Eriksson shakes off big hit in Dallas homecoming win

Eriksson shakes off big hit in Dallas homecoming win
January 17, 2014, 9:45 am
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DALLAS – Loui Eriksson didn’t end up scoring the two goals he joked about getting in his return to his former Dallas home, but his team ended up leaving the American Airlines Center victorious by a 4-2 score.

That was the good part.

Unfortunately Eriksson also spent the majority of his Thursday night postgame answering questions about another hellacious hit absorbed in the neutral zone with the Bruins winger’s head down. It was the middle of the second period when Eriksson zoomed out of the defensive zone with the puck, and slid a pass over to Ryan Spooner rushing up the left side of the ice.

Brenden Dillon stepped up and blasted Eriksson with a clean hit as the B’s right winger kept watching the pass get to Spooner. Eriksson went down and popped right back up while finishing his shift in a very encouraging sign for the player coming off a pair of concussions.

But it was still scary for a player that's missed a combined 21 games for the B's this year with two separate concussions caused by hits from John Scott and Brooks Orpik.

“It was a good test,” said Eriksson, with a laugh. “I felt all right after that one. I didn’t have any [concussion] feelings afterward, so it was a good test. That one I don’t know what happened . . . I kind of got caught again. It was the same kind of situation. Hits happen in the game, and you have to be aware. That was a good hit.”

It’s understandable at this point if Eriksson absorbs a hit or two like Dillon’s while playing a little more slowly, carefully and tentatively than he normally might just three games back from a concussion recovery.

He did stay on the bench for more than six minutes after the Dillon hit before returning to action, and finished with a single shot on net in his 15:16 of ice time for the Black and Gold.  

One other thing Eriksson missed when he wasn’t looking: a thank you message from the Dallas Stars organization on the jumbotron during the second period that preceded “Loooouuuiii!” chants from the Stars fans.

He was too focused on the discussion transpiring on the Boston bench in the middle of a tight game where the B’s were desperate for the two points.

“I missed it because we had to talk to the coaches during the [TV timeout], so I didn’t see it,” said Eriksson. “But it was nice. I heard the cheers and everything, so it was really nice to hear.”

The Swedish right wing consistently said it was a “weird” experience coming back to Dallas for the first time, but it had very clearly been upgraded from “weird” to “good” given the results on the ice for player and team.