Tampa Bay Lightning LW Simon Gagne might miss Tuesday game vs. Islanders as well, Boucher said
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Simon Gagne has not had a setback, as such, with the neck injury that kept him out of 18 games earlier this season in October and November, but clearly there is something there that has to be addressed for him to stay in Montreal after Thursday's game and have follow-up treatment. But coach Guy Boucher assured the situation is not serious and expects Gagne back by Friday's game with the Hurricanes or perhaps, if things go exactly right, by Tuesday against the Islanders.
"If we wanted to we could have done it later," Boucher said. "But that would be close to the playoffs and we wanted to give ourselves a little bit of time. The reality is we want to win every game, but we want to have all our guys healthy even if we have to sit some guys down in the short term."
The frustrating part of that is Gagne seemed as if he was finally getting on a roll. Always responsible defensively, he finally started to chip in more on offense with two goals and six points in his past three games. Gagne wasn't available to comment, but it sounds as if he will make the return trip to Tampa with the team following tonight's game.
Other stuff from the morning skate: Dwayne Roloson gets the start in net. The goalie said he has just a bruise on his left collar bone after taking a huge shot Thursday in Montreal. Boucher said he held his breath when he saw Roloson go down, but Roloson credits an extra padded shirt he wears under his normal goalie gear for preventing what he said would have been bad damage. Interesting stuff on the shirt. Feels like just normal plastic padding that gives when squeezed. Head equipment manager Ray Thill said you could put your hand under it and smash it with a hammer and you would be protected. Company's web site (no free plugs here) said it is a viseoelastic polymer, if that helps. "It's calmed down," Roloson said. "It's just one of those bruises. It's part of the game. You always get bruises. You always get little nicks." ... Another step in Ryan Malone's recovery. The wing, who will miss his 17th game tonight, still wore a red jersey during the morning skate, but participated in line rushes. He also did some side-to-side work with strength coach Chuck Lobe, catching a football. Pretty good hands, but not quite ready for the NFL. ... Lightning penalty kill is on 10-for-10 streak and 32 of past 35. Power play converted six of past 18 tries. ... Best quote of the day comes from center Dominic Moore, who, when growing up, had a pet parakeet named Godzilla, whom he called a "tragic story." Seems the family went away for a few days "and we thought he was all set. We got a warm spell in the house and he overheated and didn't have any air. He went the way of the dodo, so to speak."