Bishop leaves morning skate in pain, says he will be okay
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop left the ice prematurely during the morning skate after being hit in the hand with a shot. Coach Jon Cooper said he believed Bishop is okay, and Bishop on his way out of the building said he same.
Anders Lindback was supposed to get the start tonight against the Flyers anyway, Cooper said, no no plans had to be changed.
The injury is the latest in a plague of them that lately has hit Tampa Bay. Six off the roster are currently hurt, and left wing Ryan Malone (foot) was put on injured reserve with what is believed to be a chipped bone in his foot, sustained blocking a shot Friday against the Ducks.
If you inlcude defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Brian Lee, Tampa Bay's injured list is up to eight, though defenseman Keith Aulie apparently is available to play. The others are:
Defenseman Radko Gudas (upper body) and forwards Steven Stamkos (leg), Tom Pyatt (collarbone) and Pierre-Cedric Labrie (arm).
At least Cooper is able to keep his sense of humor.
"Stammer gets hurt back-checking. Malone gets hurt blocking a shot. All this defense first is taking our guys down.
"It's one of those when it rains it pours," Cooper said. "You can't cry foul. This happens to every team in the league. We've lost some pretty high-end players and it's been tough. The depth in our organization gets tested. The problem is we're really testing it."
Right wing Dana Tyrell was called up today from AHL Syracuse. Tampa Bay had previously called up Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown, both of whom still are with the team, and forward Brett Connolly and defenseman Dmitry Korobov, both of whom have been sent back down.
"I'm not sure what Rob is thinking of me right now," Cooper said of Syracuse coach Rob Zettler, and added, "It's a good test for our guys. We're staying afloat with a lot of guys from the minors, and that's a tribute to what Rob's doing down there. He's got the guys ready for when they come up. I don't even think twice about calling someone up and putting them in because they know exactly what they're doing."
As for the status of some of the injured players, Cooper said Gudas might be ready "soon." Labrie, he said, tweaked something in his arm, and Malone might be out longer than anticipated.
More stuff from the morning skate: Vinny Lecavalier, in addition to a video scoreboard salute, will be named a Community Hero and get a $50,000 donation from the Lightning to his charity. "I just hope the only one he gets is at the beginning," Cooper said of the cheers Lecavalier is bound to receive. "If I hear more cheers that means he's probably putting the puck in the net against us." ... Lindback gets the start tonight, Cooper said, because "he needs games" and to manage Bishop's minutes. "At this rate, you do the math," Cooper said. "Ben's going to play a lot of games, potentially more this year than he played in his entire career. This is just part of the plan." ... Bishop has played 19 of Tampa Bay's first 24 games. At that rate he would play 65. Entering the season he had played 45. ... With the Lightning power play in a 3-for-37 funk, Cooper had players on the ice early today going over some things. Schemes are one thing, Cooper just wants the players to shoot more. "You're almost looking for that perfect play other than the old fashioned get the puck to the point and fire it at the net and outnumber guys down there. Sometimes you have to convince your guys the goal scored that way is just as effective as the tic-tac-toe, behind the back, through the uprights. That's what we're working on, getting more than shot shot mentality mind-set." ...Tyrell said his goal is to prove to the coaching staff he cannot be sent back to Syracuse. "You only get so many chances," he said. "This is another chance for me that I'm thankful to get. When I get my opportunity on the ice I have to prove I can stay here, so that's what I'm going to do." ... One thing Marty St. Louis misses about being teammates with Lecavalier are the one-on-one puck battles they used to have during practices. "We'd always be laughing," St. Louis said, well, laughing. "He's 6-4, I'm 5-8, whatever. I don't know. It was pretty comical." ... St. Louis said he is just happy to be past the celebration of his 1,000th game, which he played Nov. 19 at Los Angeles. He was honored Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "It seemed like a week-long type of thing," St. Louis said. "Just everything leading up to Monday, my wife surprised me with a bunch of things at home. My family and friends, that game, the party afterward. It was nice on every front and I'm very thankful, but at the same time I'm glad we're past it."