New York Rangers: Mika Zibanejad says playing after hit was a mistake
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers celebrates his insurance goal at 9:13 of the third period against Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on October 8, 2017 in New York City. The Rangers shutout the Canadiens 2-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad thinks he might have missed some signs indicating that he had a concussion.

Concussions have become a mainstream topic in all sports, not just hockey. Just ask Mika Zibanejad, who missed his sixth game last night as he remains in the NHL’s concussion protocol.

Initially injured by a late hit from Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm, Zibanejad was tested after the game and cleared of any medical issues. The next day, while doing some off-ice workouts, is when Zibanejad has some reservations about that hit and playing in the following game.

”Maybe I told myself I was feeling a little bit better than I was,” he told Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post as he spoke with the media Monday morning. The big concern was that he played in the next game on Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks. This is the game where taking another big hit could have caused significant issues for Mika.

“Maybe [I] shouldn’t have played Sunday,” Zibanejad said, “but it’s easy to be wise afterward.”

Zibanejad went through what is called a delayed onset of concussion syndrome. The Monday after the Canucks game was another off- ice workout day where Mika felt alright, but the next day, a game day against the Panthers, he didn’t feel well after the morning skate. He then knew it was time to say something. Zibanejad was scratched that night and hasn’t played a game since.

”It was a decision made by all of us to kind of pull aside and see what’s going on,” Zibanejad said.

Zibanejad skated with his teammates on Monday morning prior to the team’s game against the Dallas Stars, a 2-1 shootout loss. He will see how he feels before any other decisions are made about his return.

The Rangers certainly need him to return to help with their declining power play and hopefully he finds his scoring touch once again. At the time of his concussion, Zibanejad was the team’s leading goal scorer.

A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at