After Philadelphia forward Scott Hartnell stapled Andrew Alberts into the boards at the
One explanation for the headaches the Bruins defenseman has been experiencing for the past week - which knocked him out of last night's 3-2 loss to Ottawa - is that he might have suffered a more serious head injury than originally believed.
"The only thing the doctors can think of is that it could be post-concussion syndrome," said coach Claude Julien.
One Massachusetts doctor familiar with head injuries, when told of Alberts's symptoms, said it was likely the defenseman had suffered a concussion. However, Alberts had been symptom-free in the games immediately following the hit. He did not miss a game after the incident, and before last night was one of nine Bruins to have appeared in every game this season.
According to Julien, Alberts has been experiencing minor headaches for the past week. In Saturday night's 2-0 victory over Columbus, Alberts took a heavy hit from forward Jody Shelley. Julien gave the team Sunday off and Alberts did not practice Monday. Alberts, who wears a mouthpiece, had not missed any games because of a concussion as a pro or at Boston College.
"We're treating it carefully," said Julien. "With all the tests, nobody seems to know the exact reason for it. It started happening in the last week. As I mentioned, they're just minor headaches. But they're there."
Three Bruins besides Alberts have been diagnosed with concussions this season: Patrice Bergeron, Aaron Ward, and Milan Lucic.
"I haven't had any problems since I started skating," Allen said before the game. "The training staff did a good job helping me out. I feel good. I'm not worried about it at all."
Allen has had two flareups this season. The first took place during the club's season-opening five-game road trip. The second occurred before Boston's 2-1 win over Toronto Dec. 8. Allen has not had back problems before this season.
"I think it's probably going to be for the rest of my career," Allen said of the care he must take to keep the spasms under control. "Probably just keep everything strong in my core.
"The biggest thing is that I just don't want it to happen again. It's more than an annoyance. It sets you back conditioning-wise, timing, everything. I'm sick of having it happen. Hopefully with the strengthening program I'm doing, this will be the end of it."
General manager Peter Chiarelli said he didn't anticipate making any deals before the deadline.