A slew of injuries has hit the Dallas Stars in the early days of the 2018-2019 season. A key player is out for a ranging amount of time and one in particular has worrying symptoms especially in a time where head injuries are a big topic in the hockey community.
Alexander Radulov is out with a lower body injuries at the moment, the timeline being day-to-day. Stephen Johns on the other hand has been fighting a head injury and has missed the first 8 games of the season. Let’s get into more detail about each injury.
Alexander Radulov has been a stud ever since he came up in the league. He’s always been an aggressive play maker and last year he found a new home in Dallas, moving quickly to the first line with Captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Radulov played all 82 games last season and pulled in 14 goals, giving 13 assists. Radulov’s season continued as normal into the 2018-2019 season until October 19th when it was announced that he was dealing with a lower body injury, and as a result he missed practice and the game against the Minnesota Wild. Radulov continued to miss the next two games as well, but no specific injury was confirmed and it is unclear when Radulov is likely to return.
Stephen Johns has always been an aggressive player. Johns played in 75 games last season, coming out with a +10 and 8 goals for himself. Johns is known for his fights and sticking up for not only himself and his teammates. Johns just signed a 3 year extension deal worth $7.05 million, a major upgrade from his last contract that was worth $1.45 million dollars. With this new contract, Johns seemed eager to start a new season but early into the preseason, he was benched when he was feeling “a little banged up” according to Jim Montgomery. Johns’ injury remained undisclosed for awhile as he continued to miss preseason games and practices.
Finally on October 2nd, just two games before the season opener, it was announced that Johns’ injury was post traumatic headaches. Post traumatic headaches, according to the International Headache Society, as “a headache occurring withing 7 days of the injury”. The symptoms are described as migraine like sensitivity to light and noise i.e. playing in a high paced game of pro hockey. There is new information coming forward regarding head injuries and the damage they can cause to the brain, this is a scary situation. Brain injuries are difficult because you can’t physically see them, symptoms can be detected but other times it can fly under the radar. Stephens was able to practice today (October 25th) for the second time this season.
Although following practice, Jim Montgomery said “Today, he said there was a shot off the crossbar, he was standing at the red line, and the ping of the crossbar hurt his ears. He is going through things that are hard for me to understand because I’ve never experienced it. You could see the wincing and the grimace on his face when it happened.”
Johns is still on a day-to-day injury report, same as Alexander Radulov, but it seems like Johns won’t be returning for a while. It will be better for Stephen Johns to take his time and recover rather than rush and get hurt again, maybe even worse.
For now, the Stars still have some back up in their arsenal, such as Tyler Pitlick, whom did amazing the other night when he played on the top line versus the Kings. Tonight the Stars will play Justin Dowling on the top line. Dowling was called up 3 days ago from the AHL and played in the game versus the Kings, snagging an assist for the night.
Val Nichushkin is returning to the line up tonight after missing the last 3 games with a lower body injury like his buddy Alexander Radulov, but Val will be returning to the line up tonight in place of Marc Methot. Jim Montgomery said that Val will start on the 4th line and if he’s able to keep up and play well, then he will be moved up.
Tonight, the Dallas Stars will take on the Anaheim Ducks for a second time this season. Go Stars!