Tampa Bay Lightning D Mattias Ohlund (knee) still not skating. Is injury worse than believed?
It wasn't difficult to see the look of disappointment on Mattias Ohlund's face this morning. The Lightning defenseman did not skate (again) because of a painful right knee, and Ohlund admitted there is some question about exactly what is going on with the injury.
Ohlund had hoped to skate late this week. He hasn't practiced since Sept. 30. The defenseman called the situation disappointing.
"It's part of the game and you deal with it and try to stay positive," he said.
Ohlund, 35, missed the first eight games last season because of knee pain. But that was after summer surgery. He had no procedures last summer and was looking forward to a healthier season. Ohlund said no further tests are scheduled -- an MRI on Monday was said to have revealed no damage -- but he does not plan to skate this weekend.
"We're trying to figure out exactly what's going on," Ohlund said. "I don't think we know yet. Hopefully, it won't be serious."
Other stuff from this morning: With Ohlund sidelined, Steven Stamkos will wear the A. Coach Guy Boucher had held out the possibility Stamkos and defenseman Eric Brewer would alternate, but Boucher said Friday Stamkos will be the alternate captain as long as Ohlund is out. "He figured out a lot of things last year," Boucher said of Stamkos. "He went from being a star to being a winner and there’s a big difference between the two. Stamkos. he earned the respect of the rest of the players on our team with the attention to details and paying the price and being so unselfish. That’s how he’s earned it." ... As for Brewer, Boucher said, "He didn't want it. He doesn't need an A or a C to show he's one of the leaders on our team, and that's why he's one of the leaders." For Brewer, taking the A did not seem logical. "This team has their guys. It’s very clear," Brewer said. "I’m just putting my two bits in like last year and don’t want to get in the way. It's a better place for me this time because I can start with the guys and things can roll on. I’m going to play my game and do what I do and the others will take care of the room." ... Give Blair Jones some credit. Boucher said last season the forward was out of shape and inconsistent, but came into training camp fit and with the right attitude. It paid off with a roster spot and a place in tonight's lineup against the Hurricanes on a line with center Nate Thompson and right wing Adam Hall. "I couldn't believe how much his stamina improved and his power improved and his size and strength," Boucher said. "He came out with the attitude and desire and shape we would want all our players to be in." Jones, 25, admitted consistency (two games good, two bad) has held him back. "I have stuff to prove and I want to prove it to myself and the coaching staff," Jones said. "Just work hard. There are no days off. Every day you have to prove something. Just take care of yourself and make sure you're always ready to go." ... Forwards Tom Pyatt and Mattias Ritola are scratched tonight. ... Dwayne Roloson gets the start in net. Boucher said he hasn't even thought about the Bruins game on Saturday (he has to say that), but it is assumed Mathieu Garon will face the Bruins. Garon is 3-1-0 in four games against Boston with a 1.75 goals-against average, a .947 save percentage and a shutout. ... Interestingly there was no morning skate today and will not be one tomorrow at Boston. Boucher that is because the team is playing three games in four days and wants his players rested and eager to get to the rink.