|Forward Cory Stillman, who suffered a concussion against the Atlanta Thrashers, will miss at least three games. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jimmy Jeong) |
Cory Stillman walked out of the Panthers’ locker room, his bottom lip mapped by stitches, his nose broken, and his mouth missing a tooth.
“For not looking like much at first…” Stillman said.
His fall to the ice Sunday in Atlanta was much worse than it appeared.
Not only did the Panthers’ leading goal scorer suffer a broken nose and multiple cuts when he was knocked to the ice in the first period of Sunday’s game against the Thrashers, but Stillman also suffered a concussion that has kept him from accompanying his teammates on a three-game road trip to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Anaheim.
“It’s unfortunate to miss games and miss the road trip,” Stillman said. “But in the long run it’s best.”
Stillman found himself crashing to the ice Sunday in a tangle of bodies in front of the Thrashers’ net. Unfortunately, Stillman couldn’t break his fall and hit the ice face first.
“Yeah, it was all ice,” he said. “My hands got caught and there was no way to protect myself from falling, so the only thing I hit was face first. You can see on the replay I had no shot, and there’s a guy falling on top of me who weighs 200 pounds. Something had to give.”
Unfortunately, it was Stillman. The 14-year veteran has been remarkably durable throughout his career and had never suffered a concussion – “Knock on wood,” Stillman added - before Sunday’s incident.
“But this one, it was there,” he said. “To me it was obvious and to these guys (medical staff), too.
“I guess I’ll take some time,” Stillman said. “Once everything clears I’ll get back into things. It’s wait until there’s no headaches, no sluggishness. As soon as I get clear I’ll be ready to go."