Malone out tonight; Thompson a game-time decision
Lightning coach Guy Boucher has talked about this year has been marked with "tons of injuries, one after another."
And the latest injury, to wing Ryan Malone, came in a weird way.
Malone will miss tonight's game against the Maple Leafs after suffering an undisclosed lower body injury in a collision with C Nate Thompson in Monday's practice. Malone was on the ice for today's optional morning skate, but came off early. The injury was a bit of a surprise to many, including Boucher, with the collision appearing innocent and happening in a non-contact drill.
"It was one of the last drills," Thompson said. "Perfect timing."
It's bad timing for the Lightning, will be without D Victor Hedman (concussion) indefinitely; he's not even on this three-game road trip. Thompson, who missed the past five games with a lower body injury, says he's feeling really good, and is a game-time decision tonight. If Thompson can't go, D Evan Oberg will (finally) get his chance to play. Malone's absence is big, considering his size, and also because he plays a key role in front of the net on the power play.
"It's great seeing the team win and doing well, but at the same time, you want to be part of it and want to help out," Thompson said. "It's always tough to watch, it's one thing to watch games and see from another angle. But after a few games, you get kind of sick of it and want to play."
The one injury Boucher has called "catastrophic" is the one to D Mattias Ohlund (knees), who has yet to play this season (and may not return) coming off surgery to remove loose bodies from both of his knees. Though Ohlund is hopeful, he said he's not close to getting back on the ice and skating.
Other stuff from the morning skate: G Mathieu Garon, as expected, will start again in next, having won his past three starts.....There was a usual horde of media waiting by the locker of Toronto native, C Steven Stamkos...Rookie wing Brett Connolly, who has scored four goals in four games with Team Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships, will be in the semifinals tonight against Russia...
-- JOE SMITH