Two Boston Bruins who missed time this past season with concussions, Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid, have crossed the last threshold in recovery: they are cleared for contact. As a Bruins fan, I am happy to hear this good news.
Horton's concussion problems began in late January of this year following a hit from Tom Sestito during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. February saw him suffer a setback in his recovery process, he was shut down for the 2012 playoffs and he played a career-low 46 games this season. Of course, the fact that this was his second concussion didn't help things in terms of a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, his teammates sometimes seemed lost without his presence and talents. February, the first full month without him, was just not a good month for the Bruins by any stretch of the word. Not only were they shut out five different times, but out of 13 games in that short month, the team won just five. Horton's linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic saw their production drop as one-third of their line disappeared and they struggled to regain their form. March was a month mostly of wins and losses back to back, though there were some great games here and there, like an 8-0 effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs and a three-game winning streak near the end of the month.
At the end of March, though, McQuaid's concussion problems began. His was an unusual situation that started after the March 29 loss to the Washington Capitals. In that game, he'd been charged into the boards by Jason Chimera and originally thought he'd cut his eye. When he tried to come back, though, he did not feel well and knew right away that something else was wrong. So, while he missed all of the playoffs, only after the postseason was over did he reveal that he'd had a concussion. This was his second concussion as well.
Hearing that these two players will be back in time for September's training camp is great news because they are both important parts of the team's identity and attitude in many ways. As a fan, it will be very good to see Horton and McQuaid, both healthy, take to the ice again this coming season.
Emma Harger is a Bruins fan who has missed many things about Horton and McQuaid, including but certainly not limited to Horton's penchant for sometimes making funny faces in in-game photos.