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Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos okay after fall; Hedman could play against Wild



Pretty eventful day at Tampa Bay Lightning practice on Tuesday. Star Steven Stamkos gave everybody a scare, including himself, when he got caught up in a stick during a drill and flew into the end boards. Coach Rick Tocchet made it sound as if rookie defenseman Victor Hedman could play Thursday against the Wild at the St. Pete Times Forum.

And if you missed the previous post, wing Drew Miller was put on waivers. We will know at noon Wednesday if he cleared.

But first to Stamkos, who broke in on goalie Mike Smith, got tangled up with Smith's stick, fell and rammed hard into the end boards. Stamkos stayed down for a bit but skated off the ice without help. He was not specific about the injury, but it appeared he jammed his left wrist.

"I went to poke the puck, and he was skating, he was moving pretty good, and his skate got caught in my stick," Smith said. "It scared me." 

"It was just awkward and kind of went into the boards there, but it should be fine," Stamkos said, "Nothing serious."

Good thing. Not only is Stamkos the team leader with 12 goals, captain Vinny Lecavalier missed Tuesday's practice for what the team said was "body maintenance," though it could be he still is getting over whatever gave him laryngitis over the weekend in Montreal. Right wing Marty St. Louis also missed practice for what the team said was a "recovery" day.

So, it was good news when Stamkos said there was no reason to believe he would not play against Minnesota.

"I don't think it's a major thing," Tocchet said.  

Still, Stamkos said, the whole thing was scary.

"I was a little sacred," he said. "I was going pretty fast into the boards. I was going head first. Thank God I got my arms up and protected my face. Good thing I had a visor on, too. I would have smashed my face pretty good. So, a little scary but nothing serious."

As for Hedman, who missed Saturday's game with Montreal with what apparently was a mild concussion caused by Thursday's hit from Ottawa's Chris Neil, the rookie said Monday's brain function test was normal, even more normal, he said, than the base line test he took during training camp.

"Maybe I need a couple more hits," he joked.

Hedman also participated in a full practice for a second straight day, and Tocchet didn't seem to have a reason to hold Hedman out of Thursday's game.

"He's looking better and better every day," Tocchet said, "so I think he's probable. It looks good for him to play Thursday."

 "I feel good," Hedman said. "I feel like I am 100 percent. I want to play." 

[Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:15am]


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