In the midst of a hot stretch that saw the 22-year-old winger light the lamp seven times over a 10-game span, DeBrusk found himself on the wrong side of puck luck during Boston’s matchup against the Maple Leafs back on Nov. 26.
Not in the sense of a shot off the crossbar, however. Rather, he found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time — taking a shot from Danton Heinen to the back of the helmet while knocked down on the ice.
While DeBrusk missed a few shifts near the end of the contest, he appeared to dodge a bullet in terms of a more severe injury — playing in Boston’s next four matchups.
However, DeBrusk’s game quickly deteriorated following that bout against Toronto. During his next four appearances, the second-year skater failed to notch a point while getting knocked with a minus-6 rating.
Something clearly wasn’t right with the forward, but DeBrusk was hesitant to take himself out of the lineup, even as his play continued to slide. Finally, after a listless showing against the Lightning on Dec. 6, DeBrusk finally relented — informing the team of his concussion-like symptoms and going into the league-mandated protocol.