As expected, Milan Michalek won’t play tonight against the Boston Bruins.
Michalek suffered a concussion following a freak collision with teammate Erik Karlsson during Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres and he’ll likely miss at least several more games before being cleared to play.
“Right now, we have to follow the concussion protocol,” said coach Paul MacLean. “So, right now, he’s day to day.”
MacLean said Michalek felt better Wednesday morning, but under normal circumstances, a player has to go at least a week with no symptoms before being cleared to return from a concussion.
The Senators coach was originally more concerned for the welfare of Karlsson, considering that the defenceman stumbled for several seconds following the incident. Michalek, however, continued to play without showing ill effects. He also played two more shifts after the hit.
“After that, I thought both were fine, but he left the bench shortly after.”
Michalek leads the NHL with 19 goals and his loss represents a huge blow for the team. Bobby Butler will be inserted into the lineup, but won’t necessarily take Michalek’s spot on a line with Jason Spezza and Colin Greening. Daniel Alfredsson could play on the top line, with Butler lining up alongside Nick Foligno and Peter Regin.
“He leads the league in goals, so obviously he’s an important part of our team,” he said. “Like we always say, it’s an opportunity for someone to step up into that ice time and have an opportunity.”