Brandon Carlo missed all six playoff games this season because of a concussion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)
Both the Bruins and first-year pro Brandon Carlo knew that they were better safe than sorry with the health of the 20-year-old defenseman.
Knocked out of action on the final day of the regular season on a hit from Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin, Carlo confirmed what it was that ailed him and ultimately kept him out of all six of the B’s first-round playoff tilts against the Senators this month.
“I was diagnosed with a concussion and just going through the protocol with that I was trying to be safe with it,” Carlo, who skated in all 82 regular season games this year, admitted. “There’s a point where you kinda have to worry about the next 20 years rather than this year.”
Carlo did, however, give it a go at various times during the series, as he skated on his own during many of the club’s optional days or early practices, but confirmed that he was never quite symptom free.
“It was really disappointing. I really wanted to be out there, and it was hard to watch,” Carlo said of his recovery attempts. “But at the same time, I feel like the guys handled it very well and the guys who came up and filled those positions played very well.”
Although he was not well enough to play before the season’s end on Sunday, Carlo did feel part of this playoff run even from just being with the team on a daily basis, and noted that he has continued to improve in the last few days, mentioning that he was feeling pretty good though he was still getting past ‘a couple of little things’ along the way.
The Colorado Springs, Colo. native also said that this is not the first concussion of his career.
“One little one [before], this one was a little bit different,” Carlo said of his concussion history.
“I’m just trying to make sure I’m being smart with it.”
The 6-foot-5 finished his first season with six goals, 16 points, 88 shots on goal, and a plus-9 rating. His 20:48 of time on ice per game also ranked third among Bruins skaters and was the sixth-highest among NHL rookie defensemen.