ATLANTA -- Jason Pominville has failed another neuro-pysch test, meaning the Sabres' right winger still cannot play despite feeling no ill effects from his Oct. 11 concussion. The Sabres, who play tonight in Atlanta and Saturday in Dallas, have sent Pominville back to Buffalo to be examined by doctors.
Pominville has been practicing with the Sabres all week, including power-play work Thursday. He and the team assumed he would be ready to play tonight, so the test results came as a shock.
"The disappointment is everybody really thought after the days of practice and the work he put in that he was going to be playing, and I was one of them, too," coach Lindy Ruff said in Philips Arena. "There’s been no ill effects from practicing. He’s gone full go. He’s gone through battle drills. He had no headaches, stuff like that. There have been no side effects to exercise. Normally, what sets a guy back is he will have headaches or he won’t feel right, or he may feel dizzy or lightheaded, but Jason has had none of that, so it’s a little bit of a different area for us."
Pominville talked earlier this week about the difficulty of the test, which he last took as a rookie before this week's two retries. The first test, taken when healthy, establishes a baseline. Players must then match that baseline in order to be cleared from their concussion.
"It’s one of those that, even without having this concussion, it’s a pretty tough test," Pominville said. "You've got to remember different shapes, different words. It’s all memory stuff. They show you a sheet for maybe 10 seconds, and you’ve got to remember as many things as you can that are on the sheet and draw it exactly the same way.
"It’s stuff that’s pretty interesting, but at the same time if you have a bad day you might not pass it. If the first time you did you had a great day, it might be tough to get back to that level."
Ruff joins Pominville's concern that the winger may have done so well the first time that it could be a difficult struggle to match the score no matter how healthy he feels.
"We talked about that," Ruff said. "That is a real possibility. Maybe it’s one of those tests you got 100 percent, and you’re an 80 percent student."
Lindy Ruff audio