Brian Salcido is thrilled the fog has finally lifted.
After missing six games with a concussion he sustained against the Chicago Wolves on Oct. 10, the skilled defenceman returned to the Manitoba Moose lineup on the weekend and he was rewarded with his first goal of the American Hockey League season in his second game back.
"It was pretty painful sitting out, there were so many games over such a short time," said Salcido, who is one of two Anaheim Ducks prospects on the Moose roster this season. "It was my first concussion as a pro. When you have a concussion, your whole body feels fine and sometimes you don't feel the symptoms but you have to be careful. If you hurt your shoulder, you know how much you can push it. So it was kind of a waiting game.
"The hardest part about it is your body feeling fine, but you literally can't do anything. I had some headaches, but not unbearable. It's such a weird feeling. You're just in a fog and it's hard to concentrate on things."
Salcido is known as a power play specialist and expects his production to increase as the season progresses.
"I'd like to put some more points on the board, but as long as we're winning, I really don't care. I just want to win," said Salcido. "I definitely feel more confident out (on the ice), with it being my fourth year. I've improved in some areas and I've played well. I just want to get better. That's all that is important."
After going to training camp with the Ducks, Salcido admits it's taken some time to get used to the new personnel around him.
"It's harder getting used to everybody than I thought it would be," said Salcido. "When you're in camp with everybody else or play with them the year before, it's easier. But that's what is good about the AHL, you have a lot of games and practices, so you get used to it pretty quick."
Moose assistant coach Keith McCambridge said Salcido made his presence felt immediately upon his return.
"He does such a good job finding those first passes and offensively, he generates chances for us," said McCambridge. "He's a player with offensive ability and at times, there's risk and reward with those guys. When they do join the rush, there's going to be the odd time when there's going to be an odd-man rush. It's just a matter of whether we can find that fine balance."
HOOF PRINTS: RW Matt Pope wasn't on the ice and was seen hobbling around the dressing room with what appeared to be an ankle brace. McCambridge said Pope, who sustained the injury on Saturday in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Admirals, was scheduled to see the team doctor and will be re-evaluated today. The news was better for D Lawrence Nycholat, who is making progress from shoulder and knee injuries he sustained in a game against the Wolves on Oct. 10. Although the timetable hasn't been finalized, Nycholat could return next weekend for a three-game swing to Texas. The Moose are currently in second place in the North Division, two points behind the Rochester Americans, who also hold two games in hand. As it stands right now, the Moose aren't expecting any players to be returned from the parent Vancouver Canucks before Thursday's game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.