Brian Boyle says injury is 'really frustrating'
It takes a lot for Lightning veteran center Brian Boyle to miss a game.
Boyle snapped a 263 consecutive games played streak in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers. Now Boyle has been scratched in two straight, and may be out again tonight against the Blues, with an undisclosed injury that's related to the issue that kept him out in playoffs.
"It just flared up again," Boyle said. "I thought it was under control, that's why it's pretty disappointing. Really disappointing. But these things happen.
Boyle was encouraged he was able to return to practice Monday, and participated in Tuesday's morning skate, saying he's feeling better. They've tried extra treatment, Boyle noting with his 6-foot-7 frame that traveling in planes hasn't been kind.
"It's really frustrating," Boyle said. "I'm not a good patient. I have to listen to people smarter than me, but we'll see. It's feeling a little bit better."
Center Cedric Paquette is likely out tonight with an injury that coach Jon Cooper said is related to the left foot/ankle injury he suffered blocking a shot during the preseason against Dallas. If both Boyle and Paquette can't go, the Lightning will go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, with Nikita Nesterov in.
More from today's skate: G Ben Bishop, who grew up outside St. Louis, noted that tonight's homecoming will be a "little bit bigger than most games," especially with many family and friends in the stands. But Bishop, who was drafted by the Blues in 2005, making his debut with St. Louis before getting traded to Ottawa (in 2012) and Tampa Bay (in 2013), said he holds no ill will from the organization. "It could have been a blessing in disguise to get out of there and not have the pressure to make it in front of family and friends," Bishop said. "It's kind of nice to get away and not have that pressure. I'm in a great spot now. They've had successful seasons, and I've personally had successful seasons. I think both teams were winners, and I hold no grudges." Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said he's always been a big fan of Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman, who he coached in Columbus 2009-11. "I knew there was something special there," Hitchcock said. "He was banged-up a little bit, he came in with this reputation as a defending defenseman, and when we'd do stuff after practice, I saw a skill set and ability to read. I kept telling people, 'There's something here offensively that's not being tapped into.' I really liked him as a player. I thought the world of him when he was here." Stralman noted that 2009-10 season was his best statistical year (six goals, 28 assists) until last season with Tampa Bay (nine, 30). ..."(Hitchcock is) like, 'I want you to go, I want you to be that offensive player, don't worry too much about the d-zone," Stralman said. "That was a fun year. Excited to get a real chance to establish myself." G Andrei Vasilevskiy did an on-ice workout after the team's morning skate. There's no update on when he'll begin his conditioning assignment with AHL Syracuse, but he's looked good. "He's a monster, that kid," Cooper said. "It looks like he hasn't missed a beat."