on Saturday night under his own steam. Leafs doctor Noah Forman was not at the game, which means the major medical decisions are made by the host team’s doctor. “No. 1 is thin. The Hockey Night cameras showed Andersen shaking his head after the Kane hit.The Sabres doctor Babcock referred to could have been a spotter at the game and could have made the call to remove Andersen after communications with the spotters in New York. “So once our doctor has seen him [Sunday] then I’ll have a better handle on what’s going on and I’ll be able to tell you.”Under the NHL’s concussion protocol for the 2016-17 season, there are certified athletic trainers serving as spotters for every game. He sustained a concussion on April 1, 2016, while playing for the Anaheim Ducks but he was only out of the lineup for nine days.The suspicion the injury is concussion-related is based on Babcock’s remarks after the game about how Andersen came to be replaced by backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney. “Obviously the other team’s doctor thought he should come out of the game, so he came out of the game,” Babcock said.

Rebuilding the Vancouver Canucks is a long-term job

The perennial first-liners are becoming the team’s second line. The Toronto Maple Leafs missed the playoffs 10 of 11 seasons and are now in position for the postseason. 9 in 2013, has delivered more than expected. The Canucks of 2010-11, when they almost won the Stanley Cup, fit this bill, with the Sedins, and Roberto Luongo and Ryan Kesler.Of the rising teams in the Pacific Division, Edmonton has five players 24 or under who were top-10 picks. “But having said that, what some fans want comes with a price. Calgary has four. As this season worsened – the team dealt with injuries, and maladies such as the mumps – Canucks general manager Jim Benning was roundly cheered locally at the trade deadline when he scored several prospects in deals that moved out long-time stalwarts Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen.“I do believe our fans want to see a young team that they are able to grow with,” Linden said. But Jake Virtanen, 2014’s No. Further, the Sedin twins are near the end of their careers, supplanted as Vancouver’s top scorers for the first time in more than a decade. Several times, he invoked the word “patience.”Fans appear ready. The time it takes to rebuild a hockey team is often measured in the span of a decade. The future, however, hasn’t emerged.It will still likely be several years before the team’s young players and prospects are good enough to vault Vancouver back into the postseason.“It’s going to take a lot of things going our way for us to find ourselves in the top eight,” Linden, the team’s president, said in a recent interview. The Chicago Blackhawks, before they won three Stanley Cups in six years, missed the playoffs in nine of 10 seasons. They’ve struggled since, even though management felt Vancouver could vie for the postseason. This list of names is lengthy, from Brandon Sutter to Loui Eriksson.Linden said veterans are a key part of developing Vancouver’s young players.“We need to maintain that strong veteran presence,” Linden said.Amid the challenges, one issue that has quieted is ownership’s hands-on approach. Top teams have several elite players and then several more very good ones. Last year’s No. 6 pick, has had a poor second professional season, mired in the AHL and not scoring. I like the direction we’re headed.” It could cost coach Willie Desjardins his job. I’m really encouraged. In the year before Linden was hired, the Aquilini family was deeply involved in the hiring of coach John Tortorella. It is almost three years into Trevor Linden’s tenure in charge of the Vancouver Canucks and the work to rebuild the team is unfinished.The Canucks are mired near the bottom of the NHL for a second consecutive season – officially eliminated last Thursday night, more than two weeks before the regular season ends. In Linden’s first season, 2014-15, the Canucks made the playoffs with an aging roster. Linden said the working relationship, and his freedom to lead the Canucks, is better than ever.“Our alignment on where we are as an organization and where we need to get to is as strong as it’s ever been,” Linden said. Vancouver has three – and will add a fourth player this June, at the draft, probably a top-five pick.Among Vancouver’s potential young stars, Bo Horvat, chosen No. The 20-year-old right winger scored a goal in his NHL debut on Saturday in a 4-2 win against Minnesota in St. “We’ve all worked hard on that. The Edmonton Oilers, meanwhile, are set to break the longest playoff drought in hockey, 10 successive seasons.Vancouver’s main problem is its lack of young high-end talent ready to compete against the best. There’s going to be some challenging times. Young teams on the rise have a similar story. There’s going to be some frustration.”How much frustration is hard to predict. 5 pick, defenceman Olli Juolevi, hasn’t improved his point production this season in the major-junior OHL.A lot of hope has also been pinned on Brock Boeser, whom the Canucks chose 23rd over all in 2015. Paul, Minn., not far from where from where Boeser grew up.As the Canucks rebuild, they continue to invest in veteran talent, from free-agent signings to awarding playing time on the ice. At the 2014 trade deadline, Francesco Aquilini was in the room with his hockey-management team when the Canucks looked at moving Luongo and Kesler.The Aquilinis recently relocated their corporate office to Rogers Arena.

Jets cling to faint playoff hopes with 2-1 win over Canucks

Michael Hutchinson made 28 saves and Adam Lowry scored a third-period power-play goal to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night.Lowry scored the eventual winner with 8:13 to go in the third period to keep the Jets still mathematically in playoff contention, albeit hanging by a string. Louis win the rest of the way closing the door on the post-season.Mathieu Perreault also scored for Winnipeg (34-35-7).Alexander Edler had the only goal for Vancouver (30-36-9), while Ryan Miller made 30 saves.Lowry’s goal came moments after Hutchinson stopped the Canucks on a shorthanded 2-on-1 breakaway and Blake Wheeler led the offensive transition the other way. Winnipeg capitalized on the game’s first power play, 13:51 into the second, when Perreault, Wheeler and Mark Scheifele worked the puck back and forth between each other before Perreault stepped in to Miller’s right and fired a shot over his glove hand to tie it 1-1.The Canucks were unable to win for the third time in four games and moved to 13-16-1 in back-to-backs this season after winning 4-2 Saturday night in Minnesota.Winnipeg, with its third straight victory at home, improved to 19-18-1 at MTS Centre this season. The Jets’ tragic number stands at one – with a loss or a St. Perreault wound up with the puck, made a nifty move down low and fed Lowry in the left face-off circle where he fired a wrist shot over Miller.The Canucks got on the board first as the first period was winding down. Edler’s wrist shot from the point weaved its way through traffic and beat a handcuffed Hutchinson with 21 seconds left in the frame.The Jets would find their answer in the second.

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris in hospital after backcountry accident

“(McMorris) just happened to be in some flat light, misjudged his approach, and that’s resulted in the accident.”Jarvis, who hasn’t spoken to McMorris directly, said he doesn’t know how long it took to get the 23-year-old Regina native off the mountain.McMorris was airlifted from Whistler to Vancouver General Hospital.Fans of backcountry skiing and snowboarding seek out fresh fallen snow on unmarked and ungroomed slopes in remote areas that usually aren’t maintained and patrolled by the personnel seen at traditional resorts.“When I was contacted, first thought was of course his personal well-being,” said Jarvis. Bad luck, good luck, no one really knows.”McMorris, who won Olympic slopestyle bronze in 2014 while competing with a broken rib, underwent two surgeries over the weekend to control bleeding and to repair the jaw and arm fractures.Canadian team doctor Rodney French said both operations were successful, but couldn’t predict how long McMorris will be sidelined.“While both the (jaw and arm) fractures were complicated injuries, the surgeries went very well and both fractures are now stabilized to heal in excellent position,” French said in a statement release by Snowboard Canada. “All fingers crossed and we would certainly hope that Mark is able to do that.“Certainly a little too early to speculate whether that will be probable or whether it’s still just in the realm of possible.”His competitive season over, McMorris tweeted from Whistler on Friday: “So nice to be ripping around with Craig—McMorris again! I was obviously very concerned about him and his family.“We’re certainly in a good place right now that it’s not life threatening. “It is too early to speculate on a timeline for Mark’s recovery.”With the Olympics less than a year away, Jarvis said McMorris will have to show he’s physically able to compete in the lead up to the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.“He would have to prove a return-to-competition readiness to ensure that he’s comfortable riding again, that he’s back to the level of prowess that he’s used to,” said Jarvis. An accident on a jump “well within his skill level” in British Columbia’s backcountry has left Canadian snowboarding star Mark McMorris with serious injuries.A medal favourite at next year’s Winter Olympics, McMorris is recovering in a Vancouver hospital from a broken jaw, broken left arm, ruptured spleen, stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung. McMorris, his brother Craig and a few friends travelled into the backcountry by snowmobile near Whistler, B.C., to build the jump on Saturday, Canada Snowboard executive director Patrick Jarvis told The Canadian Press in a phone interview Monday.“From what we’re told it was a jump that was well within his skill level, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the world,” said Jarvis. McMorris fractured his right femur and had a metal rod surgically implanted in his thigh the day after the crash.He made a relatively speedy recovery from that injury, telling The Canadian Press in July 2016 that he was “85 to 90 per cent.”“I was probably as amazed as anyone with his recovery,” Jarvis said Monday. “We’ll see what transpires here in terms of where he’s at mentally, physically.“We’ll be there to support him in whatever way we can, but you certainly feel bad about one of the best in his chosen sport and profession in the world.” “What they live for is to do this.“It’s natural for them to go out in the backcountry, seek out good snow, build jumps.”Mark and Craig, who is also an accomplished snowboarder, became reality TV stars a few years ago with their MTV docu-series “McMorris and McMorris,” which featured the adventures and misadventures of the siblings.Mark McMorris won three X Games medals this season along with two World Cup Crystal Globes — one for the new Olympic discipline of Big Air and another as the overall World Cup champion.His dominant season came on the heels of another serious injury suffered in February 2016 when he caught an edge on a landing at an Air + Style event in Los Angeles. “It’s the nature of the sport. So so FUN.” The tweet included a video of him and his brother performing a series of tricks on what appears to be a groomed course.Jarvis said Canada Snowboard’s formal agreements with athletes don’t include restrictions of activities.“This is in their DNA,” he said. It is action sport with inherent risk.

Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen will miss at least one game with injury

That’s all we need.”The Leafs will get a boost to their forward depth at the very least, with promising Finnish rookie Kasperi Kapanen due to join an increasingly injured fourth line. 1 Frederik Andersen is sidelined at least one game — and perhaps more — with a mysterious upper body injury. They told me he wasn’t available today, but things are real good.”Andersen’s absence, even for a game, hurts the Leafs as the tenuously hold on to the third playoff spot in the Atlantic division.Not only has Andersen been among the NHL’s top-15 goaltenders this season (.918 save percentage in a career-high 61 games), but he’s been especially hot of late, posting a .936 save percentage in March. Felt pretty good today, but I’m taking it one day at a time.”With eight games left over the final 13 days of the regular season, beginning against the Panthers, the Leafs don’t have much time to delay with the cloudy injury.Neither the team nor Andersen would pinpoint exactly what the ailment was, only that he was “bumped” early in the 5-2 loss to the Sabres and felt “a little bit off” afterward. They tell me when the guy’s back. Curtis McElhinney has been around the NHL for almost a decade, but he couldn’t recall a single start that carried the implications of the one which lays ahead of him and the Toronto Maple Leafs.The 33-year-old will start Tuesday night when the Leafs host the Florida Panthers as No. McElhinney has been fine in limited duty with the club (.919 save percentage), but has made his career in the league strictly as a backup.His .906 save percentage since 2007 ranks 54th of the 62 goaltenders to play in at least 150 games (Andersen is tied for 13th). No, I don’t want to get too much into that stuff. We just want to make sure I get back in the net as quick as possible.”Andersen missed four games with a concussion late last season while still with the Anaheim Ducks and another one in Feb. The offending incident appeared to come two minutes and 30 seconds into the opening frame as Sabres forward William Carrier bumped heads with Andersen after being shoved by Leafs centre Brian Boyle.Andersen fell awkwardly to the ice, but remained in the game for the ensuing 17-plus minutes.The Dane discussed his uncomfortable status with the team’s medical staff as well as the Sabres doctor in the intermission and “just decided to play it safe” by coming out. Leafs coach Mike Babcock said it was “doctor’s protocol” that had Andersen removed.“The beauty about the injury department around here (is) I’m not in charge,” Babcock said. “We need him to find a way to play like he’s capable of. 2015.The NHL instituted new protocol this season which allows for players to be removed from game action if they exhibit symptoms associated with a concussion. Columbus placed him on waivers, tellingly, in early January.The London, Ont., native didn’t sound too overwhelmed by the ensuing moment though, describing his upcoming start as just like any other. The team listed him as day-to-day with further evaluation ahead of Tuesday.“We don’t know,” Andersen said of a timeline. Andersen had to exit a Saturday loss in Buffalo after just a period, returning to take part briefly in practice on Monday morning.When he returns is uncertain. “It’s tough to predict, but we’re taking it slow. He offered a murky response on whether he was suffering from concussion-like symptoms: “No. “It’ll be a good experience.”“He’s done a good job for us and we like him,” Babcock added. He was even hoping to find redemption against the Panthers, who pegged him for four goals in relief earlier this month.“It’s no different than any of my other starts outside of it’s not a back-to-back,” said McElhinney, whose sole duty with the Leafs previously came on the second night of back-to-back sets. “It makes it easy for me.

NFL owners approve Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas

NFL owners approved the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas at the league meetings Monday.The vote was a foregone conclusion after the league and Raiders were not satisfied with Oakland’s proposals for a new stadium, and Las Vegas stepped up with $750 million in public money. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t do everything in my power to make the case for Oakland up until the very end.”Schaaf said the city has presented a $1.3 billion plan for a stadium at the Coliseum site that would be ready by 2021. She says the existing Coliseum would be demolished by 2024, with the Oakland Athletics baseball team either moving to a new stadium at the Coliseum site or somewhere else in the city.The Raiders’ move became more certain this month when Bank of America offered the loan. Davis was passed over last year in an attempt to move to a stadium in the LA area that would have been jointly financed with the Chargers. Owners voted 31-1 to approve the move, with the Miami Dolphins opposed.The Rams moved from St. Instead, the owners approved the Rams’ relocation and gave the Chargers an option to join them, which they exercised this winter. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, and in January the Chargers relocated from San Diego to LA. Brian Sandoval to study the stadium tax funding plan.“I couldn’t be more excited for the fans and residents of Clark County as we move forward with the Raiders and the Rebels,” Sisolak said.Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and a group trying to keep the team in Oakland, made a last-ditch presentation to the NFL last week. Bank of America also is giving Raiders owner Mark Davis a $650 million loan, further helping to persuade owners to allow the third team relocation in just over a year. But that letter was “filled with uncertainty,” according to Commissioner Roger Goodell.Monday, she asked the owners to delay the vote, wanting to give her city a chance to negotiate with a small group of owners to complete a stadium deal at the Coliseum site.“Never that we know of has the NFL voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully financed option before them with all the issues addressed,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. The Raiders likely will play two or three more years in the Bay Area before their $1.7 billion stadium near the Las Vegas strip is ready.Las Vegas, long taboo to the NFL because of its legalized gambling, also is getting an NHL team this fall, the Golden Knights.“Today will forever change the landscape of Las Vegas and UNLV football,” said Steve Sisolak, chairman of the Clark County Commission and a former member of a panel appointed by the Nevada Gov. That replaced the same amount the Raiders lost when the league balked at having casino owner Sheldon Adelson involved and he was dropped from the team’s plans.Leaving the Bay Area is not something new with the Raiders, who played in Los Angeles from 1982-94 before heading back to Oakland.