Stars’ Joe Pavelski in concussion protocol, return unclear
DALLAS — Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski returned to the team but didn’t take part in the morning skate before Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against Minnesota. It remained unclear when he might be able to get back on the ice.
Stars coach Pete DeBoer acknowledged that Pavelski was in concussion protocol, adding “I don’t think that’s a secret.” Pavelski was excused from a team meeting.
“Just getting better every day. … He looked better today,” DeBoer said.
The 38-year-old Pavelski hit his head on the ice after a crushing hit from Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba midway through the second period of Game 1, a game the Wild won 3-2 in double overtime.
Pavelski missed the first six games of the Western Conference semifinals for San Jose against Colorado in 2019 after a hit he took in Game 7 of the first-round series against Vegas. Pavelski was the Sharks captain at the time, and DeBoer was their coach.
The Golden Knights were leading 3-0 when Cody Eakin was assessed a major penalty for a hit on Pavelski, which the league allegedly later told Vegas was not the right call. The Sharks scored four times on the ensuing major penalty and won 5-4 in overtime
“From my perspective in talking to him, I remember the last time he went through that,” DeBoer said. “Obviously, I was front and center for that in San Jose. And I think he was in a much worse place at that time than he was this time, although it was still obviously pretty, pretty bad.”
When he returned for Game 7 against Colorado four years ago, Pavelski scored the opening goal and had an assist in San Jose’s 3-2 series-clinching victory.
Eakin’s hit on Pavelski helped prompt the NHL to expand its video review process, allowing officials to review major penalties to determine whether the call was accurate. That change gave referees the option to reduce a major penalty to a minor, as happened Monday night when they initially announced a five-minute major against Dumba before changing it to a two-minute roughing penalty after a review.
Pavelski is in his fourth season with the Stars, and 17th overall. He got his 1,000th career point in the regular season earlier this month, and his 64 career playoff goals are the most among U.S.-born players. He has played 1,250 regular-season games and 169 playoff games, and is still in search of his first Stanley Cup title.
“A great player, a great leader. He’s a huge part of our team,” Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen said. “Every guy has to step up a little more … and try to get the wins without Joe right now. ”
Stars’ Joe Pavelski in concussion protocol, return unclear originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source: Yahoo Sports