Callahan could return Tuesday; Stamkos off crutches
Veteran wing Ryan Callahan is getting close to returning to the Lightning lineup.
And it could even be for Tuesday's game against the Jets.
Callahan participated in his second straight team skate Monday, and was as active as he's been in a long time. Callahan did line rushes with Jonathan Drouin and Valtteri Filppula, and took part in penalty kill drills.
Callahan has missed 15 games with lingering soreness in his surgically-repaired hip.
"He's definitely day-to-day now," coach Jon Cooper said. "And that day-to-day can turn into him playing (Tuesday)."
Let's caution that Callahan has felt "close" before, but his hip would flare up the day after skates, so the key will be how he feels Tuesday morning. Here's our story from Callahan describing how "extremely frustrating" it's been to be out this long. But Callahan's return would be a big boost to a Tampa Bay team that will likely be without Brian Boyle (lower body injury), whom Cooper said is "doubtful" for Tuesday. Prospect Adam Erne was called up, practiced Monday in Brandon and there's a "good chance" he makes his NHL debut Tuesday, Cooper said.
In other injury news, captain Steven Stamkos was spotted riding an exercise bike while watching practice Monday at the Ice Sports Forum. The fact Stamkos is walking without crutches, and riding the bike is a good sign that his recovery from mid-November knee surgery is on target. Stamkos was expected to miss four months, with a potential mid-March return. Here's the Times' piece from a couple weeks ago on what Stamkos' recovery would look like.
Other practice notes: C Cedric Paquette didn't practice and is out again Tuesday... C Brayden Point, out 4-6 weeks with an upper body injury, also watched practice, and was wearing a cast on his right hand/wrist area.