Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
While center Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman won't play tonight in Boston due to lower-body injuries suffered Monday night, the Lightning is encouraged to know that both key players aren't expected to be out for the long-term.
Coach Jon Cooper said this morning that Johnson and Hedman could return sometime before next weekend's All-Star break. Johnson is considered closer, at day-to-day, with Hedman a little behind, at "dayish," Cooper said.
"They were freak things," Cooper said. "They weren't dirty plays, they weren't anything like that. It was the grind of the season, getting caught in the wrong place, wrong time. It sucks."
continue for more on the Lightning...
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Riding high on a wave of momentum, the Lightning crashed back down into a reality check on Monday night.
Tampa Bay allowed five goals in the second period, three on the power play, en route to a 7-3 thumping by the Flyers in front of an announced crowd of 19,958 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Lightning had won three consecutive games and seven of eight coming in. Tampa Bay also saw its six-game winning streak against Philadelphia come to an end
The Lightning also lost top defenseman Victor Hedman and leading scorer Tyler Johnson to undisclosed lower-body injuries. Hedman did not return after the first period and Johnson left midway through the second period.
With Tampa Bay playing tonight in Boston, the Lightning likely will have to look to the minors to fill out their lineup.
“There is a chance that both guys may not play (tonight). There is a good chance of that,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.
continue for more on the game...
via Joe Smith tweets,
#tblightning announced Radko Gudas will be out four months following knee surgery
Cooper on Gudas; "To take a guy who is pretty heavy on the back end, plays with a lot of grit, especially off our team, it's a big hole"
added 1:16pm, more on the injury from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
via Bryan Burns of TampaBayLightning.com.
Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday in Tampa.
A determination following surgery will be made on how long Gudas will be out of the Lightning lineup.
Gudas, 24, returned to Tampa on Sunday prior to the Lightning’s 4-2 victory in Ottawa. He is schedule to receive further examination after missing training sessions Friday and Saturday and three-straight games.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
I wanted to quickly blog that defenseman Keith Ballard talked today for the first time since he sustained three facial fractures and a concussion Dec. 9 against the Islanders.
Ballard, 32, the Baudette native and former two-time Gophers national champ, is still experiencing symptoms and has done nothing other than taking walks since the injury. He admits that he’s not sure if he’ll ever play again. He said he’s going to let this play out before determining if he’ll return.
Ballard said during his last concussion that he’s worried about his future and wants to make sure he’s healthy in his post-hockey career as a husband and dad to two children.
He said that again today.
His remark starts around the :25 second mark.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
When the Lightning was burned by a controversial goalie interference call in Game 3 of its playoff series against the Canadiens in April, coach Jon Cooper suggested such plays should be reviewed on video. And if that came to be, Cooper thought the rule would be dubbed the "Tampa Rule."
But Cooper didn't expect to keep earning that label this season. Three Tampa Bay goals have been disallowed due to goalie interference, including one in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Capitals.
"It seems like it's following us around," Cooper quipped.
Cooper isn't griping; he knows other teams are impacted by the calls. But the Lightning is joining a growing group around the league that hopes replay is expanded to include goalie interference calls.
Tampa may not yet be a model franchise. But Vinik, at least on the basis of what we’ve seen so far, could be the model owner south of the Mason-Dixon line the league has long needed, and one planning to stay in the game for a long, long time.
-Damien Cox on Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik. Much more on Vinik at Sportsnet.
from Erik Erlendsson o fhe Tampa Tribune,
Now that he’s back in the lineup, it’s difficult not to think Tampa Bay will be even better, which is quite a possibility for a team that enters tonight’s game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden in a six-way tie for the most points in the league with 34.
Hedman fractured a finger at Vancouver on Oct. 18, the fifth game of the season, and had surgery to insert pins two days later. Including the game Hedman left, Tampa Bay was 13-5-1 without him.
Hedman returned on Saturday against Ottawa, logging 19 minutes and 55 seconds of ice time and looking as if he never missed a beat. He had three shots on goal, two hits, two blocked shots and was a plus-2.
“He was commanding out there, with and without the puck,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said of Hedman’s first game in six weeks. “It’s great to have him back. It takes a lot of relief off other guys who play big minutes on our team. I’m sure when he gets his legs more, he’ll play more. But in the second and third (periods), he was outstanding.’’
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Team Canada will announce its roster for its World Junior camp on Monday.
Whether touted Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin is on it or not, he said he'd prefer to continue playing in the NHL rather than participate in the tournament, which is from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Toronto and Montreal. The camp is from Dec. 7-9, with exhibitions starting Dec. 19.
"To be honest, I'd rather stay here," Drouin said Saturday. "It's one month you're away from the team and a lot of stuff is going to happen. I'd rather be here than play for World Juniors."
via Bob McKenzie tweets today...
Players invited do not include eligible NHLers (Lazar OTT, Duclair NYR, Horvat VAN, Drouin TB, Ekblad FLA, MacKinnon COL, Bennett CGY *inj).
Ekblad and MacKinnon, of course, are not actual considerations. Decisions on other four will be made by NHL clubs no later than Dec. 19.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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