Sunday, July 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan, among others, played hurt

TAMPA — Not surprisingly, several Lightning players went through the playoffs with what general manager Steve Yzerman called "significant injuries."

He would not elaborate Thursday on who they were, though he said that information will be made public after the players undergo MRIs and plans for treatments are finalized.

"It includes me," F Ryan Callahan said.

Callahan said he played with a dislocated shoulder sustained Dec. 14 at Arizona. He missed the two road games in the first-round playoff series with the Devils because of it.

Callahan said he will have a procedure on a to be determined date, so it is unknown if he'll be ready for training camp in early September.

"It's tough," he said. "That's my third (surgery) in four years or something like that. It's never fun. It's part of it. Everybody goes through injuries. Everybody deals with it, so rehab, get better and get ready for next year."

Still hurts

The empty feeling of having their season end in Wednesday's 4-0 Game 7 loss to the Capitals was still fresh Thursday when Lightning players and staff assembled at Amalie Arena for one final team meeting.

"This was one of the tougher feelings and ends to the season just based on the team that we had, the quality of players, the quality of persons that we had on the team," captain Steven Stamkos said. "Just that feeling that this was the year."

Stamkos said his confidence of winning the Stanley Cup grew after the Lightning beat the Bruins in five games during the conference semifinals.

"That's why it's the toughest trophy in sports, I think, to win, because you have can have a lot of things go right, but you run into a very good team and you lose a Game 7. It's pretty disappointing."

When asked what he learned during this playoff run, coach Jon Cooper said: "The only thing we learned is how much it hurts when you don't win, and the hurt just magnifies with every step closer you get."

Cooper said no one should be disappointed by finishing the regular season with the best record in the conference and advancing to the Eastern Conference final.

"If anybody sits and says this was an unsuccessful season, I have to question that," he said. "You look back at this team and all the accomplishments of the regular season and then to be one game away from getting to the Stanley Cup final, there are only two teams left standing beside yourself.

"This is the hardest trophy in all of sports to win and it's hard just to get this far and this group has done it for a couple of years. Now it's just solving the piece of the puzzle in getting over the top."

He said it

"We played 90-something games, and now we have to go back to first game and do it all over again. It (stinks)." — F Nikita Kucherov

Contact Roger Mooney at [email protected] Follow @rogermooney50

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