Tampa Bay Lightning D Marc-Andre Bergeron on his back injury: "I should have known better"
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron probably could play Saturday against the Panthers if there was no other choice. But with seven defensemen already available and Bergeron, according to coach Guy Boucher, "not in game shape" after missing eight games with a back injury, sitting out another game seemed the safe course.
Had Bergeron only done the same before he was injured.
"I should have listened to myself," he said about getting in the weight room to train.
Doing so caused Bergeron's back injury last season. At that time he swore off lifting too many weights.
"But it felt good," he said. "And it wasn't even heavy (weight)."
And over time, he said, the pain in his back evolved to the point he could not play.
"It's unfortunate and like I said, I should have known better," Bergeron said. "But at the same time, you always do things with the right intentions and sometimes the results are unfortunate. You're driving your car and you don't want to crash it, but sometimes it happens."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Mathieu Garon gets the start in net. ... Left wing Ryan Malone skated for the second time by himself before Saturday's team morning skate. Malone said he is shooting for the end of next week before getting back in a game. Boucher only said Malone is "doubtful" for Tuesday against the Kings. ... Goalie Dwayne Roloson, who has been demoted to No. 2, status said all he can do is "be ready for when and if you get a chance." Roloson admitted he is disappointed with the way things have worked out this season, but maintained the high road. Asked if he was happy with the level of communication with the coaching staff in telling him how it has handled the goaltending, Roloson said, "For me, it's really out of my control what they're thinking and how they're going about it, so to be happy or dissatisfied with it really has no bearing on it. Just wait to get the opportunity to play and focus on that." As for how he feels about the lack of playing time (he has one start in eight games, including tonight), Roloson said, "I think you're always disappointed when you're not playing but you can't focus on that. You can't focus on the individual part of it. You have to focus on doing whatever you can to help." ... Expect to see rookie right wing Brett Connolly back in the lineup tonight after he was scratched for Thursday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Jets. Connolly, 19, clearly needed the break as he had zero points in his previous 16 games and admitted he has become a defensive liability. "He was expecting it and he understands it," Boucher said. ... Wing Marty St. Louis plays his 900th NHL game against the Panthers, and given what happened to him before he played his 500th consecutive game -- he gave an interview the day before and then could not play because he was hit in the face by a puck during the game-day skate -- St. Louis politely declined to talk this morning with a clear "(expletive) no." Teammate Steven Stamkos picked up the slack: "Anyone who has played 900 games has had a successful career," Stamkos said. "It just goes to show you what kind of player he is. He still has a lot of hockey left in him." In fact, St. Louis' eight-game streak with an assist is the longest in the league this season. His eight-game points streak (three goals, 10 assists) is the league's longest current streak.