Miller, Reimer: Concussions Effect Goalies Differently – and Longer
That’s because Miller wasn’t able to hold his focus for an entire 60-minute game until six weeks into his return, a shocking admission that both explains his struggles during that time and provides a scary example of just how hard concussions can be on an NHL goaltender – and how long they can effect their performance, even if they do return to action.
“Part of it is you lose the ability to focus and that’s our whole job,” Miller said. “I felt off for quite a while.”
Toronto’s James Reimer went through a similar experience last season, struggling for months after his return from an apparent head injury that wasn’t properly diagnosed as a neck problem until he was shut down shortly before the season ended. It wasn’t until working with what he called a “Manual Therapist” that he even realized just how off he had been feeling.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but lights turn back on that you didn’t realize were out,” Reimer said.
Miller and Reimer provide an important cautionary tale to other goaltenders trying to come back from a head or neck injury – and perhaps also to an NHL that at times seems so desperate for goals that it’s willing to sacrifice those charged with preventing them by refusing to protect them from hard-charging forwards. Without such protection – and likely even with it – there will be more goalies like Miller, who are affected for large chunks of a season, even if they only miss a month.
Both goaltenders talked about experiences coming back – perhaps too soon as it turned out – from concussions in the cover story of the January edition of InGoal Magazine, which also examines new treatment options for both head and neck injuries and how they can be related, including Cory Schneider’s experiences with a Vancouver chiropractor who has cleared many NHL cobwebs.
Be sure to read the complete article among 120 pages of goaltending in the January edition of InGoal Magazine.