Schenn: 'I feel good, better than I thought'
Brayden Schenn says he has only a stiff neck after the hit that leveled him in Tuesday's game against the Capitals. (AP)
Brayden Schenn says he was lucky.
He's lucky he wasn’t concussed and even luckier he didn’t suffer a spinal injury after he was pasted into the back boards by Tom Wilson’s charge in Monday’s 5-2 win over Washington.
Schenn’s only injury is an apparent stiff neck.
“I feel good, better than I thought. A little bit of a stiff neck, but as far as head-wise, I feel good,” Schenn said after an optional skate in which he did not participate. “Obviously, that’s a good sign. I went hard, head-first into the boards, and luckily walked away with probably the best thing possible.”
Coach Craig Berube said a decision on Schenn’s availability for Thursday against Columbus will be determined after tomorrow’s morning skate while general manager Paul Holmgren said Schenn was “questionable” for the game.
Schenn, who has had a concussion in the past, said he knows what a concussion feels likes and doesn’t have one. He did not receive a baseline test.
Surprisingly, Schenn said he received -- and accepted -- a text message from Wilson today apologizing for the hit that left him dazed and wobbly. Both Schenn and Wilson are represented by agent Don Meehan.
Wilson has a phone hearing Thursday with the Department of Player Safety. The league almost never suspends a player for a hit unless an injury occurred on the play.
Schenn would like to play Thursday against Columbus if he feels better.
“We’ll wait and see, and hopefully, I get better each day,” Schenn said. “We’ll see how tomorrow goes, when I wake up and how I feel.”
Schenn said he can’t recall the entire play. Wilson drew a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. The Flyers scored two power play goals for a 4-2 lead that turned the game decisively in their favor.
“People said I saw him coming,” Schenn said. “He was coming in pretty quick, pretty fast and maybe I did see him for a split second, but I don’t really remember the play very much at all.”
Schenn said that Wilson “reached out” to him via text message.
“He’s a classy guy, and obviously, his intention wasn’t to hurt me or hit me like that,” Schenn said. “Things happen quick out there.”
Replays clearly show Wilson targeted Schenn from the blue line in and was aiming for him like a cruise missile.
“Once I got the puck, he did take a couple hard strides around the dot area and finished his check," Schenn said. "It wasn’t his intention to hit me from behind. It's a fast game and things happen fast out there. He got a little piece of my shoulder-back area. It's fast out there. People don't realize how fast the game happens. And it's a quick play.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube said Wilson’s hit offered his coaching staff another reason to warn his own players about controlled violence on the ice.
“You got to control yourself out there,” Berube said. “That’s just the way it is nowadays. He goes in there recklessly. You got to control your speed the way the game is played today. These guys come in here so fast. A guy turns the wrong way. That is basically what happened.
“It’s up to the individual to control himself. I say the same thing to our players all the time. You’ve got to control your hitting. You can’t run around recklessly because there are plays like that [which] happened.”
Schenn did watch a replay of the hit after the game.
“It was pretty tough to watch last night,” he said. “I feel I got really lucky. I don't think I have ever gone head-first into the boards without even getting my arms up or anything like that. I don't remember much of the play.
“All I remember was how hard the top of my head actually hit the board. And I don't remember trying to get up or anything bad. But the good thing is I don't have a headache or any symptoms today, so that's a positive sign.”