Jay Beagle missed 2 1/2 months with a concussion this season, and with Nicklas Backstrom suffering a head injury of some sort Tuesday night, the Capitals’ 26-year-old forward on Wednesday shared some of his thoughts on the situation.
Here is the full transcript of what Beagle had to say, with the disclaimer that all concussions/head injuries can be different.
“It was uncalled for. Obviously it was an elbow, a cheap shot. I haven’t talked to Backy today. Hopefully he’s feeling good. I know he kept playing. That’s good. It could’ve resulted in a serious injury. It’s uncalled for.”
On your concussion
“I think with a lot of the head injuries that they’re trying to do now, it’s hard to gauge, because you can come in and feel tired or they say that groggy feeling. But how many of us wake up with that groggy feeling? It’s tough to come in and gauge how you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis. For me, if it didn’t last over a couple hours, it was just something that was fine. Obviously if you come in, you have a splitting headache and you get your heart rate up, that’s a different story. But if you’re just kind of sitting around waiting for something to happen, chances are you’re going to find something that’s aggravating your head. You just got to try and go throughout the day normal. It’s a tough thing. It’s something you can’t X-ray it and be like, ‘Yeah, your bone’s broken.’ It goes by how you feel.”
“It’s a tough thing. I’ve heard from some guys; they’ve gotten hit and they see green colors and stuff and it goes away within a half-hour and you feel good within a half-hour.”
Wanted to get back in. Hard to sit out?
“It’s very hard. That’s when we lean on Smitty [trainer Greg Smith] to kind of judge the hit and judge how you’re feeling. I’ve heard from him and Benny [Dr. Benjamin Shaffer] said multiple times, they can kind of tell when you’re not feeling right. When I would come in here after that hit from Asham and I thought I was feeling good, they said that they could tell that I just wasn’t right. My eyes weren’t moving right and they could tell I was slower. Obviously no one’s ever going to leave a game. It’s going to be tough, voluntarily. You’ve got to rely on Smitty to do his job, and he’s been great. He’s been great at doing it with me. And he seems to know the signs and to know what to look for when he’s looking for head injuries.”
Did you know next morning or did symptoms take time to develop?
“I honestly didn’t know. I came in and even for a month I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know why I’m sitting out. I feel fine.’ And Smitty’s like, he kept asking me questions and sensitivity to light and things – noises – that aggravates you. And then I’d get thinking about it. I was like, yeah, you know, when I’m driving to the rink at night to come watch the game and I see the lights on the cops’ cars and I’d look away and it hurts. I never really noticed that until he said sensitivity to light, noise – things like that. And it’s something that I was doing and it didn’t register to me. Until they tell you the symptoms to look for, I’m not looking for symptoms.”
Karl [Alzner] called it the worst kind of injury you can get. Is it?
“It’s by far the worst injury you can have because you basically – there’s so many reasons why it’s the worst. One, you can’t do anything, so you lose being in shape within five days. You’re done. It’s going to be hard coming back within five days of coming back. And then the longer you’re out, obviously the worse it gets. With not being able to get your heart rate up or do anything, it’s an awful feeling. You almost feel worse from doing that – from just sitting on the couch not being able to do anything than the actual injury itself. And also, it’s your head. So it’s by far the worst injury because no one knows anything about it, really. It’s kind of hearsay. It’s by far the worst injury. I wouldn’t wish it upon my enemies.”