Injured G Bishop expected to play Tuesday vs. Rangers
All things being equal, Ben Bishop got off relatively easy with his injured right wrist. With only a sprain, the Lightning goalie missed only three games and tonight against the Blue Jackets will be on the bench as backup to Anders Lindback.
He also is expected to play Tuesday against the Rangers in New York.
"I'm excited," Bishop said. "I probably could play if I had to tonight. But we'll see how it goes and be ready to go tomorrow."
Bishop, 27, who entered Monday leading the league with a .935 save percentage and tied for second with a 1.86 goals-against average,was hurt Jan. 5 against Edmonton when his stick got caught between the legs of teammate Tyler Johnson. That aggravated the wrist, which was hit by a shot during warmups.
Bishop said the he and the medical staff worked diligently to get the wrist in shape, using electrical stimulation as well as the usual rest and ice.
"The trainers and medical guys have done a great job working hard the last three days. They put in a lot of hours on it," Bishop said. "It feels good and I'm ready to go. Hopefully, there won't be any problems."
STAMKOS CONTINUES REHAB
As he has done before, Steven Stamkos joined some of his teammates on the ice at the end of the morning skate. He joined in a shooting drill and faceoff practice but mostly skated on his own, doing quick laps and firing off shots.
He said he still feels discomfort when he does twisting moves on the ice as well as when he accelerates from a stop, and fully expects that discomfort to continue somewhat even when he is playing.
"But each time I've been on the ice, for the most part, I've felt better each time," he said.
For now, though, his more dramatic progression seems to be in the gym.
"We've been doing some plyometrics now, some jumping and loading up on that leg and taking some force on the ground. That's where you see the improvements," he said. "When I'm doing that stuff, there's not too much that bothers me. It's obviously the torquing (while skating) when all the the weight is on that leg and you're turning. That's the stuff that's bothering me the most still."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Victor Hedman apparently had no ill effects from Saturday's head shot from Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell and will play tonight against the Blue Jackets. Hartnell, who received two minutes for an illegal hit to the head, played Sunday against the Rangers and did not even get a hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. Asked if he wanted to comment, Hedman said, "No." Asked if he was upset Hartnell didn't even get a hearing, coach Jon Cooper was diplomatic. "Those guys are pretty thorough in the NHL office," he said. "They're trying to get that out of the game and they don't take it lightly. I guess, fortunately, everybody came out of it okay. I suppose there's no harm, no foul." ... Tests on Sami Salo's left ankle were negative, GM Steve Yzerman said, so the defenseman has just a bad bruise and is day to day, though he still is in a walking boot. ... Defenseman Keith Aulie (hand) shed his red no-contact jersey for a regular jersey at the morning skate. Cooper said Aulie is close to being day to day, though he is not there yet. ... Looks as if forwards Tom Pyatt and Richard Panik will join Salo as tonight's scratches. ... With Bishop back, goalie Cedrick Desjardins is on his way back to AHL Syracuse. The good news is he has his own pads again. Desjardins did not make it with him to Winnipeg when he was called up after Bishop was hurt. They eventually made it, but not until the Lightning already had left the city. Rather than having the pads chase the Lightning, the pads stayed in Winnipeg. The Blue Jackets, who played there Saturday brought them to Columbus. In Winnipeg, Desjardins wore the skates on goaltenders coach Frantz Jean and gear borrowed from the Jets. Back in Tampa, he picked up some old pads he had left there from when he was acquired from the Canadiens. "I've seen a lot of things, but this I've never been close to seeing it," Desjardins said. "At least I got all my stuff. It will be a good story to tell later." ... How much has the Lightning missed Stamkos? In 17 games with him, Tampa Bay won 51.4 percent of power play faceoffs. Without him in the past 28 games, it has won just 43.3 percent. "With any team in the league you take your top faceoff guy away and you get exposed a little bit," Cooper said. "We have capable guys. We just have to get a little hungrier as a unit on faceoffs, maybe not playing for the 100 percent clean win but playing for the 50/50 and everybody getting involved."